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Electrifying a history inquiry with iMovie Magic Movie
I’m always looking for engaging ways to introduce the use of primary sources in history. Current events are often a good hook. With gas prices and electric vehicles in the news, a historic look at the emergence of electric automobiles and the early market competition between electric, steam and petroleum powered vehicles might be of high interest, especially to teens.
I model lessons for teachers that use primary sources from the Library of Congress and find that iMovie Magic Movie is one quick way to introduce a primary source topic. First I download the primary source images from the Library of Congress to a Photos album, then open iMovie and select “Create Magic Movie.” Next I select the pre-populated album and my movie is made!
In this case I added a debatable research question at the end by using the Magic Movie Title feature. You can also edit image length, order, titles and music as needed. From there, let the student questions drive the research!
Below are links to the resources I used for the iMovie Magic Movie in case you or your students want to explore this topic.
Images from - Library of Congress
- E.B.W. in first electric car driven by a lady in the District of Columbia
- [Detroit Electric auto on promotional tour through mountains from Seattle to Mt. Rainier] / Cress-Dale Photo Co., Crary Bldg, Seattle. - digital file from original | Library of Congress
- [Detroit Electric auto on promotional tour through mountains from Seattle to Mt. Rainier] / Cress-Dale Photo Co., Crary Bldg, Seattle.
- [Man driving a "GM Wonder Car", the Chevrolet Electrovette] / MST & MXS.
- [Man standing next to a battery pack for the Chevrolet Electrovette, next to a lectern at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.] / MST & MXS.
- [Charging the battery of a Detroit electric automobile]
- [A Detroit Electric automobile stopped on road by burnt-over land, with snow-covered mountain in background, Washington]
- De Dion motor carriage
- [People, some with cameras, gathered around a General Electric/Chrysler electric test car] / WKL.
- Cars cue up for gasoline
- Gasoline lines
- [Man directing line of cars at a gas station]
- Free to Use and Reuse: Cars | Free to Use and Reuse Sets | Library of Congress
- Primary Sources in the Science Classroom: Electric Cars, Energy, and Engineering | Teaching with the Library of Congress
- Introduction - Early Electric Cars in America (1891-1922): Topics in Chronicling America - Research Guides at Library of Congress
- Search Strategies & Selected Articles - Early Electric Cars in America (1891-1922): Topics in Chronicling America - Research Guides at Library of Congress
- The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, February 13, 1915, HOME EDITION, Page 9, Image 9
- Automobiles in the Progressive and New Eras | Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929 | U.S. History Primary Source Timeline | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress
- Search Results: "Electric automobiles" - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)
- GE and the electric car: 100 years of invention and innovation - Google Arts & Culture
- Department of Energy - The History of the Electric Car
- Library of Congress - Who invented the automobile?
- Slate - Why Weren’t Cars Electric From the Start?
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