Creating a “Policy Presentation” from Your Written Essay

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SWBAT create a presentation in order to recommend "policy" changes for enacting solutions to the causes of a societal issue or problem.

Big Idea

... adeptness, while speaking in front of a crowd, is an important "life skill" ...

Introduction and Context

12 minutes

This lesson  is, as I mention in the video, the culmination of the actual course (at the semester), and, as such, I can consider it as a portion of the "final exam" (along with the "Self-Reflection" discussed here in a different lesson).  The concept shaping this assessment is what I have dubbed a "Policy Presentation," and the audience, as I mention to students, is an informed public (namely your fellow, future-voting high school students!).

I ask students to envision giving this presentation at a local gathering of concerned citizens, and in this presentation they should outline the social problem (the effect), identify WHY it exists (the causes), and offer some solutions so that the members of the audience might "take action" to solve this particular problem.

When I explain the content of this presentation as it DIFFERS from the essay they just completed, I emphasize the inclusion of "solutions" to their work, scholarship, and thinking.  In short, the presentation is the actual conclusion to the C & E researched essay -- that is the presentation presents the "so what now" portion of a cogent conclusion to any vexing social issue.  It is important to emphasize that the research cycle is incomplete without this "call to action" (that is assuming students have selected a REAL social problem with identifiable causes that CAN BE eradicated).

On the first day of class work for the Policy Presentation, I deliberately narrate the attached Slides deck, pointing out the various required features.  Once they are ready to get started, I ask them to open a new Google Slides Presentation and begin work ...

Supported Work Time

90 minutes

As an additional strategy, I make the example Slides deck available as an open Google Doc, and I invite students to simply "make a copy" in their own Google Drive, alter the file name accordingly, and simply use my example copy as a "template."  Generally speaking, the class is divided about 50/50 as to the use of this "poor-man's template" -- some simply prefer to go at it "free-hand."

On my course Slides show for day-to-day activities, I provide the following outline, which students simply load in a fresh tab for reference as they work (free-hand or otherwise):

presentations include:

  • a title slide
  • an introduction
  • a thesis slide
  • a slide of key evidence
  • a slide (two-columns) for identifying the EFFECT and the CAUSES
  • solution slide(s)
  • a conclusion


On this first day of work, I expect students to set-up their deck, title the file correctly (for future sharing with me), pick an appropriate theme and color scheme, and create at least the "thesis" and "evidence" slides.

Because they have already (and just recently) finished the C&E essay, they have a great deal of content at hand.  I recommend that they simply cut-n-paste from their recently submitted essay for many of the required slides.  I DO NOT require that they use citations in this deck, as they have cited in the paper already.  (I mention that, if during the course of presenting, I have a question or issue with content, I will "call them out.")

Generally speaking, I plan for a total of three class periods (at 45 min. per) for completing the deck before presentations to the class.  (I have labeled this lesson section at 90 min. to reflect two full 45 min. class periods, but, clearly, you should adapt the timeframe to your needs ... I speak to this in my "reflection" for this lesson.)

Finally, I have added a .pdf copy of the rubric I use for evaluating the final presentations as they unfold.  Students are familiar with this rubric as it is the same one I used for the presentations of their Editorial Flyers.