Play on Pawn Stars: Classroom Activity

For my first idea post, I’ll go back to my roots: Social Studies.  This idea was inspired by the popular History Channel series, Pawn Stars.

If you’ve never seen the show, I invite you to check it out.  It’s about a family in Las Vegas who owns and runs a pawn shop. Aside from the family rivalry humor, the show frequently pulls in field experts to analyze pawn-hopeful’s items. Each expert gives a brief history about how the item played a role in the time period it is from. You’re getting a lot of information without realizing you’re getting a history lesson. See the short video clip below. 


This could be a great concept for students to model in any given history unit before, in the middle, or after the unit has been covered.  Pair students in groups of two to three. The teacher could assign an object, or the students could each pick a different item after doing some research on the time period being studied. 

Students could re-create the item as an art project, or simply use a mock item or drawing in the real item’s place. Once the item has been determined and created, students would then film their own three to five minute video clip modeled after Pawn Stars. An “expert” will arrive at the scene to describe the item in more detail, while tying it in with topics and events that were covered (or to be covered) throughout the history unit. 


“Making history come alive in the classroom can be a challenge, but creating video documentaries encourages students to learn about the past.”

Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum in Web 2.0 How -To for Educators

This activity hits many, if not all, levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Students must analyze and evaluate which item(s) from the given time period had significance to the outcome of events, the value of the item today, remember facts about the item and the time period/event, create their own version of the item and a video, understand a series of events or the role the given item played, and apply the knowledge they’ve gained to the final production they create. 

If you want, you can even post the videos to a class website, YouTube, TeacherTube, or any other video sharing site. Let parents and others within the school see the fabulous work your students created.

If you do this activity, or some other rendition of it, please share your video links in the comments section of this blog post- I’d love to see some final products!

Tech To You Later!



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