Graphic Design: A Hands-on History


    NEW Course! “Graphic design is everywhere, on everything from book covers to billboards, and I think it is such an interesting lens to look through when teaching and learning about history! I love design, and I created this course because I also love investigating the intersections between interest areas and more traditional academic subjects, like history. This course is a result of that investigation and my way of sharing that with learners who are curious about how graphic design has been a part of each and every era of human existence.” ~ Prof. Sydney



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    Vortex Image for Graphic Design Hands-On History at Athena's
    InstructorProf. Sydney Miller Milbert
    Content LevelsGrades 3-4 • Elementary
    Grades 5-6 • Upper Elementary
    Grades 6-7 • Middle School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnWednesdays, 1:00 - 1:50 PM Pacific - 10/16/24 - 12/13/24

    Have you ever looked at a book cover and wondered how it was designed? What about a tube of toothpaste, a box of cereal, or a giant light-up billboard? 

    All of these (and more!) are examples of graphic design in our modern life. Did you know, though, that graphic design has been around since the Stone Age? In this course, we will explore how humans have been creating graphic design throughout history, from the prehistoric era all the way to modern times. 

    We will explore:

    • Elements of design,
    • Important discoveries, inventions, and technology that impacted graphic design from around the world, 
    • Examples of graphic design from five major historic time periods (prehistory, ancient times, middle times, early modern times, and modern times), and
    • Hands-on techniques and tools you can use to create your own designs.

    Each week, we will create our own historically-inspired graphic design mini project and we will share and discuss these projects, along with topics covered during each webinar, in our classroom forum discussions.

    Come along with me on this graphic design journey through time. I can’t wait to be your guide and see your creativity shine!

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • A forum asking learners to discuss or reflect on topics included in the weekly webinar.
    • A forum asking learners to create and share their own graphic design mini-project inspired by topics included in the weekly webinar. This graphic design mini-project will also be explained during each webinar so that students may ask questions and briefly discuss ideas or inspiration.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Learners will be encouraged to share their observations and ideas, either via the chat or voice, during live webinar discussions.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 4th grade level or above.
    • Write a paragraph independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Be prepared for the webinar.
    • Actively participate (via the microphone and chat) in the class discussion.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.
    • Create hands-on graphic design mini-projects inspired by each week’s webinar.
    • Share your ideas and pictures of your mini-project in the weekly classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • There are no required books.
    • Students will need a variety of art supplies and/or access to a graphic design app of their choice for each week’s graphic design project.
      Note: The supplies or digital application will be up to the individual preferences of each learner. For example, if the learner prefers to use markers and paper over a digital app, that is completely okay! Or, if the learner loves Procreate or another digital art app, and wants to use that, that is okay, too!
    • Depending on the material choice, students may need a digital camera to take photos of their graphic design work to share in the weekly classroom forums. A webcam or a phone camera will work!