As part of the work of Thomas Edison last fall, R12 and I10 also made a Power Point presentation. We studied canals in general, but in NY State one of the main topics of study for fourth graders is the Erie Canal. Since that is the canal mentioned in the book about Thomas Edison, we decided to learn more about it. It fit right in with the requirement for NY state history and geography between grades 3-6.
We read a ton of books and thought about taking a field trip which ultimately we decided against. We’ve been over the canal quite a bit so the kids have seen it and know that it parallels I-90 (The NY State Thruway). I was considering a station house in Syracuse. January seemed like not a great time to be on the water! However, I thought it would be fun for the kids to make a Power Point presentation rather than a report or another type of project.
I let the kids make their own and they came up with some fun presentations which they shared with us one evening. How did I “teach” the use of Power Point? I really just facilitated it by showing them the program and how to get started. Knowing how to insert pictures and make text boxes goes a long way. Both of them just fiddled around and figured it out. Check out some of the screen shots from their slide shows.
Watching the presentations allowed us the opportunity to talk about the public domain photos and fair use issues. R12 found all the fun animations and after watching hers, we talked about discerning use of said animations.
This was a fun activity for the kids and I’m looking forward to trying it again this year as part of pulling things together in a unit.by