HISTORY, LEARNING, LITERACY, RESOURCES, TEACHING

Snapchat starters…

Snapchat has become a popular phenomenon with young people. For anyone who isn’t familiar with this app it is very basic, it allows people to send pictures/selfies to their friends but the picture can only be viewed for so many seconds before it disappears forever. The snap can also include a caption with the picture. I know how much students enjoy using this app so I decided to bring something they liked and were familiar with into my classroom.  A simple way to engage students and link to learning.


Images are fantastic to use in the lesson as they can promote class discussions, are great sources of information and can provide students with a wider understanding. As a History teacher picture sources are a very important resource. The Snapchat picture can be created if you have the app and screenshot. Alternatively you can use the fake Snapchat generator online at snapsr.com to create your own Snapchat to use in the lesson. This is so easy to do! Simply upload a selected image, write a caption- this can be a question, information etc.- set a countdown timer, although the picture won’t disappear once it has been saved it is just for effect.


Here are some reasons why I think this resource can work well and suggestions how to use the resource.

  • It is a fun hook! Students instantly recognise the Snapchat layout and this has them engaged straight away.
  • A short, snappy starter that can be used to re-cap on previous learning and/or link to the lesson outcomes.
  • This works with any subject/topic/ year group and ability. (Although it is worth noting that students have to be 13 years old to use this app and with parental permission if under 18). I have examples from History, Religious Education, MFL and PSHE.
  • Tasks with the Snapchat can vary. A question can be asked with the picture providing clues and support or the question can be based on the image. Possible questions: What is happening in the picture? What do you know about this event/topic/person? Do you have any questions about this topic/event/person? The text can be in a different language so lots of  possibilities with MFL.
  • The Snapchat can be projected onto the board with answers on a post it note, white boards or in their books. It can be used to promote think,pair and share or class discussions. After sharing this idea with my colleague @pshee2015 she created her own Snpachat starters and printed them off for students to answer and annotate in her Maths lesson.

  • I have used this in GCSE lessons linking to historical source analysis.
  • The 5 W’s – Who? What? Where? When? Why? can be connected to the Snapchat.
  • It can act as a memory and recall activity. Just like the actual Snapchat app you could show students the snap and then remove it. What did students remember and what stood out to them? Or they have to describe the snap to their partner who cannot see the image.

  • As well as being a useful starter activity it can also be used at the end of the lesson to reflect on learning, ask questions about what students have found out in the lesson or link to next lesson.


I shared some of my examples on my Twitter page and instantly @Louisateaches created her own Snapchats, based on interviews and the workplace. Highlighting how simple, quick and easy it is to do but how flexible the task can be!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you’ve been inspired by any of these ideas I’d love to hear from you to find out how you’ve taken them / adapted or remixed them and used them in your classroom. Please feel free to follow my blog and leave comments below or why not just drop me a message on Twitter.

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