Using media tools to recreate the Lewis and Clark expedition on campus

There is no better way to teach important ideas and events than through authentic activities. At root this teaching method seeks to imitate real world activities performed by real people, and one of the most important categories of authentic activities is role plays.

Students in Jim Kelly’s US Studies course used digital cameras along with Photostory, MovieMaker and PowerPoint to create electronic journals in the 19th century style of a Lewis and Clark experience.


“The basic idea was to send students into the “field” with pen and journal and record everything about their surroundings,” said teacher Jim Kelly. “In thinking of ways to bring the project up to date and to adapt if for our students at University High School, I decided to do the project during a single class period. The “field” would be
represented by the campus at Illinois State University and the “guides” would be student teachers from the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the College of Education.”


Fifteen years ago the students literally embarked upon their
journey with a sketch pad and notebook. With technology, the project has become richer as students have moved towards electronic journals, and using digital cameras. Production tools have changed to PowerPoint, MovieMaker and Photostudio..

The complete lesson is here and a sample student project is here.

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