Getting Techy (Day 2): Using Technology to Showcase Mini-Research Projects

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SWBAT use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will be learn about the formatting options within Google Presentation to enhance the sharing of their knowledge of the inventions they have researched.

Enroll Students Into Learning

5 minutes

Today, to start our lesson, I remind the students of the work we did yesterday in Google Drive by setting up our own Google Presentations.  I ask the students if they’re ready to learn more about Google Drive today.  The students enthusiastically give me a “Yes!”, so I know we’re ready to begin!  As I’ve mentioned before, incorporating technology into my lessons is always extremely motivating for my students, so their response is really no surprise!

Experience Learning

5 minutes

To start, I pull up our school district website on our SmartBoard.  Today, I ask the students to walk me through the steps of how to get logged into Google Drive and find our presentation.  I do remind students here that their presentations were automatically saved yesterday in the “My Drive” section because they created the presentation.    

Once we’re logged in, and we’ve found our way back to our presentation, I let the students know that today, their first job is to finish creating one slide for each question that they’ve researched about their inventions.  Again, they should have a title that states the question they researched and then the information they found underneath the title in the text box.

However, once we’re done making sure we have one slide for each question, along with a title slide, we’re ready to start having some fun with some advanced features.  Today, I’m going to share with the students how to change the font, the size, and the color of the text as well as how to change the background of slides, and/or incorporating the use of a theme.

I begin by showing the students how to change the font of the text first.  I show the students that in order to change the font (or the color or size of the text), they need to highlight the text they want to change.  To highlight, students click and drag over the text they want to change and then release the click.  (See Image 1 in the Resources section here.)

Once text is selected, text options will appear (if the text is not selected, text options such as size, color, font, etc. may not appear to be present).  Students can change the font by going to the font box and click on it.  (See Image 2 in the Resources section here.)  Once clicked, the box will turn into a menu (see Image 3).  If the students would like more choices than what the menu offers, students can click “More Fonts” and a new menu will open (see Image 4).  Students can look through and then choose the font they like and once they do, the text will change to their new choice in font (see Image 5).

The same process is true for the size of the text, just instead of choosing the font box, students choose the text size box (see Image 6).  Students can then pick a size from the text size menu (see Image 7).  Students an also choose what color the text will be as well by choosing the text color box (see Image 8).  Once this box is clicked, students can pick what color the text will be by using the text menu (see Image 9).

The last thing I’ll teach students today before allowing them to again dig in is the background of the presentation, and/or the theme selection.  To start, I show the kids that the background of individual slides can be changed.  To change the background of a specific slide, I tell the kids that they should be on that slide, and then go up and to the tool bar and choose the background box (see Image 10).  Once the students click on the background box, a background options box appears (see Image 11).  Students can choose what color they’d like the background to be, and then click the blue “Done” button.  Once they click done, the background will change (see Image 12).

Students an also change the theme in a similar way as well.  A theme is a way to decorate each slide throughout the presentation by using premade designs that are carried throughout each slide of the presentation.  These themes make presentations look really professional and allow users to have a great starting point in design upon which they can add their own customized touches.  To change the theme of a presentation, the students should choose the theme box (see Image 13).  Once this box is selected, a theme menu will appear (see Image 14).  Students can scroll through and pick their favorite theme, then click the blue “Ok” button and the theme will be applied (see Image 15).

Label New Learning

5 minutes

At this point, students know how to change the text and backgrounds of their presentations, and just as yesterday, the kids are really itching at this point to get started!  I tell the students: “Alright third graders! I think you’re ready to add some design to your presentation!  We’re going to go down to the computer lab and get started!”  The students grab their notes from their research yesterday and we head down to the lab!

Demonstrate Skills

10 minutes

Once students are in the lab, I allow the students to log in and get started.  I walk around and provide assistance for any students that may need it, but I’m actually again surprised how well my students do!  They are in Google Drive before I know it and are already experimenting with colors and design!  I think this is a time that the students just love-getting to make their presentation truly their own!  And again, this time is actually a great learning experience too, because students get to just get in and play around to see what works and what doesn’t!  This is such a valuable time for students to explore and expand their technology skills!  I just remind students to think about what would look nice and still be something their teacher (with her glasses!) could read!

As yesterday, some students finish earlier than others, so I always have an additional task that students can do, including visiting our classroom website, checking out one of our virtual field trips, etc.  Be sure to plan for your early finishers!


5 minutes

At the end of our lab time, I ask the students to log out.  Before we do though, I remind the students that all their work is automatically saved and will be found tomorrow again under “My Drive”. Then, once students are all logged out, we push in our chairs and head back to our classroom.  I ask the students to again store their notes in their writing folders for use again tomorrow, because tomorrow we will work on learning how to use some other advanced features of Google Presentation!