One of my favorite activities from our Hispanic Heritage iBook series is in the San Marcos iBook (Download). After students have read about the difficult time Florida Governor Don Pable do Hita Salazar had supervising the construction of the Castillo in St. Augustine, the students are asked to put themselves in his shoes.

A printable PDF of Salazar surrounded by thought and word balloons is provided (Download). Students are given the following directions, ““In the top two word balloons, write two things that you think Salazar might have said during his term at St. Augustine. In the thought bubble, write something that you imagine Salazar thinking, but not sharing with anyone. In the dotted ‘whisper’ bubble, write something that you think Salazar might have shared in confidence with only one or two trusted colleagues. Finally, in the two scrolls at the bottom, create messages that you think Salazar might have sent in writing to others. For each section you fill in (except for the thought bubble), make it clear to whom Salazar was talking, whispering, or writing.

“Discuss your work in class. Do your classmates agree that what you filled in was plausible? Defend your work, or amend it if your classmates convince you that what you’ve entered is not reasonable compared to what you have learned about Salazar in the reading passage.”

This activity can be applied to any period of history. Teachers can create their own activity sheets or keep the project open-ended and allow students to choose both the character image and the type of balloons to surround the character.

The People section of ClipArt ETC includes over 8,000 line drawings of people. You can find images in the alphabetical section, artists, explorers, leaders, and others from the fields of publishing, philosophy, religion, science, and social science.

The ClipArt ETC site also includes a large collection of various unidentified adults and children. These images can be used when you would like students to put themselves into the shoes of average citizens instead of famous historic characters.

FCIT’s Presentations ETC website includes a large collection of word balloons that can be used in this project. Your students can select from several styles of basic word balloons as well as thought bubbles, whisper balloons (dotted lines), electronic communication (jagged lines), and printed documents. Each of the balloons is available in five sizes and has a transparent background, making it easy to overlap multiple balloons in the same image.