I did two sessions for fifth grade students covering the 5 W’s of Website Evaluation: Who, What, When, Where and Why (Kathy Schrock’s outline) in order to be sure they are getting good information in their internet searches. I wanted them create a PowerPoint (some had never done one and others had rudimentary skills), but I didn’t want them to have to do research in order to have content. So I combined the website evaluation lesson and PowerPoint.
After taking notes about these strategies, they created a PowerPoint presentation to let others know how to find credible, useful websites for their information needs. As I stated, most of the students had created one, maybe two PowerPoints, so there was plenty of room for additional skill acquisition.
After an initial basic overview of creating slides, inserting images (and resizing them) and transitions, I turned them loose while circulating among the students. Students each have a Dell tablet and I requested that they bring their keyboards and mouses to make the process run more smoothly. Students with more skills helped out their classmates.
I created a rubric with the requirements which were very basic. Besides a minimum number of slides, they were to add 2 images and give credit to the owners of the images. I was more interested in them learning new skills than having a polished project.
By the time our students get to 5th grade some of them have made a PowerPoint. I surveyed them again this year and although about one third said they had made at least one, once we got into this project I noticed that their skill levels were pretty low. This reassured me that this was an important skill for me to cover in the library.
Our students have tablets which are very tricky to use to create PowerPoints without the use of a mouse and keyboard.
In order for them to have some topic for their PowerPoint I decided that I would cover website evaluation in the 2 weeks before starting the PowerPoint. I used an outline I got from Kathy Schrock’s 5 W’s of Website Evaluation (http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/5ws.pdf). I gave each student a copy of my adaptation of Schrock’s 5 W’s and suggested that they take notes on this paper so that they would have something to say in their PowerPoint. Of course some students didn’t write down anything and others took plenty of notes. Then when we got ready for them to create their PowerPoint those who hadn’t taken any notes came up short as they didn’t have any details to fill out the outline.
We spent 2 library visits working on their PowerPoints and I created a rubric so they would know the expectations (ie. minimum of 7 slides, 2 images, etc.) in advance.
I gave them minimal instruction on how to create the PowerPoint as I knew the students would share their knowledge and help others to problem-solve. I circulated around to help them out.
This was a successful instruction/learning experience and the students were very enthusiastic about creating their PowerPoint. I know they will use their newly acquired skills in years to come.