US Symbols: Tech Meet Art

After learning about the three branches of government, my students were ready to move on to learning about the symbols in the United States that mean so much to us as Americans.  I took this opportunity to also get my students working collaboratively on Google Slides.  
We began by pulling out our social studies books and reading about the various symbols that have made an impression on our American culture.  Things like the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, the White House, and even holidays such as Veteran's Day, were all symbols that featured in our reading.  

I then paired my students up and assigned them one of the US Symbols.  The kids were asked to create a Google Slide in which they both were added on (basically, one student started the slide.  Then she shared the slide with her partner using the partner's email address.  That slide then showed up in the partner's Google Drive and both students could work on it at the same time.)  Once the slide was created and shared, I told the students that each slide needed to contain the following:
10 facts about the assigned symbol (facts related to that object as a symbol)
One picture of the symbol
A large title naming the symbol

The rest (fonts, backgrounds, colors, etc) was up to them.  To insure the kids found appropriate  information about the symbols, I told the kids to search google with "Statue of Liberty for kids".  Adding on the "for kids" at the end helped more kid-friendly websites pop up.  
The kids worked together, on their own computers, looking up information and transferring it to the slide.  I am SO impressed with their skill at maneuvering from tab to tab and getting the proper information on the slide.  Since this was my third graders' first time collaboratively working on a slide, we did have to have several conversations about not deleting the work of others and helping each other as we were working.


After the slides were complete (which took about 3 days of work), I gave each group a clip art of their symbol (or something that would represent their symbol -- like fireworks for the Fourth of July) and some construction paper.  Working together on the same clipart, the kids created a tear art mosaic of that US Symbol.  They just used glue stick and construction paper.  The kids LOVED this part and it made for a cute art add-on to the research.

The final part of this was sharing out their information to the class.  They got to work on their speaking and listening skills too.  All in all, this was a great way to get social studies, research, tech, and art into our classroom.  


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