This was a great book to use because it tied into our Social Studies unit. The pictures and informational text features provide lots of information and gave the kids lots of good ideas to put into a Prezi.
Prezi is REALLY easy and super fun to use, but spend some time playing with it before the lesson and see how it focuses on the different bubbles as a presentation. Here are 2 examples (they're only screenshots - they don't move around like real prezis) that I created about Abraham Lincoln and a 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 - the iPad version is MUCH easier for the kids and has limited options, so I recommend using those, either as a group or individually.
In this lesson, the kids have had some practice creating prezis. Take a look at the last lesson, Prezi'nt the Ideas As You Imagine the Concepts, where they learned how to do this. On the iPads, they are familiar with how to create the Prezis, but still need support organizing. Ultimately, my goal was 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.
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
Introduce the task
As students organize their ideas, they are seeing connections between the concepts in the text. They first have to consider how to organize the ideas (choose a prezi), then they have to find the main idea and identify the details. This examination of connections between ideas in a text and the ability to decribe those connections (RI.2.3) encourages them to delve deeper in the text and examine ideas.
Reflect on your work
My goal in this discussion about using the prezis or visual organization with other subjects is really to spark a discussion about visually organizing information. The crux of the Common Core is that students interact with the text to better comprehend and this particular standard asks them to connect and organize concepts. Although students at this age are not independent with this skill, it's a great time to start applying it in a variety of ways with a variety of media (electronic and pen/paper). Reflecting on how this visual organization helps them (though discussion or pre/post tests) helps them to see the importance of 'close reading' - reading, thinking, going back to the text to read and verify again, and applying background knowledge to create a way to better understand the text.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges may need help spelling words and choosing/remembering details about the topic. You may want to sit with them to create the Prezi while the other students work independently.
Students with higher language may be able to add details that they know about the branches. That would be extra information that they could share.