Age group: 12 to 15
myHistro is an online tool that allows us to create timelines based on maps, which can include text, images and video. It’s online, free, simple and fun to use! By creating timelines, students can organize and explain events in a dynamic and creative way.
In this activity we ask the students to create a timeline story about the history of human rights.
Start by showing your students an example or two of a myHistro story. Go to http://www.myhistro.com and explore the several timelines they have there. Choose one that is appropriate for your students and, as you watch it, don’t forget to mention the main characteristics of this application (the map, the dates, the text, the images, etc.).
After introducing the topic – human rights – divide the students into small groups. Tell them that they are going to select and collect all the necessary resources for their timeline. Each group will search online for important events in the history of human rights. From the things they find, they have to select the ten events that they consider to be the most significant ones. Remind the students that they have to, not only, identify what happened, but also where and when it happened. They can note down this information in a digital document (word processor, note pad, etc.)
After they selected the information, they should now look for images or videos that illustrate those events. They can also create their own images using some sort of drawing software.
When all the groups have their research work finished, they should login to http://www.myhistro.com and start their story.
Once they have completed the story, each group presents it to the class. They will probably get some important feedback from the teacher and the classmates, so they can afterwards go back to myHistro to improve any necessary aspects of their timeline, based on the opinions they got. At the end of the activity, they can publish and share their story. It can be embedded in the school’s website, class blog or shared in one of the most known social networks.
What do I need?
• Internet access
• Account in http://www.myhistro.com/ . You can create one or use an account you might have in other social networks.
By mapping the history of human rights, students acquire a more global and visual view of this issue and its background. By using images, videos and text, students get a chance of expressing what they know about the subject and what they consider to be more relevant in history. The easiness when it comes to sharing the work is also a great plus.
Hints and tips
Before introducing it to your students, create your own account in http://www.myhistro.com/ and explore all its functionalities. Make a timeline to see how it goes. Although it’s easy to use, it will help you guide your students in class.
In class, organize the groups according to the number of computers you have available. It’s good to have small groups ( 2 – 3 students), so that all of the students can work hands on the tool. If you have plenty of computers, students in each group can divide
tasks (text, images, etc.).
If there is enough time in class, it would be interesting to have students comment on each other’s timelines.
Since we are using images and videos, students should be reminded of the authoring rights those might have.
Other opportunities to use the same software
This software can also be used in some mobile devices. If students enjoy using it, maybe they would be found of creating timelines for other issues or subjects (even as homework or study technique).
The topic chosen was the human rights, as it is a theme that is dealt with in several humanities subjects. Similar activities can be planned for a specific event in history, a famous person or even for a country or a city. Students can even make a timeline of their own life!
Drawing the students’ family tree would be another interesting possibility allowed by this tool.
By Francisca Soares and Sandra FradãoPortugal