Create A Music Video or Photo Collage to Tell Historical Stories

One activity students enjoy in history or civics class is to engage in visual storytelling by creating either a photo collage on a board or a music video using a drag-and-drop video-editing website, or software program like Powerpoint, Google Slides, I-Movie or Windows Moviemaker.

Here are the steps:

  1. download historic pictures on a theme by right-clicking on the photos.
  2. If creating a collage, print them out, caption them, paste them on a hard surface.
  3. If creating a music video, select a “soundtrack” or song to go with the photos.
  4. Show it to the class.

There are some great examples on Youtube. These videos can also be used as warm-ups at the beginning of class or the beginning of a unit to spark journal meditations from students on the past.




American History Greatest Hits Since 1840

(You can usually find the full song on or some other online music archive.)

African American Civil Rights: A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke)

Cherokee People: Paul Revere and the Raiders

Iraq War from Perspective of Wounded American Soldier

Lousiana Flood 1927, by Randy Newman

1949-1989 American History by Billy Joel

“Song of the South” by Alabama, with newsreel footage from the Great Depression of 1929 through the 1930s, with public assistance from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, which created jobs programs and made the South solidly Democratic until 1964.



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