To begin this lesson, I played the attached Brainpop Video on "Political Parties" and did the quiz. (Click here to watch Brainpop video.) (Teacher reviews quiz whole group and students answer using sign language - a, b, c, or d.) I then played the tutorial on how to create a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation and I did a demonstration of how to use Microsoft Powerpoint on the Smartboard for students. (Click here to watch tutorial.)
I allow students time to work on the classroom computers to practice using Microsoft Powerpoint for their So You Want to be President? Research projects. I do this because I know that self-guided practice will allow my students to gain an understanding of how to use the Microsoft Powerpoint program in a way that my simply explaining to them will not. "Trial and error" has proven to be a good way to allow my students some autonomy and ownership of their learning.
To close the lesson, scholars shared some things amusing or an interesting fact they learned in researching their assigned U.S. President. Students shared little known facts such as Thomas Jefferson was the only U.S. President to found an institution of higher learning. He founded the University of Virginia. The capital of Liberia was named after James Monroe. It is named Monrovia. James Buchanan was the only U.S. President never to marry. He remained a bachelor all of his life. Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler. Learning little known facts such as these about U.S. Presidents made them seem more personable to my students. They were able to see that these were simply ordinary people who did extraordinary things.