The Constitution initially established March 4 as Inauguration Day in the United States. This date allowed enough time for an orderly transition of power and for all newly-elected candidates to travel to the capital. In 1933, after advances in communication and transportation made the long wait until March unnecessary, the date moved to January 20 with the passage of the Twentieth Amendment.
Due to COVID-19, this year’s inauguration will see many changes, especially in the amount of in-person events. We won’t see the crowds of people lined up to watch a parade or large gatherings of well-wishers attending the swearing-in ceremony that we are used to seeing.
Consider using this as an opportunity to learn about a virtual inaugural event by creating a Bitmoji scene. With many districts turning to remote learning in the spring of 2020, Bitmoji scenes have become extremely popular as a learning activity. Teachers enjoy using Bitmojis to share lessons and create a virtual, friendly space for learning.
When used thoughtfully, Bitmoji scenes fit into many frameworks for learning, such as the Triple E Framework, which provides guidelines to measure how well technology tools integrate into lessons. The virtual scenes engage and motivate students to explore and dig deeper into learning activities. Choose appropriate activities and learning tools that enhance learning by including items that offer opportunities for students to engage in self-reflection or explanation of ideas. The Triple E Framework’s final step is extension, the ability to use technology to create a bridge between school activities and everyday life experiences.
Think of a Bitmoji scene as a virtual learning experience. It is not just a set of links for students to click on to complete worksheets or read articles. It should offer purposeful choices that match learning objectives. Keep in mind how students will access and view your scene. Will they have adequate internet access? Did you add too many media items that will take a long time to load? What kind of device will students use? These questions and others are essential to consider before assigning Bitmoji scene activities.
Take a look at this example Bitmoji scene that includes a few inauguration activities. It uses the technique of placing the teacher virtually at the inauguration. Click around the scene to find a variety of activities, including:
- YouTube videos.
- A Wakelet (reviewed here) collection with ideas to include with lessons about the inauguration.
- A Flipgrid (reviewed here) prompt.
- Inauguration details provided by the Architect of the Capitol.
- A Newsela (reviewed here) reading assignment.
- An inauguration trivia quiz created with ClassTools (reviewed here).
Consider using a Bitmoji scene like the one above as a flipped learning lesson. Share the link with students so they can learn and explore your activities on their own before discussing the information together. Revisit your scene after the inaugural to compare and contrast the 2021 inauguration with previous events.
Extend learning by asking students to become creators of their own virtual scenes. Create scenes sharing their virtual visit to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration or use the White House or Oval Office as the backdrop for students imagining themselves as the new president. Students over 13 can create and insert their own Bitmoji. For younger students, take a picture of the student, then follow the directions in this video to use Remove Background (reviewed here) to create an image.
Be sure to follow guidelines for the proper use and attribution of images. This article provides helpful tips and suggestions for finding free resources for classroom use.
Learn more about creating and incorporating Bitmoji scenes into the classroom by watching this archive of a recent OK2Ask®️ professional learning workshop on how to use Bitmojis to support instruction. You can also create a copy of the Bitmoji inauguration template then adapt it to fit your teaching needs.
How will you teach about the inauguration this year? Do you have ideas to include on a Bitmoji scene or a scene to share with our readers? We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on how to engage students about the inaugural with virtual activities in the comments below.