A collaborative tool like Lucidchart enables students to easily research and share their creative ideas together, either at school, or online while at home. There are a number of charting and mindmapping tools out there, but Lucidchart impresses me as the easiest to use and collaborate with. Even better, as a Google Apps school, our students have Single-Sign-On and its integration with Google Docs/Drive is such that students can add and sync updated lucidchart diagrams straight into their Google Documents. Fantastic stuff…it just keeps getting better.
At the start of this year, for their 20th Century History topic, my class of Year 10 Social Studies students were given the task to: Create and present to your class a diagram answering the question: “What Caused World War One?”
Groups were given resources such as a video to watch but from there it was left entirely up to them. Given a simple, accessible and reliable tool in Lucidchart, students were able to develop their inquiry, research and collaborative skills and even show some artistic flair. Often as teachers we feed the students too much information and do not trust them enough to find the information out themselves. Given a well constructed task these students really enjoyed the task of co-creating the knowledge. At the end of the task the students presented their diagrams to the class and explained WHY they had constructed their diagram and made the connections and emphasised the particular information they had.
Student groups were named after World War II leaders for the duration of the topic.
This diagram by team Zhukov is particularly creative and impressive where the numerous linking which shows real understanding of causes relationships told in a nice simple way, by a group of 14/15 years olds doing their own research: