After surveying the fifth grade students at the beginning of the school year, I realized that most of the students had minimal experience with creating PowerPoints. So I decided that one of the first digital tools we would work on would be PowerPoint. Since they would be studying the U.S. Civil War in the fall, I chose that topic. The Syrian Civil War was in the news at that time (we completed these projects in late October & November, but I’m just getting around to finishing up this blog post!). As an IB-PYP school, I also wanted them to realize that the U.S. Civil War was NOT the only civil war that had occured and that there were civil wars happening right now.
Graphic Organizer and Curating Web Resources
I used Livebinders to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use. My emphasis in this project was more on the technical aspect (PowerPoint) rather than in-depth research. Livebinders was used to curate websites and online encyclopedias for the students to use.
They only had to have 5 slides and at least 2 images. I also emphasized the citing of resources and giving credit when using images.
Our school is a 1:1 technology set up, so all students have a Dell ProVenue 11 tablet. One catch was that Office 365 had to be downloaded before we could do this project and that takes awhile! But after that, the students caught on pretty quickly and were usually anxious to help each other problem solve. I think they have a basic understanding of creating a PowerPoint, inserting images, text boxes and are aware of the different slide types (ie. they had to use the Comparison slide for the body of their PowerPoint).
So far this year I have taught the 5th grade classes how to use Chatterpix and PowerPoint. We are getting ready to start on Prezis in the next week. My goal is for these students to have several digital storytelling tools in their technonlogy toolbelts by the end of the year. No more just relying on PowerPoint when they get to middle school!