Re-imagining History

Creating our own visual culture (part 2 of 3)
Download this lesson plan or download all.


English, Social Studies, History, Art


Elementary, 4-5
Middle School, 6-8
High School, 9-12

Time required

35 – 50 min.

Materials required
  • [Optional] paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Other materials for making a presentation piece
Related background reading


Related documents


Related links


Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will practice re-imagining a historical world event by changing the events in some manner, and then begin exploring how Guam history and their contemporary lives would be different.

  • Students will build upon the previous lesson by individually (or in small groups) re-imagine a world event with different scenarios.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of this world event by extrapolating the effects of these re-imagined changes onto the history of Guam.
  • Students will begin work on their presentations to be shared in the following part of the lesson series.
Questions or Assessment
  • What changes can you imagine for your chosen world event? How do these changes impact world history?
  • How do these changes impact the history of Guam?
  • How would contemporary life be different (or would it be different) given these changes?
  • How will you present this information to your peers?


Teacher prep

Recalling the Previous Lesson (8 min.)
1. Ask students to recall the previous lesson in which they cited a historical world event, identified ways in which this event impacted Guam history and their lives, and then re-imagined how things would be different had this historical event turned out differently.

a. Have them describe the process they personally went through to come when re-imagining the historical event.

i. There are no wrong answers to this section. Simply have the students critically consider how they re-imagined history, and encourage them to explore methods by which they did so. This is an important step to return to, should students feel stuck (in re-imagining history) later on in the lesson.

Choosing a Historical Event and Re-imagining it (12 min.)
1. In small groups or individually, have students select a historical world event that they will re-imagine.

a. Have students select events they have already studied. This lesson series is useful in encouraging students to recall previous lessons, and further ingrain earlier taught knowledge.

b. Students do not need to pick events different from one another; their re-imagining will ultimately be diverse, so presentations (done in the third part of this lesson series) will not likely be repetitive.

i. If you wish, have students all re-imagine the same historical world event; however, it’s recommended that you have at least 2-3 options, so that students feel comfortable with the exercise by selecting their own topic; additionally, students will be interested in seeing different world events covered during the presentation section in the next part of the lesson series.

2. Have students write down bullet-points for how their re-imagined world historical event would unfold. Remind students to be realistic in their predictions. (They should be prepared to back up their re-imagined outcomes with solid arguments or examples).

a. Be sure to have them include:

i. The name of the event.

ii. A brief description of how they re-imagine it turning out differently.

iii. A list of things that would be different about the event given this different outcome.

iv. A list of things that would be different in Guam history given this different outcome.

v. A list of things that would be different in contemporary life on Guam given this different outcome.

b. If students are more advanced (high school, or advanced middle school), have them include brief reasons or support for their list of predictions given the proposed change in the historical world event.

i. For example, if they chose to say that rosaries would not exist on Guam had missionary initiatives not been pursued by the Catholic Church, have the student explain that Catholicism was unlikely to be introduced to Guam without missionaries, and that other religions (including previous Chamorro faiths) would have taken the current place of Catholicism as the predominant religion on Guam.

3. It is likely that a few students will be stuck on this section. Encourage them to recall the classroom exercise from the previous day, and the manner by which the class as a whole discussed the re-imagined historical world event.

Preparing Presentations (10 – 25 min.)
1. Explain to students that they are to present their re-imagined histories to their peers.

a. Depending on the type of class, and your personal preferences as a teacher, these histories may be presented in a variety of formats. Some examples include:

i. For a theater class, have the act out a short scene of the re-imagined history and of contemporary life that is now changed due to it.

ii. For an art class, have students create an historical or contemporary artifact that would exist given the re-imagined history.

iii. For an English class, have students write a brief story from the point of view of an individual living in the re-imagined history (either contemporary or historical).

iv. For a social studies class, have students write a report about how life would be different.

2. Given the amount of time available, have students begin their projects in class. Walk around and aid students who may be having trouble. (Again, if they are stuck, remind them to recall the re-imagining example done as a class during the previous lesson).

3. Have students complete their presentations as homework, and let them know to be prepared to share their work during the next class period.

a. Encourage students to conduct their own research. (The level of research required will depend on the skill-level of the class and your goals, as a teacher, for this lesson plan series).

i. Remind them to use numerous reliable sources, including Guampedia, when researching their topic.

Recap (5 min.)
1. Recap what we’ve done and learned in the lesson:

“Today we’ve built upon our knowledge of a historical world event (and what we learned from our previous lesson) to undertaken new re-imagining of our own. In doing so, we demonstrate our knowledge of the past, and better understand the significant past events have on our contemporary lives.”

2. Ask students for their favorite parts of the lesson.