Native Americans of North America: Digital Presentations

I love my job as a teacher librarian at a private school. I have had the freedom create my own lessons–shaping and reshaping them, while trying new ideas or adapting old ones or just sticking with the tried and true. I am particularly fond of collaborative lessons. So when our 2nd grade teacher mentioned her students learning about Native American tribes, their housing, diet, occupations, transportation, and art in North America, I decided to extend the project by adding a “digital touch”. In the process, students practiced multiple skills while creating presentations using Tech4Learning’s Wixie software.

Presentation Content

In pairs or in groups of three, students researched information and took notes in a graphic organizer. Since we had to rely on websites for information, I created a Symbaloo (webmix) of pre-selected sites, color-coded by region to guide students.

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Presentation Format

In Wixie, I created a presentation template consisting of 9 slides, which I then shared with the 2nd grade students. Since Wixie is a cloud-based publishing platform, students were able to simply open the template in their accounts and begin working. To guide students, each slide had a sentence starter. Once sentences were typed, the creative fun began. Using Wixie’s build-in library, students added visual representations of the information on each slide. Most of them also added a background color or design. And the final step was to record a narration of their presentation.

Final Verdict

Anyone who upgrades lessons using technology knows that this can be a time-consuming endeavour. However, students hone a variety of literacy skills from reading for information to note taking to keyboarding to thinking about visual representations to ensuring all text is visible when choosing a background. In this particular project, the collaboration skill was taken to a whole new level as students negotiated the ever-present issues: Who gets to do what?

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