Friday, April 1, 2016

Snapchat, "Damn Daniel" and Lewis and Clark: Student Project Idea in the Making


For your classroom, what does Snapchat, "Damn Daniel" and Lewis and Clark have in common?

At first glance, you probably think I'm crazy to suggest these three concepts have no connection whatsoever let alone a use in the classroom.  When Snapchat first became a fad, I gave it a shot. After a month, I gave up on it.  I saw no real value in it.  But, while I was at the CUE 2016 National Conference, I suddenly learned the value.  No, there wasn't any sessions on implementing Snapchat strategies in the classroom.  Being 6 hours away from my wife and kids, it became a quick and easy way to stay in touch throughout the day.  I could send short little video clips to my wife and kids and vice versa.  Having small kids who missed daddy, this made life for my wife easier.

In between sessions at CUE, I was browsing videos on YouTube and came across the infamous "Damn Daniel" boys on the Ellen Show.  The boys explained how their viral videos started just as a joke on Snapchat.  I continued browsing and came across some compilations of the the "Damn Daniel" videos and noticed these videos, like a Snapchat story, chronicle events.  The history teacher in me suddenly came up with an idea? What if historical figures had their own Damn Daniel-esque compilation.  What if George Washington had someone "snapchatting" him at various points of his storied career?  

This led me to Lewis and Clark.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition would be a great way to integrate Snapchat into the classroom. Students could use costumes, backgrounds, props and reenactments and have a classmate "Snapchat" important events during the Expedition.  Instead of "Damn Daniel, back at it again with the white Vans." It could be "Dang Lewis, back at again with the recording of the weather,"  Or, "Dang Clark, back at it again with the discovering of new species."  Or Dang Sacagawea, back it again with the translations."  Students could examine Lewis and Clark's diaries with a "Snapchat" lens.  They could be assigned a predetermined number of events on the Expedition to create "Snaps."  Roles in this activity could be cameraman, actors, editors, etc.  The roles could rotate for each event.  

This is just an idea I came up with and I will be piloting soon with some at risk 8th graders.  

If anyone reads this, and has some input, please feel free to interject.  If anyone is interested in learning more about this, feel free to contact me.


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting concept. This would be a good idea to do with any character historical or fictional. I am thinking of someone reading To Kill a Mockingbird and seeing a snap "Dang, Finch..."