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Lesson Plan

Blending the Past with Today's Technology: Using Prezi to Prepare for Historical Fiction

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Blending the Past with Today's Technology: Using Prezi to Prepare for Historical Fiction

Grades 6 – 10
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Fifteen 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



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From Theory to Practice



To prepare for reading a historical novel, such as A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck, Countdown by Deborah Wiles, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos, or The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon, students research various aspects of a setting's decade.  Then using the information they have gathered, students communicate their findings via Prezi, a Web-based presentation tool that utilizes one canvas instead of traditional slides. Through the sharing of their Prezis, all students gain an understanding of the historical decades of their selected novels. After all have presented, students will write a paragraph explaining which decade they would have like to have experienced firsthand.

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  • Decade Event Notes: Students use this sheet to take notes for their Prezis.
  • Suggested Literature Circle Novels: Divided by decades, this list is a great source for historical novels.
  • Prezi: Prezi in a web 2.0 tool that is used to create “zooming presentations," which can include links to other websites, videos, audios, and digital images.

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Schechter and Denmon propose that today’s students, nicknamed digital natives, require a technology-rich classroom in order to create buy-in to the importance of its curriculum. Furthermore, Nolan explains that technology offers a platform for students to build essential proficiencies. Technology generates opportunities for students to practice their reading skills, analyze information, synthesize that information, and then communicate their findings to others.  In order to have students buy-in to the importance of reading historical fiction, this lesson infuses technology through the use of Prezi and develops new literacies.

Further Reading

Nolan, Sara.  “How Technology Fuels Learning.” MindShift Blog, KQED.org. September 16, 2011.

Schechter, Amy and Jennifer M. Denmon.  “How Do I Earn Buy-In from Digital Natives? Voices from the Middle 11.4 (May 2004): 22-27.

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