Bicycling with Black History

During Black History Month and beyond, students have the opportunity to delve into stories of remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. These stories are powerful and students can explore a variety of topics tailored to their interests. In this example I chose “bicycling” and Champion Cyclist "Major" Taylor.

A simple Keynote animation adds a creative touch to the research and information learners will share on their Black History topic. There is a new (still in beta) version of historic newspapers from the Library of Congress Chronicling America  that can provide good research and digital skills practice for this activity.


Animated gif of cyclist Major Taylor popping out of the background newspaper.
Pop heroes out of historic news pages and highlight their stories

Here is a quick “how to” made with just two Keynote slides

  • Search Chronicling America on a topic. Find a photo in one of the newspapers.
  • Screen shot the image from the paper and add it to a Keynote slide. Tap the image and Remove Background. 
  • Use Drawing (under the photo menu in Keynote) to touch up the newspaper image.
  • Screen shot an image of the paper page for background. add to Keynote from Photos. Duplicate the slide.
  • Add the Transition Magic Move to the 1st slide or tap on picture and add Animation then Action to create path to move the image.
  • Export the two slides as Animated gif or movie.

Here are some additional search resources:

Also consider re-writing the story in an Apple Pages Newsletter template to create a contemporary look for the found article.

4 replies

February 19, 2024

I love this idea! I can think of so many topics where this could add an extra dimension to the learning. Thank you for sharing.

February 20, 2024

Such a fun project. My students love looking at news stories from the past, they like seeing how people thought versus how they think and look at the world now. I have National Geographic's from the 1930's and they know to be careful, but love reading the articles. I also think they like touching a magazine that is almost 100 years old.

February 21, 2024

Wonderful Brian! I remember we used to have past bound Time magazines in the school Library. Those were a real attraction to the students. I also have a large set of National Geographic magazines going back to early 1900s at home. My grandmother had a collection that she passed on to us. Although on my bookshelf they are largely decorative, I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

It is also interesting to look at the cultural insensitivity and stereotyping in early National Geographic (something that National Geographic has apologized for). That is a lesson in and of itself for students.

February 28, 2024

This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

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