Last week I discussed using postcards for a research project to help students really drill down to the important facts when doing research. This week’s post is about being able to work on your writing skills while doing your research. A great internet tool that can be utilized is Fakebook from classtools.net. Fakebook allows you to create a page for a person or time in history and create posts like you are communicating in that time.
I will now state the obvious… it is a spin-off of Facebook. Starting with a blank template, you are able to add your profile information including a picture. One of best options this site has to offer is the ability to search the web for you to find a suitable image that can be used. No worries about downloading and uploading your own images. That is a huge time saver when working with an entire class or grade level.
After working on your profile, you can start adding your friends. Add people that would be around and/or relevant to your person’s life. Even if they were not alive at the same time, your friends may share a common bond that makes it natural to “friend” them on your Fakebook page. Pictures for your friends can also be obtained by letting the site search for the images for you!
Finally, you are ready to start adding posts. This where your writing skills really come into play. Choose the day you want to post from and then write the post as if you were your historical figure. Write it in first person…really get your elaboration juices flowing! After posting, comment on your post as some of the friends you have added, once again writing in first person. It will really make you think about what each person was feeling during that time and what their reaction/comments would be.
For cheat sheets on the process, click here.
The website is not interactive. Anyone with the link can view your page, but only you can post to it. The URL is yours, and you create a password that must be entered in order to edit or add anything to your page. That makes it much easier to monitor as each student is responsible for everything on his or her page.
Click on the image below to take you to a sample page that has been created. It was created with a 5th grade class. The last few posts and comments were their attempts at first person comments. I think they did a pretty good job!
Sound like fun? It is! Give Fakebook a try!