Spotlight on Strategies

Facebook Profiles


Social media websites like facebook, instagram and vine have taken the world by storm. Adults and teens have flocked to these websites as a way to communicate and connect with other people. "As of September 2009, 73% of online American teens age 12 to 17 used an online social network website..." (Lenhart, Purcell, Smith and Zickuhr, 2010).

According to the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website, "One of the strategies to get students engaged and motivated to learn is to incorporate materials that they can identify with and use easily." Our students today relate and connect with social media and this "Fakebook" project is a neat and creative way to connect their present digital selves with content and themes from the classroom.

Students can synthesize information about a topic/person/theme using these facebook templates and profiles. They can bring together primary sources, events, dates, related people and visual media to create a single profile. They can easily understand the relationship between each piece of the puzzle. Not only will this strategy deepen their understanding of the topic, but it will also be fun for them to complete.


The example I plan to use in my class is to create a "history"book profile using PowerPoint to illustrate an important figure in the Revolutionary War. They will have to research this figure and include important events and pictures. This project is very different from a traditional report and allow students to be creative by using a format that is familiar to them. See Abraham Lincoln example below taken from the historytech blog and the JFK example above from the Tech Tools for Schools Blog.

Students would be required to include:

  • A profile picture of their historical figure.
  • include at least 5 posts on the newsfeed that describe an important event in their lives. They must include the correct dates.
  • Include 6 'friends' of the historical figure and at least 2 of these friends should have a post or comment on the newsfeed.
  • The 'About me' section should also be filled out including birthday, hometown, spouse, quotes, interests, political affiliations etc.
  • include at least 5 pictures that relate back to the historical figure including captions for each.
  • Include a 'note'. You can include a famous quote, speech, or interview.

Here is another example of directions and a rubric


This strategy can be adapted to virtually all subjects. It can be used to profile a literary character, mathematician or a famous scientist. Think outside the box. Periodic Element profile? I think it can be done! I challenge the educators out there to use and adapt this project to fit the needs of your students and your content. Listed below are several templates that you can modify and use to your linking. After you use this strategy, please let me know how you used it in class, and how it worked for you and your students.

Extension Activity: You can use the same idea but adapt it to another social networking site. You can have students create a twitter feed for a historical figure or character in a novel. The students can also create an Instagram and post as a character from a book. The possibilities are endless!



Ashby, D. (2010, January 22). Facebook Project and Template [Blog post]. Retrieved from Tech Tools for Schools website: facebook-project-template.html

Kharbach, M. (2012). 3 Awesome facebook templates for you [Blog post]. Retrieved from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website:

Lenhart, A., Purcell, K., Smith, A., & Zickuhr, K. (2010). Social Media & Mobile Internet Use Among Teens and Young Adults [PDF]. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

MacEntree, S. (2010, October 10). fakebook [Image]. Retrieved from

Wiebe, G. (2011, May 5). Fakebook- The next step in Facebook Templates [Blog post]. Retrieved from History Tech website: