PowerPoint is one of my favorite multimedia options for my 4th grade classroom, and I use it for research projects.
Day One: I teach my students how to:
· Insert extra textboxes (they often delete them prematurely)
· Select a textbox or object
· Change font style, size, and color
· Insert clipart
· Insert word art
· Change slide transition
· Insert animations in PowerPoint
Day Two: I teach students about using the Internet, PowerPoint, and Word together.
1. I direct the students to open Google Images and ask them to type in the word "tiger." This word is not as effective for my point as it used to be, but it still proves my point. It used to bring up a picture of Tiger Woods, a tiger shark, a ship, and a picture of an actual tiger all on the first page. Pictures of all kinds of random things come up in the progression (CAUTION: One of the higher numbers does have pictures of an escort service. I try not to let them get that far!). My point is: Just because you type in a word does not mean that all the pictures will be of the word you typed in. Be careful. Go to the website that the picture comes from and read to make sure that your picture matches what you are want to find.
2. I teach them how to switch between windows (several of my 4th graders even though I am in a high socioeconomic school have absolutely no idea how to do this!) We learn that if we can't see PowerPoint anymore, we can just click on it at the bottom of the computer screen (and vice versa for the Internet).
3. I teach them how to copy and paste so they can add pictures to their presentation. We practice several times.
4. I teach them how to open a Word document that has a list of websites that are 4th grade friendly for research. We practice switching between the Word document and other windows, too. Then, we practice holding down the CNTRL button while clicking a website to open it.
Day 3-6: I let them "play" to learn. I usually give them about three days to research and to make a presentation slide that reflects their research and creativity. They get extra points for their team for extra photos and interesting facts (The team with the most points wins a prize which is usually a snack that they end up sharing with everyone else anyway.).
Day 7: I copy and paste all of their slides into one presentation, and we enjoy them together.