Collaborative Colonial Slides Project06 February 2016
So each year, as we begin to talk about the 13 colonies, I have my students research the 3 different colonial regions and create a poster to share with the class that includes the major economy, religious influences, reasons for founding, and the climate/geography of the area. Usually what ends up happening is that one kid takes over the group and does a majority of the work (sound familiar??) This year, I decided to switch it up.
I had my students create a shared Google Slide presentation.
I know what you are thinking. HOW did you do this? Well, I will break it down for you.
First, as a class we read an introduction on each of the three colonial regions that was found in our social studies text book. I modeled some note taking strategies and close reading techniques as we went. Then, I assigned each student to a colonial region group. I have 3-4 students per group, so there are a few New England, a few Middle, and a few Southern colonies groups. Each group was then given the criteria for the assignment. I wanted them to each have at least one slide they were responsible for, so there were a total of 5 slides that needed to be created. Here is the actual criteria I laid out for them.
Next, before I gave out any of the chromebooks, each of the groups had to come up with a game plan for what their presentation would look like. I just asked them to sketch out the slides and draw what they thought they would put on them (where would the paragraphs go, pictures, titles, etc..) and to decide who was in charge of which slide.
Once that was taken care of, each group got the chromebooks. The "leader" of each group gathered the email addresses of everyone, created a slide presentation in Google Slides, and shared it with each group member. This part was really not that hard at all. The group leader just needed to make sure that all of the email addresses were correct and they were off.
After that, the kids pretty much just got to work. They set out on their agreed upon slide and started compiling research from their social studies text, information texts that I gave them, and internet research (though they were to keep that to a minimum so that they could actually work.)
It truly, honestly, without a doubt, was AMAZING what was going on. The kids were collaborating in a way I have never seen them do so before. The productive talk was fantastic. Everyone was on task. It truly was spectacular.
Beware though. Deleting slides is very, very difficult to undo when the kids are working like this. Since they are all typing at the same time, it messes the computer up on the undo amounts and it just won't go back far enough sometimes. There is also a "comment" feature where the kids can talk to each other on the slides. So far, my students have been very responsible with it (asking things like, "How do I add a text box again?" and "I want to change the background to blue" type things) I can see that there could be a problem in the future though, so I am monitoring it as I walk around.
Once the slide shows were completed, I had each of the groups practice their presentation. They then shared the slide show with me (which you could most definitely do at the beginning to monitor it more closely...I just didn't on this one) and I projected it as the groups presented. 21st Century collaboration and presentation at its finest.
How have you used Google Slides in your classroom? Have you done any other collaborative projects??