Update 1/4/2011 – I posted some new Facebook online creation tools and Facebook templates on a recent Tip of the Week. Find it here.
Several months ago, I cranked out a quick post that discussed using a Lincoln Facebook page and Twitter posts to engage kids in historical thinking and conversation.
I really didn’t think that much about it. It seemed to work with the teachers and students I tried it with and so wanted to share the idea with all of you.
Well . . . that particular post is still getting lots of hits and I continue to get emails from teachers asking for blank Facebook pages or blank Facebook templates to use with their kids.
Of course, the best solution would be to actually create a Facebook page for Dwight Eisenhower or Benjamin Banneker or whomever. Then simply edit that page as if you are Ike or Ben.
But Facebook has gotten a bit touchy about that and will probably end up deleting your brand-new fake Ike page. Plus, I don’t know of very many schools that allow Facebook through their internet filters.
The next best thing? Some sort of off-line template.
So . . . today I’ll share a quick overview of what I do to create a blank page and then provide a sample or two.
1. Start by taking a screenshot of a Facebook profile page. If you don’t have a Facebook account, ask one your students to share their profile.
2. Paste the screenshot into some sort of word processing or presentation software. I use Pages on a Mac. But this would work with Powerpoint, MS Word, Keynote . . . just about any software that provides a way to paste in an image (the screenshot) and allows you to insert a text box or shape that can edited.
3. Create text boxes or shapes and place them over the areas of the Facebook screenshot that are specific to your profile. Be sure to leave the headers and titles of those areas visible as much as possible.
This is what the template looks like at this point. I still need to cover my pic and name but you get the idea.
4. Edit each text box or shape so that they have no borders and that the fill color is white.
It should now look something like this:
5. Once everything is covered with white shapes, you can begin to insert photos and boxes with appropriate text. You can do this yourself or you can simply give the kids a paper copy and have them fill in the spaces with pencil. Even better, share the digital template with them. They can then create their own version with pasted images and text boxes using whatever software is available.
If I were a kid, I would prefer to edit the page using digital tools. But that’s just me!
The beginnings of a Dwight D. Eisenhower page:
6. Obviously, you can start with a screenshot of any Facebook page such as the Photos or Info pages.
7. If you do a search on Google, you can find fonts that claim to be the official Facebook font. But I just use Lucinda Grande in my text boxes and it looks pretty good.
If you need a quick template to practice with, you’re welcome to this PDF version.