I open by asking students to answer this question "How do we remember things?" I'm looking for them to say that we read about them, write them down, do them or watch them. If one of these is not stated I ask them to think of a way they learn history facts? Math concepts? How to answer a question on a book? What a blue whale looks like?
I write on the board we remember things by: seeing, saying, reading, and writing.
I share with them that during their research phase they read and saw pictures of their topics and then used what they learned to write a report on it. Now it is time to share their learning with their peers by saying it orally in a presentation. Problem is that's a lot of information to remember!
The lesson objective is to help you remember the main ideas of your report. Today we are going to learn how to make presentation note cards. They are like a cheat sheet that helps you to remember the facts.
I ask students to read and compare both. I signal for students to pair-share with a partner and discuss which one seems easier to read and why. Signal and call on students to share aloud.
I tell students, Note cards are just that - a short note on a card. They are meant to give you a reminder of what to say, not to be read to the audience. To make one you need to limit the amount of information to just the most important words and ideas of each main idea.
I project page one of the sample report paragraph on the board. I read it with my students and have them signal when they have identified the main idea of the paragraph. I take responses and highlight the word constellation. I then title a note card "Constellations". I have found that it was more successful to use a separate note card and guide them along without showing them the final copy so that they can "discover" the topics instead of my just giving them the ideas.
I then ask them to think about some important supporting details that would be important to share in the presentation. I take responses and probe with "Why is that important to know?" or "Would that be a difficult one to remember?" and write notes on my sample card that are very similar to the one I created on the answer page. I also highlight details stated by students on the sample paragraph.
I remind students to: write notes not sentences, write in larger easy-to-read print and to leave some white space around each line
Students pass out the worksheet "Creating and Evaluating Your Note Cards". I give this out early so that they can reference the note taking tips on the top of the worksheet and I leave sample note card on the board.
Students are instructed to read their reports and to create a note card for each main idea. They are told that they will be evaluating each others cards at the end of the lesson and making improvements to them according to their peers suggestions. This usually gets them more motivated to do a good job because they know that their peers will be seeing them, too!
I set a timer for 30 min. and circulate to help where needed.
As students finish they are paired off with a partner and begin evaluating each others cards using the second worksheets. I have them go to the carpet and sit face-to-face so that they can converse without distracting those who are still finishing their cards.
This system allows me to work more closely with those who are struggling with writing or identifying the important points for their cards.
Here's Connor sharing some things that were difficulty for him for this activity:
I pass out rings or large paperclips to students and show them how to hole punch and ring the cards so that they do not lose their order or they won't fall apart during their speeches.
I ask them, "Why is having note cards helpful when you are speaking?" Students share.
I then tell them that in the next lesson they will learn presentation tips and ways to improve their speaking skills. I also tell them that the best way to get good at presenting in front of an audience is to practice-practice-practice..and send them home with an outline of the card expectations and a letter to their parents sharing their responsibility to complete their cards and begin practicing them aloud at home.
Their homework task is to complete their cards and then begin presenting their speeches using their cards in front of their parents or another person tonight. I want them to come to the next lesson understanding the nervousness and problems that can occur with presenting so that they have a higher buy in to the rules for presenting I will be sharing with them and for the need to practice to be a good speaker.