Historical Figures Mashup


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Ask students to describe some of their favorite mashups.These could be music mashups, movie mashups (like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) or others.

Discuss what makes a good mashup. Explore different definitions for the term mashup (such as a mixture or fusion of disparate elements.) What makes them so fascinating? How can they be useful, as well as novel?

Lesson Process:

Step 1:  Explore how social media tools have been used to create and spread mashups in the past. Specifically, how do Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat contribute to the role of mashups in both sharing and in creating?

Step 2: Provide students with a list of historical figures from the last 300 years. These should be well-known people like Abraham Lincoln, Andy Warhol, The Beatles, Maya Angelou, and Winston Churchill. Place the names into 3 categories: historical figures, literary figures, and artists, and put them into a brown paper bag. Students will draw one name out of each bag.

Step 3:  Students will research the writings or compositions of each figure they have drawn. They can outline any similarities and differences between each of their figures.

Step 4:  Students will then create a sample social media post mashup of all 3 of their selected figures, using any social media “tool” of their choice. The media post should quickly and concisely convey the key elements of all 3 of their figures in a way that works together to create a single image, video, or other media work.

Time Required:
30-45 minutes

Materials List:

  • Examples of mashups
  • 3 Brown bags
  • Paper slips with names from historical, literary and artistic figures – at least 3 for each student in each category
  • Paper, pencils, colored pencils
  • Computers or devices



Can Students:

• Find, compare and highlight the points of view from multiple historical figures

• Create a mashup that connects all of their figures

• Use the native tools of the social media platform to enhance and deliver their mashup