Implementation of “Take A Trip With Orient Express Into The future!“ (SOI-HR-285)

Author: Mirko Andrić, teacher of geography

School/Organization: Osnovna škola “Retfala” /Primary school Retfala

The main goal is to develop, repeat and practice knowledge in Geography (about Central and Southeast Europe) in combination with History and ICT. There are also additional tasks of implementation of this scenario: get to know Europeana, safe internet competences, practice languages skills (English language), encourage to read books, encourage cross-curriculum learning, develop critical review skills, practice different methods of work, stimulate creativity, learning cross entertainment (edutainment). 

Inspired by a great scenario that perfectly matched with curriculum of Geography in 7th grade the scenario was implemented in three regular classes. There were 61 students that took part in the implementation process which took place across one month.

At the beginning the idea was presented to students via materials from original scenario. They were motivated because of the very interesting story of Orient Express, huge potential of Europeana and combination of geography and ICT skills. At home they individually or in pair made the first step- use Google Classroom, make a digital postcard in Canva and put them on Padlet. Next week they presented their work to the classes. Next step was to more closely get to know Europeana potential via photo and video materials on it. Additionally, students in groups discussed the context of traveling in the golden age of Orient Express and put their thoughts on Mentimeter. Finally, at the end of month, they evaluated the whole process and internet safety via Plickers. 

Core part of the original scenario was used but it was upgraded and changed mostly because of context on curriculum and affinity of students. In regular classes students just ended with learning about Central and Southeast Europe and this implementation of scenario was used as a way of repetition and practice of Geography in combination with new knowledge and skills in ICT, languages, History and great potential of Europeana. 

The implementation context

Geography +

61 students of the 7th grade (14 yo) of Primary school were included. Students are divided in 3 classes. This scenario was implemented in regular classes during Geography because it perfectly fits in curriculum and plan of teaching.  During the different part of implementation process they worked individually, in pair and in groups. They are familiar with using ICT in Geography and using of additional mini projects like this in regular classes. Most of them were informed earlier about Orient Express and some of them with Agata Christie’s novel “Murder on Orient Express” because of new movies and television series. Nobody heard about Europeana and that’s why the great potential of it was very interesting to students. The possibility of combination of the interesting story and Geography with their ICT skills were very motivating.

Geography class was held in mother tongue. Therefore, you can find some materials in Croatian and some in English language.

The narrative

Motivation, introduction, preparation
First, students were motivated with PPT presentation about legendary Orient Express. There were emphasized: historical importance of train/s, “Murder on Orient Express”, routes of train. Then the task with postcards was presented and the examples from original scenario. Technical instructions for digital postcards in Canva (  and Padlet ( were imposed step by step. The resources in Europeana ( were specially shown and this was the occasion to show the most of its potential. 

    First set of information for students in Google Classroom

Students got links to galleries on Europeana for four cities (Vienna, Budapest, Bucharest and Istanbul) that have been already made in original scenario (, , They could choose one of them and make a postcard. On the first side there should be an old photo of the city with their selfie integrated on it (in Canva). On the back side there should be their greetings, information about sender and receiver and the Europe map with train route and 4 cities located on it. Template for postcards was already made for students. They had to put the postcard on Padlet ( Students got all the links and PPT presentation in Google Classroom and got 7 days to make it.

Students’ postcards in Canva

Example of one postcard

Presentation and discussion

Next meeting was the occasion for students to present and explain their postcards in the classroom. Additionally, students got to know Europeana potential better via photo and video materials about Orient Express that could be found on it (for instance Finally, students in groups discussed about the context of traveling in the golden age of Orient Express. Question was “What did passengers take with them then and what do we take on the trip now?”. First, they put their thoughts in their notebooks and then via tablets in Mentimeter ( Another part of the discussion was about AI and manipulation of photos. That was the moment when students realized some of the consequences of it and the importance of Europeana.

During discussion and searching the routes

Working on Mentimeter

The results on Mentimeter: What luggage would you take to journey now? What luggage people used to take with them before?


Finally, at the end of month, they evaluated the whole process via Plickers ( This was the occasion to show all the postcards from other classes, to discuss about time context of golden age of trains and Orient Express and to motivate students to use Europeana for their next works as a huge, inspirational, safe and accurate source of information and materials.

There were 4 questions in Plickers

Evaluation process with Plickers

Here are the results from one of the classes- 7.b

“How important is to have completely correct and safe source of information as Europeana?”

Learning outcomes

Outcomes- competencies and material outcomes

This implementation of scenario mainly focuses on these competences:

1. Digital competences: while using Europeana, while making postcards, selfies, during the discussion about time and travel context and during evaluation they used: Google Classroom, Power Point, Canva, Padlet, Plickers, Mentimeter

2. Cartographic competencies; while working with train routes they incorporated them in map together with geographic location of for main cities

3. Literacy competences: while working in a pair or in group, while they worked on English language; encouragement to read books (“Murder on Orient Express”)

4. Personal, social and learning to learn competences: while managing time and information and working with others in a constructive way.

5. Competencies of understanding time and space context: while discussing about context of travel in golden age of trains (especial Orient Express) and life in the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century

6. Cultural competence: while comparing Europe and Europe`s regions in past and present.

7. Safe internet competencies: while explaining, working and evaluating Europeana as a safe, reliable and huge resource

This implementation of scenario had these material outcomes:

1. Postcards– old photos (Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest) in combination with selfies from using Canva ( ). When finished, students put postcards in Padlet ( All information students found in Google Classroom (PPT presentation, template for postcard etc.).

2. Discusson about luggage items they would need for travel then and now and at the end of it using Mentimeter (

  1. Evaluation using Plickers (

Advice to other educators planning to implement the same learning scenario

1. Scenario is great, but you should adapt it to your curriculum, context and students’ abilities

2. You don’t need much time but you should split the activities during longer period so the students can make all the materials properly and enjoy it

3. Scenario can be related to other school subject so, for instance, for the next year I already arranged cooperation with History and English language teachers

4. It is very important how you motivate you students. The luxurious and slightly mystified story about Orient Express can help a lot.

5. Europeana is a huge resource, but you should help your students to navigate it.

6. Europeana is a great example to start a discussion about internet safety and reliable resources on it especially now in the context related with AI

Outcomes for the educator

Europeana as one of new starting points

As very useful for students, Europeana is very useful for educators too. Lot of ready, reliable and interesting materials and learning scenarios will make Europeana one of my main points in creative process of education.  Importance of Europeana gets even bigger now when AI started to make a huge impact even on our everyday life so checked, appropriate and easily available information are crucial.

It was very easy to find information because the web page is intuitive. Learning scenarios are well prepared, there are a lot of them and they are very diverse so I could easily find one of my interests.

Europeana ambassadors make a really good job because I haven’t known how huge opportunities of it are until I have been on one of education panels.

This scenario is very flexible and it is easy to connect them with lot of educational areas- for example: History, Geography, mother and foreign language, ICT etc.

Using this scenario sparked curiosity and creativity in me. I decided to use Europeana for the first time, some possibilities of Canva and Mentimeter I used for the first time, I renewed my contact with the writer of scenario, my students got opportunity to learn a lot and have fun…

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Take A Trip with Orient Express Into The future! (LS-HR-699) created by Ana Marinić.

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Do you want to discover more stories of implementation? Click here.

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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