Implementation of “Greek Canon” (SOI-IT-311)

Author: Emma Abbate, Teacher

School/Organization: Liceo Scientifico Statale Armando Diaz Caserta

This SoI is aimed at animating and enriching Europeana images of ancient Greek statues.

The Learning scenario implemented is Greek Canon (LS-HR-34), I chose it because I teach Ancient history, so Greek Art, sculpture and the classical Canon are important topics from the syllabus. I wanted to “activate” and stimulate the study of ancient statues converting their “flat” pictures  in moving and captivating three- dimensional objects to explore and expand with hyperlinks, a way to make students closer to these artifacts and fully engaged in the investigation of their features such as it happens in a real museum. By this novel approach, learners were able to customize and personalize the Europeana items using creativity, imagination and digital / research skills, assuming a proactive and central role in the learning path.

3D ancient statues speak up! How to 3Dsize Europeana sources and jump into them!

The idea was to enliven the study of Greek sculpture through an activity that would make students creators of the learning content rather than passive consumers.

The implementation was offline and involved the following subjects: Art, History and ICT. The age range of participants was 15-16 years old (2nd class of High school). 

Two classes of 25 students each participated and all the students were familiar with Europeana Archive’s search and collections, and also with the two tools employed for the implementation, Monster Mash and Thinglink:  I had previously demonstrated how to use the Monster Mash to convert 2D images from Europeana in 3D models and how to upload the 3D models on Thinglink to add the hyperlinks on them. As lesson’s prerequisite, students were introduced to the topic of Greek Canon through the Europeana Learning scenario in order to get acquainted with the shaping of the human body in ancient sculpture.

The stages of implementation were conducted as follows:

Learning session 1: Introduction (60 minutes)

– Teacher explains the objectives of the lesson (10 minutes):

Students will:

  •  demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural significance of Greek ancient statues and Canon.
  • develop skills in using digital tools to create 3D models of ancient statues.
  • acquire an ability to personalize 3D models with hyperlinks using Thinglink.
  • gain experience in organizing a virtual exhibition that showcases their 3D models.
  • learn how to effectively communicate and present their ideas through digital technology.
  • develop an appreciation for art and history in a technological and interactive context.

– Then, students are introduced to Greek canon concept by the implementation of the homonymous Europeana Learning scenario (50 minutes)

Learning session 2: Europeana digital archive’s sources searching for the class project.(30 minutes)

Teacher:- Projects on the interactive board the Europeana website gallery created for the lesson, then instructs students to select an image of a Greek ancient statue from the gallery explaining the importance of copyright and attribution and, finally, discusses the historical and cultural significance of one chosen statue as example of what they are requested to do afterwards when the 3D model will be created.

One of the resources used in our implementation: Torsetto femminile in marmo –     National Archaeology Museum of Abruzzo –   CC BY-NC-ND

Learning session 3: Learning to employ Monster Mash 3D (30 minutes)  and Thinglink (30 minutes) for the class project: 


– demonstrates how to convert the chosen image into a 3D model using Monster Mash 3D’s 3 steps procedure: Draw-Inflate-Animate  (10 minutes),

– allows time for students to work in groups of 4-5 on their own 3D models (20 minutes) providing guidance and support as needed,

– introduces Thinglink explaining how to upload their 3D models to the platform and personalize them with hyperlinks (10 minutes),

– allows time for students divided in groups of 4-5 to customize their 3D objects adding annotations, audio, and video to make them more engaging and informative (20 minutes).

If available, with a compatible VR set, students explore the objects they uploaded.


The resource converted in 3D model on Monster Mash


Customization of the 3D model on thinglink

Learning session 4: The Virtual exhibition (60 minutes)

Teacher:- explains the concept of a virtual exhibition and its benefits instructing students to organize a virtual exhibition with their 3D models using Sketchfab free VR gallery Models.

A free downloadable and adaptable Sketchfab gallery

Author: Loïc Norgeot License: CC Attribution

Learning session 5: Conclusion (30 minutes)


– reviews what the students have learned using rubrics created on purpose 

– encourages students to share their virtual exhibition with the class and with family and friends using social networks.


The interaction with the Europeana resources was proactive and novel: learners did not employed them passively because they worked personalizing and customizing them with the suggested tools, becoming in this way co- constructors of knowledge and full protagonists of the learning process.

Students expressed their enthusiasm for the whole experience through informal interviews I conducted at the end of the project to evaluate their engagement, learning gains, and overall satisfaction with the scenario: they confirmed their interest for the assigned activities. The impact of the SoI on students learning was also measured via test on contents of the lessons (Greek sculpture).  I also collected feedback from other educators who have used my SoI scenario in their classrooms: they were very satisfied of this approach to the Europeana Archive.

The advices I would give to other educators planning to implement the same learning scenario are as follows:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning scenario and its intended learning outcomes. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the knowledge and skills you want your students to gain from the scenario.
  2. Consider how the learning scenario aligns with your students’ learning needs, interests, and abilities. You may need to adapt the scenario or provide additional resources if it presents a challenge for some students or is not relevant to their experiences.
  3. Make sure you have all the necessary materials and resources ready before implementing the scenario. This includes any technology tools, handouts, or other materials that students will need to complete the activity.
  4. Plan the lesson delivery and facilitation carefully. Think about how you will introduce the scenario to your students, how you will support their learning during the activity, and how you will assess their understanding and progress.
  5. Provide clear instructions and expectations for your students. Make sure they understand the purpose of the scenario and what they need to do to complete it successfully.
  6. Encourage collaboration and communication among your students. Consider incorporating opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback or discussion to enhance their learning experience.
  7. Finally, be prepared to reflect on the effectiveness of the learning scenario and make adjustments as needed. Take note of what worked well and what didn’t, and use this information to improve your future lesson planning and delivery.

Educators should consider the accessibility of Europeana resources for their students. Some materials may be more challenging to read or comprehend, so educators should be prepared to provide support or alternative resources for students who need it. Indeed, the idea to convert flat images of Greek statues in 3D objects was born from the urge to make these resources more accessible and comprehensible  to my students, increasing their chances to interpret them correctly. When planning to use Europeana resources, educators should think about how they can provide context and connections to the curriculum and how they can engage students in meaningful exploration and discovery as in our case.

Converting Europeana resources into 3D models was a fascinating process that allowed us to explore cultural heritage artefacts in a new and exciting way. With the help of software applications such as Monster Mash and Thinglink, students were able to create interactive and realistic 3D models that provided a deeper understanding of Greek statues

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Greek Canon (LS-HR-34), created by Tram Nataša.

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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