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By Melissa Hincher

Course: World History

Topic: Early European Tribes

Grade Level: 5-7

Lesson Objective: Students will conduct research about various aspects of life for different “Germanic” tribes. They will select images to represent the different aspects of life, and create a narrative about the group.

Anticipatory Set:

This project can be used as an introductory activity or a culminating activity. It can also be structured as a small group or individual project. Before they begin, go over the basic timeframe for these civilizations, name the groups, and ask students to share any prior knowledge they may have.

Introduce the activity by showing students a Photo Story and discussing the required elements. Pass out and go over the student instruction sheet and make sure students understand the requirements and due dates.



STEP 1: Collecting Information (1-2 class periods)

Students will begin by collecting information on the tribes. The specific categories of information to be included are written on the student instruction sheet. The research should be a separate activity, requiring Internet access as well as the use of textbooks and other reference sources. Notes should be typed as a way to integrate word processing. The notes could be required in a certain format (for example, Cornell), and could be collected as a separate grade.

Students will also be required to collect pictures to go along with their information. This may require instruction on saving pictures to a flash drive or Dropbox.

Using source citations and creating a bibliography adds Language Arts elements to the project. Discuss plagiarism, and crediting sources.

Review the concepts of paraphrasing and summarizing with the students before they begin their scripts. The information presented on the Photo Story must be put into their own words.

STEP 2: Script Writing (1-2 class days)

Once all information is collected, students will create a script for their Photo Story (specifics are included in the student instruction sheet).

Review the concepts of paraphrasing and summarizing with the students before they begin their scripts. The information presented on the Photo Story must be put into their own words.

If students are working with partners, each partner should be responsible for part of the script.


STEP 3: Creating the Photo Story (1-3 class days)

Review with students the basic components of a Photo Story. This may require a demonstration of how to add pictures, write scripts, and record narration.

Students will be required to organize their information and create a presentation on their assigned group. If students are working with partners, both partners must participate.

Students may want to include special effects, music, or other “extras” in their projects. This is a great opportunity for the students to become experts and to share what they’ve learned with each other.



Specific requirements have been listed in the student instructions. Create a grading rubric based on these requirements.

Final projects should be presented, analyzed, and discussed in class. I always have my students keep a list of what they learned from the presentation, and what they liked the best.


Students may enjoy sharing these presentations with a wider audience, be it other grade levels or the larger community.

Language Arts: Another tie-in activity would be to have students find folk tales from their assigned group to retell.   They could also create their own new stories based on these traditional tales

Fine Arts: Students can find examples of the traditional art form and make their own. This could be done with traditional materials, or even a digital recreation.


Early Europe Photo Story

To enrich your study of Early European civilizations, you will create a Photo Story describing one of the early-Medieval cultures of Europe. You will work with a partner to find photographs and research, and then use the images and information to make a digital “slideshow” and to tell the story of your assigned culture. Make it interesting, factual, and eye-catching!

Each topic will have 2 pictures. You will collect information about your picture and use the information to explain the pictures. Once you have all the pictures and facts, you will create a written script, which will be used for the Photo Story narration. The narration for each picture should include at least 5 facts relating to the image. This could be a description of what is going on in the picture, explanations of what the picture represents, or related facts about India.

The project will count as a history test grade. We will spend some class time in the computer lab. You should continue working on the project on your own, and bring all materials to class every day.


Project Due Dates:

Photographs due:

Scripts completed:

Progress check: – script should be typed, slides organized, narration in progress

Final Photo Story due:


Format for Project:

  • Create a title slide, including your names
  • Vocal narration
  • A works cited page (can be a Word document or Photo Story slide)
  • 10 pictures- 2 per topic- 5 required topics:

1. Geography (landforms, physical features & environment)

2. Daily life (could be social groups, jobs, lifestyles, homes, food, music, etc)

3. History (important events in this group’s history- things like wars, rulers, settlements, etc)

4. Religion (describing their traditional beliefs, practices)

5. Inventions/Achievements/Arts (things this group is known for)


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