Lesson Plan

Making History Come Alive!

Creating Digital Flip Books of Historical Events
Jeremy B.
Classroom teacher
Thomas M. Ryan Intermediate School
Richland, United States
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My Grades 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Research and learn about a chosen Historical Event
  • Explain in detail the chronological order of the event
  • Create a storyboard describing the historical event
  • Create a Time Lapse video using a Google Slides to share the historical event 
Social Studies
Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 HOOK :

Activity: Drawing

Demonstrate what a flip book is.

  1. Give each student 2 pieces of blank white paper.
  2. Fold it in half, then in half again, and again, and again (total of 4 times).
  3. Then unfold. This will give you 16 sections on each paper.
  4. Cut these sections out and stack neatly so the bottom is flush.
  5. Put 2 staples at the top. 

Take these small stacks of paper show how to make a flip book drawing.

  1. Draw a stick figure or ball on the first page at the bottom.
  2. Then copy this drawing to the next page with a very small movement.
  3. Continue this for all 32 sheets. When they are done, flip through them to see the drawing move.  

Share these with doc camera or any other way for the class to see. 


While studying history invite your students to choose one event of importance. Students are to write the main events leading up to this major event. They can list them in a Google Document in chronological order with details of dates, locations, and people. This will be used to create their storyboard.

Student Instructions
  1. Create a Google Document.
  2. List in chronological order events, dates, locations, and people that lead up to your event.
  3. Be as detailed as possible.
  4. Use any resource you need (web searches, text, maps, etc).

Once you have researched and collected chronological data, draw on paper a storyboard to plan out the action. 

  1. On paper, divide it into 8 boxes. 
  2. Plan out the major events as actions. 


Demonstrate how to create a Google Slide. 

  1. Open a new slide.
  2. Delete any text boxes out.
  3. Find a background that represents your needed background. Do this through the copyright free method of clicking "Background" in Slides, then "Choose", then the "Search" button on the right. 
  4. Now students will need to insert images that they will move around to show how this historical event came to be. For example, here is a very short one on how settlers found Roanoke:  https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Gpd0iiYN7FozqT6-0KNsT0oOsvN40gwU...
  5. Here is a Presentation on the basics: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zvHGt26cD4JBg4aaQJwVBtFxThzac6kn...


Student Instructions

Insert images that tell your story!

  1. Ue the built in Google Search tool (Insert>Image>Search) to use copyright free images.
  2. Insert images you need. 
  3. Duplicate slide (Slide.Duplicate Slide).
  4. Then move the image a tiny bit.
  5. Duplicate slide (Slide.Duplicate Slide).
  6. Move the image....

Repeat these steps until your story is told. Make sure to use Callouts (Insert>Shape>Callouts) to have characters use dialog. 


Google Drive
Free, Paid

Students create their story. These may be many many slides (I have seen a few hundred on detailed ones). The smaller the movement for their images, the more slides they will have and the smoother the "video" will look.

When they have finished, they will need to publish.

  1. Click File>Publish to Web
  2. Copy Web Link, Paste in Browser, and Change the Last Digits
  3. Bigger Number=Slow
  4. Smaller Number=Fast


Student Instructions

After creating your Slides you will need to publish your Slides to make it a video!

  1. Click File>Publish to Web
  2. Copy Web Link, Paste in Browser, and Change the Last Digits
  3. Bigger Number=Slow
  4. Smaller Number=Fast
  5. Share the Newly Created Link with your teacher


Google Drive
Free, Paid

Share student work. This can be done by them sharing their published web link into a Google Document for the teacher to easily assess.

Method One: Google Sheet

  1. Set up a blank Spreadsheet.
  2. First column is Name
  3. 2nd column is Title
  4. Third column is web link

Grant editing rights to students and allow them to fill in their information. 

Method Two: Google Forms

  1. Create a Google Form to collect information.
  2. Have Question One ask Name.
  3. Have question two ask Title
  4. Have Question three ask for the web link

Once the students fill in the spreadsheet/Form the teacher can just click the link and display on the LCD projector.