Visually Coding History

Enjoy videos produced by Form I students on historic Supreme Court cases!

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Mapp v. Ohio

Form I history students in Mr. MacIntyre’s history class created animated films to teach prominent Supreme Court decisions to their classmates. Students selected cases throughout American history that addressed Constitutional questions. Students worked with Upper School librarian Mr. Kantz to research their cases using databases, websites, and books, with many of the titles donated by Randall Kennedy ’73 and Richard Ruge ’59.

Tinker v. Des Moines

The boys also worked with the Lower School librarian Mrs. Conlin on how to use library databases and properly cite their sources using Chicago Manual Style. Students began their online research at Oyez, which linked them to the syllabi and opinions of their cases at Justia U.S. Supreme Court Center. Several students even used the Constitution Annotated published by the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. Each student outlined their narrative in a script and accompanying visual scenes on a storyboard. The script drove the animated content and was divided into sections: background, majority opinion, dissenting opinion (if applicable), immediate historical consequences, and the long-term legacy.

Miranda v. Arizona

Mrs. Berkeley, our education technology coordinator, worked with the boys to bring their storyboard to life in an animated film using MIT’s Media Lab. Scratch, a visual-based coding language, provides an excellent introduction to coding, as the elements and commands are accessible as they are presented in a visual form. Using logic, loops, and sequential thinking, students were able to fashion their animated shorts, incorporating multimedia effects along the way. Unlike a photo slideshow, coding the animated film required students to think logically, creatively, and critically about how to teach their case visually. Each student narrated the film by recording his voice and then edited the audio to match the code displayed on the screen. Boys developed an understanding of the Supreme Court’s role in American history, as well some introductory coding skills.

Gideon v. Wainwright

Visually Coding History
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.