Hacking the Great Depression

I’ve always been intrigued by the Great Depression and thought it would make a wonderful project for 4th graders in the computer lab. I created this App Flow through Graphite, which outlines the steps required for the project. I also created the virtual corkboard shown below through linoit to hold some reference materials for the topic.

virtual corkboard picture

Basically, I had the kids add themselves to an assigned photo from the Great Depression.  They had to blend into the photo so they needed to decide if they would stand or sit; face the camera or stand in profile, left or right.  Over the course of 2 weeks, I had the kids drop by the computer lab in period style clothing, photographing them against a green screen. I then downloaded all of the old photographs and the green screen photos, gathering them into a shareable folder. When students completed their composite images, they uploaded to Photo Story and added their classmates’ composites when they were completed and shared. Shown below is the Photo Story I made with student photos and narration. I used this video as my hook for the project.

Integrating Technology into Social Studies

CRES students learned about the Great Depression while in the computer lab. Students began creating composite images, using photos of themselves and historical images. They used the transparency feature in PowerPoint to create their final images. Once they’d completed a collection of photos of themselves and their classmates, they saved them and imported them to Photo Story 3. This is a teacher example of how a completed story might look.

The idea for this video was inspired by the series You are There, narrated by Walter Cronkite.