AP U.S. History Students Create "Age of Imperialism" Figures

In order to illustrate their understanding of the Ages of Imperialism of several territories with whom the United States became involved throughout history, Mrs. Montgomery’s AP U.S. History students got out markers and butcher paper, and created “Bodies of Imperialism” to share with their classmates.
Students created projects by drawing full sized “bodies,” representing China, Cuba, Hawaii, Panama, The Philippines, and Puerto Rico, and then adorned them with words, symbols, and images to demonstrate their understanding of how the United States impacted their history. Students were tasked with answering the following questions for specific areas of their figures: Eyes (Who already lived here and what were they doing?), Mouth (What did this country/territory have to say about American involvement?), Feet (What grounds did the US have for involvement there?), Hands (What physical events occurred there?), Hair (What were the short and long terms results of the US going there?), and Clothes (What images/symbols describe the US involvement there.) Next, students were asked to name their figures, trying to use puns, alliterations, and hooks that would help others remember the involvement of the United States in their country.
This activity challenged the AP students to fully reflect on the impact that the United States has had on other parts of the world and gave them practice in expressing their deep knowledge to others in a complex and thorough way.