Last weekend when I was reading Play like a Pirate by Quinn Rollins and in the first section he talked about Action Figures. Years ago, my third grade teacher had us make our own action figures using a simple bullet points assignment paper. The basic project is that a student creates an action figure based on what they are learning. An example would be creating a guard from the Qing Dynasty in China. Students would create the action figure, give him his accessories and stats. The activity serves as not only a review of the history lesson, but also an engaging lesson of creativity and instill research with students. Well, luckily in this day and age of Google Apps for Education we have Google Drawings and Google Slides.
The template above I created in Google Drawings and then down load it as a PNG file that can be uploaded and shared on Edmodo or Google Classroom for students. Students then can download the template and then use either Google Drawings or Google Slides to create their action figure. I encourage students to create Wave sets, which if everyone knows are certain action figures that fit together in a theme or scenery. Kind of like the Battle of Starkiller Base in Star Wars the Force Awakens. Think about creating a Medical Set Wave based on World War II and then later Korea. So, students can research and see the transition of how military medicine evolved between the wars.
If you are an iPad school, you can create these same templates using Paper by 53, Adobe Drawing, Keynote, Pic Collage or Assembly. All of the Apps allow you to make Action Figure templates and be able to embed text over them and then be shared between students and teachers. To go a step farther, you can even create play sets with them. Imagine creating an Action Figure set around Pearl Harbor or Buckingham Palace. It really allows students to cut loose with their research and creativity. How about in music, where we are having students do research on the history of music from classic to Motown and creating action figure sets based on real life singers and places they played during their careers.
There are many ways you can use Action Figure Sets in your classroom in K-college. Give it a try today.