Students love to work with authentic documents. History seems to become real. In this learning scenario, they study letters, diaries, postcards, poems from Europeana 14-18 “stories” in order to prepare an exhibition about WW1. They have to read, transcribe, choose abstracts of the documents to treat their subject and demonstrate that the WW1 is a global war that involves soldiers as well as civilians, children and grownups and exposes them to violence.
Europeana 14-18 stories
This learning scenario also aims to improve the methodology of collaborative work. In the first part, the students become experts in their “story”, and in the second part, the groups are mixed and every expert shares his knowledge and skills with others to develop one aspect of the exhibition. During the whole process, each student has to give ideas, details, to discuss the different choices.
The best moment for me as a teacher is the last part of this learning scenario. The students have to visit the whole exhibition and prepare some questions to ask their classmates. Each group must defend and explain their choices, answer to questions about documents and texts. The students show their interest and their misunderstandings, the errors become obvious and can be explained by the teacher but also often by the other students.
I used padlet as a tool for the exhibition, but this lesson could be enhanced with a better digital tool highlighting texts and documents.
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