Students Present!

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


In small groups, SWBAT present their teaching products created around four vignettes assigned from The House On Mango Street.

Big Idea

Show time: Students take the lead as teachers.

Explanation Of Audience Responsibility

5 minutes

Today my students will be presenting the products they have created in order to teach the class the relevance of four vignettes from The House On Mango Street.  

Before the presentations begin, I distribute the Student Presentation Notes Template and explain to my students that as they listen to the presentations, they must record at least three things for each vignette that they learn, that they agree with, that they disagree with, etc.  

There are two main reasons I have implemented this procedure:

  1. Having witnessed many student presentations in my career as a teacher, I am well aware of how easy it is for the student audience to become distracted.  Giving them a listening task helps keep their attention focused on the presentations.
  2. I truly want my students to appreciate how much they stand to learn from each other.  I expect that it will be no trouble for them to acknowledge that they discover new insight into the vignettes from each other, and I want to provide them a place to record their new insights.

Student Presentations

60 minutes

I allow groups to volunteer in the order they would like to present.  With little to no instruction, other than the requirement that every group member speaks during the presentation, I allow my students to begin.  Because my students have been exposed to and have participated in:

  • Accountable Talk
  • Teacher Modeling
  • Text-based justifications
  • Whole group discussions
  • Small group discussions
  • Socratic Seminar

. . . I am confident that they will find their ways through the presentations without a checklist of sorts to which to refer (Example #1Example #2).

Depending on the size of the products created, students either present at the front of the classroom, taping their products to the whiteboard, or at the center of the room, using the document camera to project on the back wall of the classroom.  At the conclusion of each presentation, I allow one to two minutes for questions or comments from the audience, but I remain mindful of the time, so that each group is given adequate time to present without feeling rushed or slighted. 

Lesson Debriefing: What Did You Learn From Each Other?

5 minutes

With the final few minutes left of class, I ask students to share one thing they learned from their peers that had not occurred to them as they prepared their own products (Student Sample Notes).  There is usually only time to hear from two to three students.

I have two final thoughts for them before they are dismissed:  

  1. I encourage them to go forth and ask why about everything they read: Why has an author included certain characters in a book?  Why do they matter?  I remind them that if they remain willing to ask why, then they are on their ways to reading at new levels of comprehension.
  2. I point out how well they did at teaching each other the answers to the whys of these four vignettes.  I remind them that I, their teacher, was virtually silent throughout the process, and that the end result is a very thorough exploration of the relevance of the vignettes that they were able to discover and articulate for themselves.