Canva: A Fun Way to Assess Student Achievement

Projects and presentations ultimately assess student learning. There are many good resources out there for presentations in history. As I mentioned in 10 Elements for Teaching History, resources like Prezi and Youtube are fun and stimulating for students.

The free design tool Canva provides another great resource for a classroom, not only for history projects, but for all your classes.


What is Canva?

Simple answer: It is a FREE (!) point-and-click graphic design program. Easy to use and intuitive for the new user. Kids 8 and above can figure this out.

Probably one of the hardest things for someone who has not studied design is making something look beautiful: balanced in color, shape and picture.

This program has the design aspect already taken care of. You provide the content. That content demonstrates mastery of the material.


How it works:

After selecting the type of project, kids (and adults) scroll down to select the layout style they like. Then they choose from drop down elements.

Even though the free account “slightly” limits the images they can use, there is an upload feature (see bottom left of picture below). Students can search online for free-use pictures and graphics and simply upload them into the project. (This makes for a good lesson on copyright and royalties.)

–>Take a look at Pixabay for free-use photographs and Vecteezy for free-use graphics.

Long and short, Canva is simple and quick to learn.

 

If you feel you need to walk students through using Canva, here is a good introduction.

In my opinion, the best part of Canva is that students who use the program are learning elements of graphic design.

As they swap out this for that word, or this for that picture, they are sticking with a design that already works. And they are functioning as graphic artists as they do it!

Their final projects have a professionalism to them, which prepares them in a special way for the business world they will soon be a part of.

I have used Canva in my (homeschool) classroom and have been very pleased with the resulting projects. My students have also been happy with their projects.

Last year, my daughter used Canva to make a book cover for her serial novel. And my son is currently using Canva to experiment with logos and graphics for his Youtube channel, which is a part of his curriculum. It’s a great resource for large or small projects!


What kinds of school projects can be done on Canva?

English: 

Book reports: Make a new book cover for Tom Sawyer. Create a logo Katniss Everdeen could use to promote and explain her side of the rebellion. Design a Story board about the Giver, but change the story halfway through to create a different ending.

Blogging: Create an instructive 5-part blog series on common grammar mistakes 5th grade students make.

Newsletter: With your group, create a newsletter with articles summarizing the novels we have studied. Include sections with puns (plays on words), language-based riddles, memes, vocabulary puzzles or crossword puzzles.

Social Studies/History:

Compare/contrast: Create a menu for a restaurant in ancient Pompeii. Show foods they ate that are the same or are different from foods we eat.

Different perspectives: Create two certificates to be awarded to President Abraham Lincoln: one from a Union supporter of his policies and one from a Confederate opponent to his policies.

Cause and Effect: Make an infographic showing three main causes for the American revolution. Then show the effects the American Revolution had on both the American Colonies and on England.

(See this list of ways to analyze history)

Science:

Resume: Create a resume (C.V.) for Marie Curie, showing her education, accomplishments, and other vital aspects of her scientific career.

Comic Strip: Research how Louis Pasteur discovered pasturization. Design a comic strip illustrating a significant moment of his discovery.

Math:

Photo Collage: Gather photos of things with angles, intersecting, and parallel lines, then illustrate each the photo an angle rule we have studied in this chapter.

Teacher projects: Seating charts, lesson plans, worksheets, slides

Executive Skills: Calendar, Scheduler, graphic organizer

As you see, the sky’s the limit.


Wise men know that DOING proves comprehension much more than mindless worksheets and bookwork:

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
– Confucius

“Not hearing is not as good as hearing, hearing is not as good as seeing,
seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting;
true learning continues until it is put into action.”
– Xunzi


 Other Ideas

Below is a list of Canva’s pre-design categories you can choose from.

Survey the list below to be inspired for more ways your students can apply what they have learned.

Blogging & ebooks album covers, banners, book covers, comic strips, infographics, magazine covers, photo collages, wallpapers

Documents: certificates, letterheads, newsletters, presentations, resumes

Education: graphic organizers, lesson plans, yearbook maker

Events: cards, event programs, ID cards, invitation cards

Inspirations: mood boards, scrapbooks, storyboards, postcards, seating charts, tickets wedding invitations

Marketing materials: brochures, business cards, flyers, gift certificates, labels, logos, posters, restaurant menus

Planners and Schedules: calendars weekly schedules

Headers: for Etsy, Facebook, Youtube, email

Social media: Meme generator, Social media graphics


Have fun!

Do me a favor–>Please comment below with suggestions for other ways Canva can be used to demonstrate mastery of the material, or describing success you have had with using this program in class.

——

disclaimer: These opinions are my own, I am not compensated by Canva for these opinions or for this recommendation. 

Luther, the Blue Portal & the Pea-Green Coat Guy, Episode 1

by s. nicole böcek
2017 and AD 33

Sometimes life takes you where you don’t expect to go. When Amber woke up, she had no idea that a man in a pea-green coat would soon be crawling through her window.

But it happened….like this:

The strange man shoves a bundle into her hands. Amber’s eyes widen.

He grasps her by her shoulders. Her mouth opens to scream but no sound comes out.

“Listen,” he whispers, eyes wide. He looks down at his watch and starts trembling, “You must visit those dates. My life depends on it; do you understand?”

He looks out the window for a minute and then back at Amber.

“I need your answer.”

Just as Amber reluctantly nods, he looks at his watch again and disappears like dust flying away.

No way!

Tearing the bundle open she sees it is a piece of paper with a watch inside. On the paper is a list of dates. AD 33. AD 354. 1521.

A flashing blue light in the middle of the watch draws her attention.

I guess I’m supposed to press the activate button. His life depends on it.

A blue light surrounds her like a dome, smooth as glass. Amber types April 23, AD 33. The lights go out and she is consumed in darkness. Suddenly, a bright light startles her. When her eyes adjust, she sees three men on a road; the man in the middle is speaking.

“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken,” he was saying, “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into glory?”

The words sound familiar.

“Do you not remember what Isaiah wrote about the Messiah? Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

The tunics and cloaks they wear look like the kind in those old Bible-times movies like Ben Hur.

Ben Hur? Wait! AD 33! That’s when Jesus died.

Amber looks again at the scenario before her, her heartrate rising. She covers her mouth in shock. The man in the middle is Jesus!

That’s Jesus! I know him!

Amber rushes forward and grabs his arm.

“Jesus!”

He turns and winks at her but the other men don’t seem to notice her there. What should I say? Her heart burns inside her. It’s Jesus!

Suddenly, the world of light and dark spins around her with a glowing blue light and she finds herself in her bedroom.

Covering her face, she moans, “Oh no. I wanted to talk to Jesus.”

Fumbling with the watch, she tries to return but it is flashing red.

Please, please, let me back in. She wants to cry. I saw Jesus! Take me back!

I should tell my parents. Will they even believe me? What is this watch?

She heads downstairs to the kitchen.

“This year is the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation,” Amber’s father announces.

Amber scratches the back of her neck. Why did that guy want me to see that conversation? Why Jesus? Maybe Dad can help.

“Dad?” It must have something to do with what Jesus was saying.

Her father looks at her as her mom put plates on the table in front of them.

“You know that verse that goes he was wounded for our transgressions and by his stripes we are healed?”

He nods. “Right, that’s Isaiah 53. It’s exactly what I’m talking about. This is the gospel. By his stripes we are healed. The Reformation that we are celebrating is getting back to this gospel. Jesus reformed everything. He taught us about grace. The Reformers took the works-based errors of the Church and brought them back to the pure gospel.”

Mom adds, “It’s the new covenant. We are saved not by our works but by Christ’s work.” She sets the pancake platter down. “Are you two ready to eat?”

As they eat, Amber’s mind wanders back to Jesus winking at her. I wish I could see him again. What does this all mean? Who was that strange man? He said his life is depending on me. I must figure this out.

She takes out the slip of yellow paper and looks at the next date. AD 354.

To Find out What Happens in this Serial Novel,
S. Nicole Bocek’s Debut Book, 
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Why Teach Historical Fiction?

Trunk of Scrolls is a story of long ago. That makes it historical fiction. But it is also a novel that teaches, which makes it curriculum.

Historical fiction is one of two top methods of teaching students to “do history.”

teachinghistfiction

Click for free PDF
  • Historical fiction presents history as a story
  • Historical fiction gives history a human face
  • Historical fiction emphasizes everyday life in the past
  • Historical fiction helps students to see and appreciate multiple perspectives
  • Historical fiction restores dimension to history
  • Historical fiction fosters connections between the past and present

> Find out about Trunk of Scrolls as Curriculum <<

“Trunk of Scrolls is so full of history it COULD HAVE been true!”

Is the Bible Corrupted? (What to Make of Transmission Errors)

HAS JESUS BEEN JESUS MISQUOTED?

Early church librarian, Pamphilus of Caesarea, in the mid-200s, would make copies of Scripture and “correct the manuscripts of the Bible.” Even back then, there was a godly reverence for correctly copying Scripture.

In spite of that, many documents have come to us “corrupted,” or changed in one way or another.

In fact, it is said, there are more discrepancies in the copies of the New Testament than there are words in the New Testament (quote from White Horse Inn episode below). What should we make of that?

Does this mean the Bible is actually inaccurate? Does this mean the Bible is fallible and unreliable? How do we know that what we read is actually the historical truth?

In this day and age, many opponents of Christianity attack the New Testament, attempting to collapse the great foundation on which Christianity rests. They have a point. << READ ON >>

Grace & Peace to You: Early Christian Views on War & Peace


• “I serve Jesus Christ the eternal King. I will no longer serve your emperors. It is not right for a Christian to serve the armies of this world.” ~ Marcellus the Centurion, 298AD, spoken as he gave up his post in the army of Emperor Diocletian because of his faith.

• “We ourselves were well conversant with war, murder and everything evil, but all of us throughout the whole wide earth have traded in our weapons of war. We have exchanged our swords for plowshares, our spears for farm tools…now we cultivate the fear of God, justice, kindness, faith, and the expectation of the future given us through the Crucified One….The more we are persecuted and martyred, the more do others in ever increasing numbers become believers.”  ~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “Murder, considered a crime when people commit it singly, is transformed into a virtue when they do it en masse.”
~ St. Cyprian (200AD – 258AD)

• “We who formerly hated and murdered one another now live together and share the same table. We pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “It is absolutely forbidden to repay evil with evil.”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD

• “To those who ask us whence we have come or whom we have for a leader, we say that we have come in accordance with the counsels of Jesus to cut down our warlike and arrogant swords of argument into ploughshares, and we convert into sickles the spears we formerly used in fighting. For we no longer take ‘sword against a nation,’ nor do we learn ‘any more to make war,’ having become sons of peace for the sake of Jesus, who is our leader, instead of following the ancestral customs in which we were strangers to the covenants.”
~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “Hitherto I have served you as a soldier; allow me now to become a soldier to God. Let the man who is to serve you receive your donative. I am a soldier of Christ; it is not permissible for me to fight.” ~ Martin of Tours (315AD – 397AD)

• “Christians, instead of arming themselves with swords, extend their hands in prayer.”
~ Athanasius of Alexandria (293AD – 373AD)

• The Christian poor are “an army without weapons, without war, without bloodshed, without anger, without defilement.” ~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “I do not wish to be a ruler. I do not strive for wealth. I refuse offices connected with military command.” ~ Tatian of Assyria (died around 185AD)

plowshares2

• “Above all Christians are not allowed to correct by violence sinful wrongdoings.”
~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “The Christian does not hurt even his enemy.”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “None of us offers resistance when he is seized, or avenges himself for your unjust violence, although our people are numerous and plentiful…it is not lawful for us to hate, and so we please God more when we render no requital for injury…we repay your hatred with kindness.”
~ St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (died 258AD)

• “We Christians are a peaceful race…for it is not in war, but in peace, that we are trained.”
~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “Only without the sword can the Christian wage war: the Lord has abolished the sword.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “You cannot demand military service of Christians any more than you can of priests. We do not go forth as soldiers with the Emperor even if he demands this.”
~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “We who formerly treasured money and possessions more than anything else now hand over everything we have to a treasury for all and share it with everyone who needs it. We who formerly hated and murdered one another now live together and share the same table. We pray for our enemies and try to win those who hate us.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “For what war should we not be fit and eager, even though unequal in numbers, we who are so willing to be slaughtered—if, according to that discipline of ours, it was not more lawful to be slain than to slay?”~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “The professions and trades of those who are going to be accepted into the community must be examined. The nature and type of each must be established… brothel, sculptors of idols, charioteer, athlete, gladiator…give it up or be rejected. A military constable must be forbidden to kill, neither may he swear; if he is not willing to follow these instructions, he must be rejected. A proconsul or magistrate who wears the purple and governs by the sword shall give it up or be rejected. Anyone taking or already baptized who wants to become a soldier shall be sent away, for he has despised God.”
~ Hippolytus (170AD – 236AD)

• “Christ, in disarming Peter, disarmed every soldier.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• Christians “love all people, and are persecuted by all;…they are reviled, and they bless; they are insulted, and are respectful.”~ Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (late 2nd Century)

• “Say to those that hate and curse you, You are our brothers!” ~ Theophilus of Antioch (died around 185AD)

• “For the Gentiles, hearing from our mouth the words of God, are impressed by their beauty and greatness: then, learning that our works are not worthy of the things we say, they turn to railing, saying that it is some deceitful tale. For when they hear from us that God says: ‘No thanks will be due to you, if ye love only those who love you; but thanks will be due to you, if ye love your enemies and those that hate you’—when they hear this, they are impressed by the overplus of goodness: but when they see that we do not love, not only those who hate us, but even those who love us, they laugh at us, and the Name is blasphemed.”
~ The 2nd Epistle of Clement (140-160AD)

• “Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword? And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law?”
~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God…. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies…. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.”
~ Aristides (written around 137AD)

• “We Christians cannot endure to see a man being put to death, even justly.”~ Athenagoras (133AD – 190AD)

• “Learn about the incorruptible King, and know his heroes who never inflict slaughter on the peoples.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “Christians appeal to those who wrong them and make them friendly to themselves; they are eager to do good to their enemies; they are mild and conciliatory.”
~ Aristides of Athens (2nd Century)

• “I recognize no empire of this present age.” ~ Speratus (martyred 180AD)

• “For when God forbids us to kill, he not only prohibits us from open violence, which is not even allowed by the public laws, but he warns us against the commission of those beings which are esteemed lawful among men….Therefore, with regard to this precept of God, there ought to be no exception at all, but that it is always unlawful to put to death a man, whom God willed to be a sacred animal.” ~ Lactantius, instructor of Constantine’s son (240AD – 320AD)

• “Shall we carry a flag? It is a rival to Christ.” ~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “I am a Christian. He who answers thus has declared everything at once—his country, profession, family; the believer belongs to no city on earth but to the heavenly Jerusalem.” ~ St. John Chrysostom (347AD – 407AD)

• “If anyone be a soldier or in authority, let him be taught not to oppress or to kill or to rob, or to be angry or to rage and afflict anyone. But let those rations suffice him which are given to him. But if they wish to be baptized in the Lord, let them cease from military service or from the [post of] authority, and if not let them not be received. Let a catechumen or a believer of the people, if he desire to be a soldier, either cease from his intention, or if not let him be rejected. For he hath despised God by his thought, and leaving the things of the Spirit, he hath perfected himself in the flesh and hath treated the faith with contempt.” ~ The Testament of Our Lord (4th or 5th Century AD document)

• “We have become sons of peace for the sake of Jesus, who is our leader.” ~ Origen (185AD – 254AD)

• “If you enroll as one of God’s people, then heaven is your country and God your lawgiver.” ~ Clement of Alexandria (150AD – 214AD)

• “God called Abraham and commanded him to go out from the country where he was living. With this call God has roused us all, and now we have left the state. We have renounced all the things the world offers…. The gods of the nations are demons.”
~ Justin the Martyr (100AD – 165AD)

• “But now inquiry is being made concerning these issues. First, can any believer enlist in the military? Second, can any soldier, even those of the rank and file or lesser grades who neither engage in pagan sacrifices nor capital punishment, be admitted into the church? No on both counts—for there is no agreement between the divine sacrament and the human sacrament, the standard of Christ and the standard of the devil, the camp of light and the camp of darkness. One soul cannot serve two masters—God and Caesar…But how will a Christian engage in war (indeed, how will a Christian even engage in military service during peacetime) without the sword, which the Lord has taken away?”
~ Tertullian (160AD – 220AD)

• “This is the way of life: first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, secondly, thy neighbor as thyself: and all things whatsoever thou wouldest not should happen to thee, do not thou to another. The teaching of these words is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast on behalf of those who persecute you: for what thanks will be due to you, if ye love only those who love you? Do not the Gentiles also do the same? But love ye those who hate you, and ye shall not have an enemy.”
~ The Didache, also known as The Teachings of the 12 Apostles, is an early Christian document written between 80AD – 90AD.

 

Sources:
40 Early Church Quotes

Quotes: The Early Church on War and Violence

Research on Pacifism in the Ancient Church

Close as Your Next Phone Call: The Story of Scripture

scroll-1410168_1280STORY OF SCRIPTURE

The Word in the World

Pentateuch

For thousands of years the people of God had no full copy of God’s Word. The Israelites of the Exodus had the word of Moses, and the books he was writing. Otherwise it was hearsay. The judges had a couple more books. The kings had the books of Moses up through Samuel.

God commanded Israel that when kings would finally reign:

“…when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them (Deut 17:18-19).

During the time of the kings the historical books and the wisdom books were pulled together: Ruth, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. And the later kings required the prophetical books spoken against them. The more God spoke, it seems, the more people ignored him.

(How Did We Get the Bible We Have?) READ ON…>>

Sarabi Dog of Alexander: Mystery and Fact

What is the connection between Alexander, the Persian Mastiff (Sarabi dog), and the Turkish Kangal? Where did the dog come from? Which breed was Alexander’s dog?

This article explores this mystery in depth.


The Sarabi dog is featured in the novel TRUNK OF SCROLLS: A FAMILY ADVENTURE. Those who love either the Persian Mastiff or the Turkish Kangal will appreciate the key role this dog plays in the story. (Get your copy today to find out!)


PERITAS

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5iIoEcICBPU/Tefbd67F6ZI/AAAAAAAAATU/qLJ9s-EqBb0/s1600/Alexander%2Bsarcophagus%2Bdog%2Bdetail.jpgPeritas was a much-loved dog of Alexander the Great (356 BC-321 BC).  Apparently there were two dogs of Alexander named Peritas. One he raised himself Plutarch writes, “he also, we are told, built another city, and called it after the name of a favorite dog, Peritas, which he had brought up himself.”  This dog might have been a greyhound type.

But another breed seems to…read more

The Persians at the GATE

The Name

Caesar Augustus, of Bethlehem Nativity fame, 15th_century_map_of_Turkey_regiondied in 14 AD, when Jesus was a teenager.

Archelaus, besides being the son in law of Herod the Great (of Nativity infamy) was also the Last King of Cappadocia. A Roman vassal, he was active in the political game, so when Caesar Augustus died, he renamed his city after the dearly departed. It thus became Caesarea in Cappadocia.

Cappadocia played a great role in the growth of Christianity. During the half-century after Christ, the Apostles went to and fro on the earth, preaching and teaching and writing. The Scrolls they left behind became the Bible we have today.

The Persecutions

In the post-Apostolic times, that is, after John died in 90 AD, the next generation of church leaders went forward with the Scrolls left by the Apostles. They hid the scrolls, and they hid themselves, in caves as they faced the persecutions over the next 250 years.

64 AD

  • Nero
  • Domitian
  • Trajan
  • Hadrian
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Septimus Severus
  • Maximinus the Thracian
  • Decius
  • Valerian
  • Diocletian
  • Galerius

313 AD

With the signing of the Edict of Milan in 313 the widespread persecution of Christians ended. Then when the Arabs invaded in about 1080, it was renamed Kaisariyah, an Arabic form based on the Latin (Kaisar=Caesar, meaning emperor). And as you know, Kaiser is the German (Dutch-root) name for emperor.

Now the town is called Kayseri.

Enter the Persians

In Trunk of Scrolls, the characters have concern over the “Persians at the gate.” The Persians and Byzantines were always at odds with each other. In fact, a war broke out between the two soon after the events described in Trunk of Scrolls.

What is interesting is how the Persians won. Especially today.

A few days ago, I heard from an Iranian (Persian) believer about an Iranian Christian refugee church in Kayseri. One of several Iranian refugee churches in the town.

–>This ONE CHURCH has more Christians in it
than TOTAL Christians in many big Turkish cities.

Finding this out floored me. The Persians at the Gate.

The Byzantines slowly left the “fold.” The beginning of the end was the Schism of 1054, but even before this the Monophysite Controversy weakened them. They did not understand the significance of Church unity on the Identity of Christ, which set the stage for a weakening empire and a slipping faith.

RaviZachariasSome people say that theology is not important. They say that God doesn’t care what you believe as long as you love Jesus. Or they say that theology divides but the Spirit unifies.

In fact, the Spirit of God divides the church by his WORD. Truth and error are separated when compared with Scripture. And Scripture principles are what “theology” is in the first place.

Theology, or the “Study of God,” means knowing who God is, what He is, how He is, what He does, what He wants from us. These are all that theology is the study of.  There is a GREAT difference between the God of Persia (Zoroaster) and the God of the Bible.

The Persians got what the land of Anatolia lost.

ACTION POINT: What about YOU? Do you care to know God for Who He IS? Studying a comprehensive catechism, like the Westminster Shorter Catechism, can help you be grounded in Truth. The truth can set you free. Please share your experiences or thoughts about this in the comments below.