We promise every spotlight won’t be on using Google Slides – but what a wonderful way to see the same technology used in two different grades. Our next Tech Tip will be some great resources for Google Slide Templates that help teach effective presentation design (and look great too.) Thank you, Jenny!
Teacher(s) name(s): Jenny Coeur
Subject: Third Grade
Specific topic being taught: Myths of the First Thanksgiving – Plymouth Colony’s Harvest Feast (Social Studies)
Learning Goal: To synthesize information learned from our unit about the first harvest feast in Plymouth Colony, focusing on common myths or assumptions about what took place in 1621. To become familiar with Google Slides and basic functions (typing a title, typing in a text box, changing text color and background, inserting/resizing/moving a photo found from the search feature). To practice clear writing and oral presentation skills with the intent of sharing the slides during the K-3 Thanksgiving Common Time.
Technology used: Google Slides and Google accounts in the Marshall computer lab; digital projector for the Common Time presentation. Classwork with plimoth.org’s Thanksgiving Interactive activity preceded the Slideshow work. https://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/thanksgiving-interactive-you-are-historian
Description: I set up a blank Google Slide show (in my Drive) with 11 slides, one for a title page and one slide for each student in my class. I set up the Slides as editable, and put a shareable link on my class website so that my kids could get to it easily. Each student suggested a myth/fact about the first harvest feast remembered from our earlier work and was assigned a slide number, and over the course of a few periods in the Marshall lab, created a slide for it. They were asked to create a title, to write a small paragraph with full sentences explaining the myth/fact with clear detail, and then were shown how to change the text color and background if desired. The final step was inserting a picture from the search feature. I did the final tweaks/editing as well as the title page. Each student read his/her slide aloud at the Common Time before Thanksgiving break.
Pros: The kids were very excited about using Google Slides, which was new to them. They were excited to type, to pick colors and pictures, and to know that we would project this slideshow as a presentation instead of making paper posters. The project really nicely tied together our typing, technology, and social studies work, and it helped make the presentation prep easier, too!
Cons: Because you can’t remove the slide thumbnails from the left side of the page, because this was a shared file, and because third graders are still gaining coordination on the computer, some slides did get deleted accidently. However, the handy history feature allowed us to go “back in time” and find the missing pieces, though it did require the kids to re-do a few things.
Would you use this technology tool again? Definitely! It was a great addition to the curriculum and a good use of time. I’m happy to add this to my kids’ list of tech tools.
Is there anything you would do differently next time? I may consider having the kids make a slide in their own accounts and then share the slides with me to be compiled. However, I do like the ease of having them all work in one document, and I think it was a cool introduction to the collaborative features of the Google suite.