'Prezi'nt the Ideas As You Imagine the Concepts

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SWBAT describe the connection between events in a procedural text and present their ideas using a digital tool.

Big Idea

Use Prezi to create a graphic organizer!.



I like this book because it's written by a classic author and the story is simple. The description of the steps to making clothing makes it easy to create a Prezi describing the steps.

Prezi (www.prezi.com) is REALLY easy and super fun to use on the iPad, but spend some time playing with it before the lesson and see how it 'plays' or focuses on the different bubbles as a presentation.  Here's an example (it's only a screenshot - it won't move around like a real prezi) that I created about a Abraham Lincoln book that we were reading in about 5 minutes. Creating the presentations works a little different on a laptop than an iPad, so familiarize yourself with the technology that you'll be using. In this lesson, you'll be demonstrating and working with kids to create a group prezi. Creating a Prezi requires an understanding of the topic and how its organized, as well as the ability to move around and create new detail boxes. My goal in this lesson is to help them understand the ideas can be organized and presented in a unique way.

** "Imaging" is the term that my district uses for "visualizing". In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Common starting point

  • "We have used the imaging strategy a lot with literature. It helps us to be 'active readers' and predict and connect to the text."
  • "Today we are using the imaging/visualizing strategy with informational text. This strategy helps us organize information and connect ideas, which will be REALLY helpful in 3rd and 4th grade." Refer to the poster and how visualizing/imaging helps us.
  • "We'll be finding main ideas and details in our text today."

Discussion and Examples

20 minutes


  • "This author, Tomie DePaola, is famous for writing and illustrating great stories. In this book, he tells how to make a 'cloak'.  Who knows what a cloak is?" 
  •  "Today, we'll organize the steps that he goes through to make the cloak using an app called 'prezi'.  Let me show you some examples of a Prezi."
  • These are screen shots of the Prezis to show. Later in the lesson, there are links to my students' Prezis that do move.  Here's our discussion about the apple tree sample the discussion of the Abraham Lincoln sample. 


Discuss the organization

  • "Let's work together to create some great images. When we use imaging with informational text, we need to understand the whole process before we create an image.  I'll read the whole book - listen for the steps of the process."
  • Read the book and quickly review the steps to making a cloak described in the book.
  • "Let's think about what template we want to use to explain the process - to create an image of how to make a cloak. There are several ways that we could organize the ideas.  We could make one long organizer with all of the steps, but that might not be that helpful."
  • "Let's look back and review the steps - count how many parts of the organizer that you'll need. Let's go through the steps: shear the sheep, wash the wool, card, spin, dye, put it on a loom, weave it into cloth, cut it into pieces, pin the pieces, and sew the pieces."
  • "Are there ways that we could identify the main ideas and then pick out some details?"  Take ideas.  Let's group them into concepts so we can use the prezi to make idea bubbles.
    • get the wool
    • prepare the wool
    • weave the wool
    • make the cloak


This discussion about organizing ideas is really the crux of the lesson. Identifying main ideas and details and then being able to describe the connection between these concepts (RI.2.3) helps students organize texts in their mind. The ability to create an image in their heads as they read helps them to bring meaning and order to the concepts and be 'close readers' as they interact with the text.

Creating the Prezi

20 minutes

Creating the Prezi

  • "Before I pass out the iPads, let's take a minute to review the iPad Rules that we have for class."
  • "To make our Prezi today, we'll use this organizer and the main idea with details. We'll be adding pictures that you can take with the iPads using the book."  Here's what it looked like when my kids were taking screenshots. Your kids could take pictures of the screen if you're showing this to the class.
  • "Now that we have the title, add your first main idea.  Type in the main idea, add any details if you want and then take a picture with the iPad." This is how my kids did with adding the first main idea.
  • "When you're done with the first idea, continue with the other ideas." This is how it looked when my kids were kids typing main ideas.
  • "Remember to look back in the text for ideas." Here's how I explained about looking back in the text for ideas. My kids had questions about using resources for spelling and vocabulary. They should be going back to the words and illustrations to check this information.
  • Some of my kids wanted to use 2 pictures. They figured out who to changed to a new template so they could choose 2 pictures for the main idea. Another student wanted to add another idea bubble (frame) so here's how she added a frame to the organizer.


Making these Prezis allows the students to produce and publish their writing (W.2.6). This is a great way to get away from the pencil and paper and into some digital tools that the Common Core suggests. Our kids are naturally 'techy' and anything that I introduce that involves an iPad or computer peaks their interest. Challenging them to organize their thoughts and write out descriptions gives them practice with writing and digital tools.

Organize and Connect Your Ideas

15 minutes

Share your ideas

  • This is the link to my students' prezis and other link to another prezi. You can see how the Prezi moves.
  • "So let's reflect a moment - 
    • Did you like this app?
    • Did it help you to image/visualize the main ideas and details?
    • Could you use this for other topics? Social Studies? Science? "
  • "You did such a GREAT job today. Who would like to show your prezi to the class?"
  • Here are 2 examples of my students sharing their prezi:


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

Students with academic challenges may need to have words/ideas written on the whiteboard for grammar and spelling help. They could work with a partner to create the prezi as well.

Students with higher language should be able to go beyond the simple wording that you may suggest (cut, pin) to higher level vocabulary (prepare the material, sew the seam).  Challenge them to add their own words to be more descriptive.