Monday, May 18, 2015

Fakebook Biography Projects with some A-has!

About five years ago I started using Classtools.net for their Random Namepicker template. I have used it for picking names, topics, characters, really anything that needs random selection. My students (even secondary) love to use the interactive board and "spin the wheel" for their topics. Much better than the teacher assigning it or drawing from a bag.

This six weeks, I decided to use the Fakebook template for their book project. They had to  read a biography and create a Fakebook profile for their person. I created a rubric for assessing the project and gave it to them ahead of time. I used Google Classroom for the assignment and link turn-in location.

The goal was for the students to really think about their people and imagine being them. Who would their friends be? How would they interact?

Here are a couple of the finished projects:

Nikolai Romanov

Nelson Mandela

Some project surprises;

1. Save often - Since we are a GAFE district, the students are spoiled to the autosave. I remember many times as a student when I lost work from lack of saving or a brief power blip. I too have become less of a saver since I started using Google. With the Fakebook template, you have to save and remember the link and password to edit it later. Many students were frustrated by lost work.

2. Old School Facebook - Many of my students did not know how Facebook worked. They use Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat stories as Social Media. Facebook is for old people, like their parents.

Will I do this project again? Probably. I like the "outside of the box" thinking that is required more than just read and regurgitate information on a poster or slide show. I may rethink my rubric and teach a bit more about expectations. Always room for tweaking!

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