Shared Experiences, Individual Impressions: Buddies Create PowerPoint Stories
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- Standards |
- Resources & Preparation |
- Instructional Plan |
- Related Resources |
Sometimes students learn more when they're out of the classroom experiencing the world. Turn field trips or other events into opportunities to learn new vocabulary, practice writing and technology skills, and create myriad stories using images and text about common experiences. First, students have an experience that they or you photograph. After quickly recording their initial impressions of what happened, students discuss their experience in terms of a sequence of events. They then work with older buddies to choose photos and write accompanying text in PowerPoint. Finally, students present their work, describing their individual perceptions.
From Theory to Practice
- Reflective visual literacy empowers students to understand the power of images and to evaluate them based on their personal experiences.
- Understanding the process of reflective visual literacy is only possible if teachers incorporate the notion of multiple perspectives into their daily teaching.
- When creating photo essays, students should be allowed to express their own voices and describe their own perceptions of how the image reflects their experience.
- The Digital Language Experience Approach is similar to the Language Experience Approach except that it uses digital photos in addition to oral language to "elicit students' talk, dictation, or composing about the sequence of events" (p. 299).
- The authors suggest using cross-age computer buddies when working with younger students for the first few times they try a program.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
- 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
- 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
- 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
Materials and Technology
- Digital or regular camera
- One classroom computer with an LCD projector
- Computers with Internet access and PowerPoint software
- Flash drive, school server, or CDs for multimedia storage (unless storing on students’ computers)
|1.||This lesson centers on a shared experience. Class trips of all varieties work well, as do school assemblies, sporting events, or classroom activities like Readers Theatre or science experiments. You want to plan the experience so that it takes place immediately before Session 1.
|2.||Arrange to use a digital camera during the shared experience. If you do not have access to a digital camera, use a regular or disposable camera and get a copy of the pictures on CD. Save the photos either on a flash drive, your school’s server, on the computers students will be using, or onto individual CDs that you give to student pairs (see Session 3).
|3.||Print and review the Project Instructions: Working With Buddies to Create Photo Slideshows of a Shared Experience.
|4.||To find buddies for your students, approach a teacher of older students (preferably no younger than fifth grade) whom you know uses technology regularly in the classroom or is interested in giving his or her students computer experience. The older students should have computer experience and should know how to use PowerPoint. Arrange for the older students to have any necessary training and practice and for them to have at least one session working in the computer lab (perhaps on a smaller, simpler project also using PowerPoint) with their buddies from your class. Tips for a Successful Cross-Age Buddy Program provides suggestions that you might want to share with the teacher of the other class.
|5.||Print off and review the Quick Write/Quick Draw instructions. Practice this activity several times with students before the start of the lesson. Using the second page of the Quick Write/Quick Draw handout, have students quickly write or draw all they know about a specific topic (e.g., how to get ready for school or how to get ready for recess). This can be followed by a short sharing period during which each student shows his or her drawing and describes it in less than 30 seconds. Make one copy of the second page of the Quick Write/Quick Draw handout for each student in your class to use during Session 1.
|6.||Arrange to use a computer with an LCD projector during Sessions 2 and 3. Also, reserve your school’s computer lab for Sessions 3 and 4 and make sure computers have PowerPoint software.
|7.||Review the Tips for Creating Photo Slideshows. If you are not familiar with PowerPoint, you might also want to look at these PowerPoint in the Classroom tutorials from actDEN and Teach-nology.
|8.||Practice using PowerPoint with your students by creating a few simple sequence stories (e.g., how to get ready for recess, how to get to the school library, an outline of your school day).
|9.||Make copies of the Instructions for Creating a PowerPoint Story With Your Big Buddy for each student in your class. Make copies of the Tips for Creating Photo Slideshows and the Instructions for Creating a PowerPoint Story With Your Little Buddy for each of their older buddies. Make copies of the Little Buddy/Big Buddy Self-Evaluation for every student, younger and older.
- Reflect on and synthesize an experience in a variety of ways using text, images, and PowerPoint software
- Use organizational skills and visual literacy skills to expand and sequence their initial impressions of an experience
- Practice working both independently and collaboratively to describe something that happened to them
- Use oral, written, and visual language to retell a personal experience
|1.||When students return from the shared experience, have them use the Quick Write/Quick Draw to write or sketch what they remember about what happened. They should also record any new vocabulary words they learned using invented spelling if necessary.
|2.||Have students share their work. Write new vocabulary words on the board, assisting students with spelling as necessary so they can use the words during the remaining sessions. Encourage students to write these words on their Quick Write/Quick Draw sheets. Collect these sheets and save them for future sessions.|
You will need a computer with an LCD projector for this session, either in your classroom or computer lab.
|1.||Have students take out their Quick Write/Quick Draw sheets to refresh their memories about the shared experience. Have them review any new vocabulary words they learned.
|2.||Show students the photos from the trip or class experience using the LCD projector. Encourage students to talk about the experience as they view the photos and to begin sequencing the events and telling the story of what happened.
|3.||Model how to create a PowerPoint slideshow story using four or five of the photos. Demonstrate how to import photos and resize them in PowerPoint. Tell them they should arrange the pictures in the correct order using the Slide Sorter tool. Click on the View menu and choose Slide Sorter; you can then place the photos in any order. To get back to normal view, click on the View menu and choose Normal. Have students suggest an order for the pictures, discuss, come to consensus, and put them in this order.
|4.||Ask students to share some possible text for each photo. Model how to include text on the pages. If time allows, show them how to change the color and font, how to create transitions, and how to incorporate clip art.|
Sessions 3 and 4
These sessions will take place in the computer lab with your students paired up with their older buddies. Immediately prior to this session, review the Instructions for Creating a PowerPoint Story With Your Little Buddy and the Tips for Creating Photo Slideshows with the older students, giving them a chance to ask questions as necessary. Give each younger student the Instructions for Creating a PowerPoint Story With Your Big Buddy. Younger students should also have their Quick Write/Quick Draw sheets from Session 1 and access to the photos from their class experience (see Preparation, Step 2).
|1.||Begin by sharing the story you created during Session 2.
|2.||Model for students how they can take the class story and create their own version of the same experience. Use the samples from the class story and model how you would choose your own photos and your own writing, effects, or transitions. Do a think-aloud while you create your story, showing students how your story differs from the class-created version.
|3.||Have students work with their older buddies to create their own stories based on their own recollections of the class experience. They should import photos into PowerPoint, sequence them, and write text to accompany each photo. While students work, circulate to assist them with any technical difficulties and questions. Note: For the most part, the younger student should dictate while the older student types. However, little buddies who are computer savvy and good writers can also share the keyboard.
|4.||When students finish their stories, give them a Little Buddy/Big Buddy Self-Evaluation and have them write or sketch about what they learned while working with their buddies.
Have students share their stories either on a computer or using paper copies. They can share with each other and their buddies, or you can invite parents into the classroom or computer lab for a presentation.
Create a home–school connection called the Traveling Photostory. Have students take turns bringing a camera home to record an experience that they write about at school before sharing with the class.
Student Assessment / Reflections
- Collect students’ Quick Write/Quick Draw sheets to analyze written text and visual representations about their experiences. Take notes when they share their stories as well, looking for evidence of their understanding of and elaboration on the experience. Use these notes to inform practice. For example, if a student failed to record text and images, meet individually with him or her before work begins on the slideshow project.
- Have students evaluate their work using the Little Buddy/Big Buddy Self-Evaluation. Use anecdotal notes and your own observations to evaluate the cooperation between big and little buddies.
- Use the Rubric for Photo Slideshow Project to evaluate students’ slideshow story projects.
- When the stories are complete, have students reread them to you individually. Have them explain their choices for photos, backgrounds, fonts, clip art, and motion or screen transitions.