In the age of technology, schools need to ensure that students become fluent in computer skills. Google, the company of choice for most school districts, continues to provide educators and students with tools that allow for collaboration and quality design work.
Google Slides, an application used in many classrooms, is a great platform to create engaging student presentations and projects thanks to its versatility and design features. Below, teachers, administrators, and parents can find 10 project ideas that incorporate the use of Google Slides in the elementary school classrooms.
1. Describe a Mystery Item: Using Adjectives and Your Five Senses
Students can learn the basics of Google slides with this simple, yet fun project. Students by describe a mystery item and the class solves the mystery at the end of the presentation. The presentations are organized as:
Slide 1: Title page “Mystery Item” and student name
Slide 2: “What It Looks Like” – students describe the color, shape, and size of the object
Slide 3: “What It Sounds Like” – student describe the noise the object makes
Slide 4: “What It Tastes Like” – students describe how the object tastes
Slide 5: ‘What It Feels Like” – student describes how the item feels
Slide 6: “The Big Reveal” – can you guess the mystery item?
Slide 7: A picture of the item
This project co-aligns with objectives that prompt students to describe using their five senses. It can also be used as a brainstorming activity for writing a descriptive paragraph. Since the project highlights the use of adjectives and strong vocabulary words, it can showcase why it’s important to use precise language when writing.
2. Reach Students with Autism: Script Fading
Google slides can be used to help students with autism communicate with their peers. With the help of a speech teacher and a BCBA, a Google slide presentation was created that helped a student in our class communicate with others during morning meeting.
The first page was the list of topics that could be talked about with the student. The remaining pages answered those questions. The student filled out the prompt questions during speech so the answers were her own, and then read the slide presentation during morning meeting since she was not able to generate ideas on the spot.
The student was then prompted by Google Slides to ask a friend in the class a question. Since each page linked to the home page (represented by the home-base symbol) and a question mark (which brought the student to the question prompt slide), the student started to learn how to use the program herself after some training.
An example of a presentation is here: Script Fading Using Google Docs
A communication system that incorporates Google slides can be easily generalized to other settings since it can be accessed on a Chromebook, iPad, and iPhone.
3. Create an E-Book/E-Story
E-books are becoming increasingly popular due to the ease of being able to read a book on any tablet. This is especially for this generation of learners; more of their textbooks and schoolwork are being transitioned to an online format each year.
Students can use Google slides to write their own e-book by typing a short story and adding pictures they make or find via research. The best part is that Google Slides allows students to collaborate, allowing small groups to work on a story, script, or other writing project together. Since collaboration can take place outside of school, students are not limited to group time given in class to complete an assignment.
4. Create A Review Game
After teaching a unit, students or teachers can create a review game and share with the class. Jeopardy, a popular game among many students, is a great format to help keep students engaged in the studying process.
Templates of the game can be found pre-made online at Jeopardy Labs, making it easy for teachers and students to find in the correct information for the review.
5. Build a Business
Students can create their own business and apply their understanding of profit, producers, consumers, natural resources, and money. When teaching economics in social studies, this Google Slides presentation allows students to apply the knowledge of major vocabulary words and concepts into a virtual business plan.
Since many businesses need to pitch their ideas to a marketing team, this project gives students a real-life experience with communicating an idea or project. A rubric for grading, which outlines the major components of the project, is shared here.
6. Share Pre-Activity Station Reminders
Teachers can have students preview information regarding a classroom activity or lesson by posting Google Slides in Google classroom. Students can then individually review a presentation at their seats. For example, before placing my students into a center for a review, I had them preview the expectations of each group member role so I did not need to explain the specificity of each while explaining the activity.
This feature allowed me to chunk the lesson into manageable parts, and individualize instruction. An example of the presentation that outlined group member roles is shared here: Secret Agents of America
7. Introduce Yourself: All About Me
Many students are given the opportunity to share information about themselves with the class at the beginning of the year or when awarded student of the week. Many times, students typically make posters and give an oral presentation.
Now, they can enhance their “all about me” projects with the use of Google Slides, embedding videos and pictures into the presentation. Students can record and insert short clips of family members and pets. Students can also include multiple pictures and use transitions to feature certain elements.
8. Assign Student Presentations: Be The Expert
Students can extend learning about a topic to outside of the classroom, and share their research with classmates, through a Google Slides presentation. Students will use the skills of organizing, citing evidence, and presenting their findings to the class. Google Slides offers a question and answer app, as well, allowing students to ask questions in real-time. Students love the opportunity to share their knowledge with their classmates and see answers in real time. Check out this funny example: https://youtu.be/bt9F7tKcZcU.
9. Assess With Google Slides
Finding and using appropriate assessments that drive instruction has been an educational focus for the last few years. Now, students can create assessments that review key vocabulary words and topic content on Google Slides.
Students can design their presentation so that students can review the information they answered wrong on a slide by linking to the correct information later in the presentation. Students can also receive reinforcement for their correct answers. By linking future slides to the answer choices, the Google slides assessment engages students with a deeper level of understanding.
Long gone are the days where students take assessments, and then wait a week to see what they got correct or incorrect.
10. Use Jigsaw Method: Whole Group Experiments
Many teachers like to use the jigsaw method when teaching new material to a class of students. During a jigsaw, each group is responsible for becoming the experts on one topic and then teaching the class their specific section. A jigsaw approach provides students with the opportunity to teach and listen, rather than depending on one person, the teacher, for all the information.
Since Google slides permits multiple users to be active within the same project at once, allow your class to create one PowerPoint together, with each group responsible for making 2 to 3 of the slides. At the end of the project, the class will each have a copy of a comprehensive PowerPoint that links important information that each student collectively worked on.
Teachers can use this as an opportunity for teaching how to give appropriate feedback. For example, students can make editorial comments about format and content issues. The jigsaw, whole group PowerPoint, also helps teach the lesson of teamwork.