I can’t think of a better place to use Fakebook than in the Social Studies classroom. This is the class where students learn about people in history. The hard part is getting students to find an interest in all of these, as students might put it, “dead people.” Having students create a Fakebook will engage them in the history of anyone they need to study. Not only will they have fun creating the project, but they will also learn, which is the whole point of anything that a teacher does in the classroom.
So, now we know that we need to have students create one of these pages, but how? The first thing is to find a suitable template. Click here for a list of different Fakebook platforms that can be used with students.
Once you have chosen a platform, decide on who the students need to research. The class could be assigned several different historical figures from the same time period at the end of a unit, or maybe this can be used as an end of the semester project where students choose someone that has been covered in class over the course of the semester. This would allow for more research and discovery.
The best way to set up an assignment like this is with little guidance. A project like this can serve dual roles. The students can learn about the historical figure and also develop their creative mind. Showing one or two examples might be appropriate, but show no more than that. The students know what a Facebook page looks like, and they will create a much better product with less guidance. Rubrics should also follow this rule. A rubric with too many points takes all of the creativity out of the project. A quick Google search will bring up a bunch of different rubrics to use, but my favorite so far is from Mona Morris at Harlem Middle School. It is short, concise and easy to use. Click here for the rubric.
Once the assignment is given, let the student have some fun with it. Support them in accomplishing the task, but let them create a true Fakebook page. Let them write posts just like they would have on Facebook. This means that there is going to be some crazy spelling of words and maybe even some words you won’t know. There are going to be abbreviations and short phrases rather than nice, neat complete sentences. It’s probably going to get a little crazy. That’s okay.
Remember the purpose of the activity; students are going to be learning about a historical figure, not writing a formal report.
This actually brings me to another good point; this is a great activity to use as a springboard for a more formal research paper. They will have done some great preliminary research in order to create the Fakebook page. Now they can take this new found knowledge and put it into a paper!
To put is simply, if you teach social studies, and I don’t care at what level, you need to try this with your students. They will love it, and you won’t regret it!
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