Shout out to Eva Buyuksimkesyan from whom I first saw this on her blog post titled "Twitter Bios for Book Characters". She wrote about how students can take part in this activity in which they create Twitter accounts.
I thought I would take this idea and make a template that teachers and students could use to digitally create their own Twitter profiles. This template was created in Google Drawing so that it is easy for users to make their own copies. I have seen this done for quite some time with services like FakeBook, which allows students to create fake Facebook accounts of characters. This Twitter template though is not a service so students will need to know a little on how to use Google Drawing.
Here are the TWO reasons why I really like this lesson idea:
1) It has the students do research / introspection for their character/person. They will need to think as if they were this person to either summarize their achievements or highlight their characteristics. They will also need to know about others who were connected to them in some way. For example if I was do assigned Atticus Finch from "To Kill A Mockinbird" I would have to know about his relationship with three individuals such as Scout, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson.
2) This teaches students how to use and manipulate the tools found in Google Drawing. These skills are the same for other programs like Docs and Slides. Students will become more proficient with all these and find themselves using techniques like Crop, Layering, Shape Tools, etc for years to come.
Download the Google Draw template here.
Below is an example of what this could look like. I mocked up one for a social studies classroom for Napoleon Bonaparte. You can see how I removed all the placeholders from the template image. I then had to do a fair amount of re-sizing and cropping to get them all to fit.
Remember if you want to a copy of this you need to go to File and Choose "Make A Copy" .
This applies for all Google Docs.
If you use this lesson with your students you will have to have them do the same as well.
If you want to really see the process, check out this screencast I made for the character of Romeo. Its sped up so you won't be incredibly bored but can help you understand the process.
Lastly, you can follow this up with having the students write Tweets back and forth with each other by using "paper tweets". These can be done using Sticky Notes by having the all the students print their Twitter Profiles and have them posted on a wall in the classroom. Then students can visit these profiles and by using Sticky Notes they can Tweet FROM their character and TO each others. They can do replies, re-tweets and you can get smaller sticky notes of different colors which could represent LIKES as well!
To get it even more authentic try printing your own Twitter sticky notes! I actually use these for teaching Twitter and have shared this idea in an earlier blog post which you can find here. Check out this post and you can see how to print your own using VistaPrint.
Before I learned about printing my own I simply printed these blank Paper Tweets. I had a wonderful review session last year with my history students using our world map a these tweets. Like you can see below, the students had to take individuals we covered in class, think about their significance, write a poignant or funny tweet, and the post it where they were from.
this was probably my favorite Tweet
Please drop a reply or a comment if you were able to use this lesson with your students.