Multimedia Timelines as Book Summaries

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A couple of weeks ago I read a fun history book titled Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure. The book chronicles Truman’s road trip from Missouri to New York and back in the summer after he left the White House. The book strikes a nice balance between being a serious history book with being suitable for the non-historian. You can enjoy the story without having any prior knowledge about Truman. It’s a book that I recommend to anyone who has an interest in Presidential history, cars, and or the development of the highway system in the United States.

Reading Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure got me thinking about the various ways that we have students summarize the books that they read. Making book trailer videos is a popular option these days as is creating Google Lit Trips. An option that is perfect for history books and historical fiction books is to create a multimedia timeline. In the multimedia time students can include pictures, videos, and text for a series of key events in the story.

The two tools that I recommend more than any others for creating multimedia timelines are Timeline JS and Sutori. Sutori is probably the easier of the two to use, but Timeline JS has more formatting capabilities.



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