Korean War: Visual Essay Writing Task

IB History: ActiveHistory

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Use the ActiveHistory curriculum maps and the ActiveHistory syllabus topics to design your own course effectively.

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Overview of the lesson

This lesson made use of the visual essay writing approach which I outlined in this blogpost.

My Higher Level IB Historians had just concluded their studies of the causes, events and consequences of the Korean War on ActiveHistory.

To consolidate their knowledge, 25 political cartoons about the Korean War were shared between the members of the class. Working individually to start with, and then with a partner, they analysed the meaning of each cartoon. Then, collaborating as a group, they decided how best to categorise, link and annotate the cartoons to create a "gallery walk" about the conflict.

The end product was a superb piece of display and an excellent revision aid.

If you wish to try the same activity with your own students, you can download all the collection of cartoon sources in this album (click the three dots in the top corner of the screen and choose 'download all').

You can also watch the following "warts and all" video of my one-hour lesson below, which can be broken down as follows:

00:00: Students settling down |
02:30: Recap on what we have learned so far
14:00: Students start analysing cartoons alone and then in pairs
22:50-57.00m: Class works together as one group to categorise, organise and annotate the cartoons


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