Sunday, March 9, 2014

Biography Presentations!

Going back in time about a month to recap some of our latest highlights!

We have been learning about Famous Americans and their accomplishments this nine weeks. After learning about Benjamin Franklin, Amelia Earhart, Robert Fulton (he invented the steamboat!) and Helen Keller, each student chose a Famous American to research. They would need to create a timeline of their life and give a 3-5 minute oral presentation. Oh, and the best part? They would get to dress up like their American! I was blown away by their "costumes" this year!

Here is our letter home to parents that we sent after we explained the project to the kids.

The kids were so excited to get started. Most of the work was done in class. They brought in 8-10 events from their research to make their timeline. We gave them 3 options: poster, Prezi, or Kidspiration. Since our classroom set of computers and Macs were limited, I was worried they would all choose one of the technology options. But it all worked out. We had every computer and iPad in use but there was a good size group who chose to make a poster.

 Working hard...

It took the kids four 90 minute class periods to complete their research and timelines. They each had a timeline rubric to refer to that I explained on our first day. 

When they were finished, they had a checklist to complete to ensure they had all the requirements!

Here are a few of the Poster Timelines!

I wish I could show the kids' Prezis, which is like a glorified PowerPoint, but actually way cooler, but they created and saved them with their own account. I plan to add them to their portfolios on Google Drive.

After timelines were complete, the kids prepared their oral presentation. I let them use notecards  to prepare their speech, which they thought was pretty cool. I didn't want them to have to memorize their speech but I didn't want them to read it straight from the cards either. This took some practice. We asked the parents to help with this part at home. :)

By the 4th day, most of my class were wrapping up their oral presentations. Some had even timed themselves on the iPad to make sure they met the time limit. I decided to pair them up to present to each other and give feedback, and we called it a "Peer Review." They loved this!

Here is one of their Peer Review sheets. :)

On the day of presentations I welcomed some Famous Americans in my classroom! There were 12 that presented the first day. :)

Aren't they amazing??

A few close ups...

 Milton Hershey

George Washington

Amelia Earhart

Robert E. Lee


Molly Pitcher

Albert Einstein!

I was super impressed with the kids' presentations! They are uploaded to each child's personal portfolio so their parents can view them anytime. 

For Open House, which I will share about in a separate post, we created an "aura" using the app, Aurasma. Parents were able to hover their iPad or smartphone over their child's picture which links directly to their presentation video. Super cool. Gotta love technology!!

Overall, it was a great project for the kids. They really learned so much about their Famous American and being able to share that knowledge at this age is so important.


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