Lesson: Recommendation Slideshow

Author: Marc Sheehan

Subjects: Writing, English, Technology

Instructional Level: Middle School

Skills: Writing, Research, Technology, Speaking Skills

Time: 2 Weeks -- 1 class period for Introduction, 1 for research, 1 for production, 1-2 for presentations

Materials/Needs: Computer, Internet access, Slideshow program (Google Slides or Power Point), Digital projector, journals for notes, writing utensils

Objectives: The student will be able to use technology to produce an electronic slideshow.
The student will be able to write coherently using grade-level conventions.
The student will be able to exhibit his/her material in an oral presentation according to grade-level expectations.

Introduction: I used this lesson with the Seventh Grade class at St. Philomena Catholic School (Des Moines, WA) during a long-term susbstitute assignment in 2016. The idea was presented a week or so before the project was launched in order to get the students thinking of possible topics. I created a slideshow using Google Slides to give the students the requirements for the project. The students were shown a pair of example projects that I produced to show them what their respective slideshows could look like.

Procedure: The assignment: Create a slideshow recommending you classmates consider visiting or purchasing a product, restaurant, movie or movie franchise, book or book series, television series, album, song, musical group, video game or video game series. The slideshow will be produced using Google Slides (you could also use Power Point) and will consist of at least four slides and two images. You will present your completed project to the class.
Title Slide -- What are you recommending, an image of the subject, your name
Summary Slide -- Briefly describe the subject you are recommending in general terms. You should avoid "spoilers." Your goal is to pique your classmates' interest in considering this product or work. You will use grade-level writing, with a minimum of three sentences.
Target Audience -- You will mention who the subject is intended for: Are there content restrcitions? Are there cost considerations? Are there any issues with locating what you're recommending? Who will enjoy it? Students were not allowed to recommend any movie above a PG-13 rating, any television show above a TV-14 rating, any video game above a Teen rating, or any subject with content not appropriate for teenagers. All information will be presented using grade-level sentences.
Three Reasons You're Recommending This Subject -- You will tell your audience why you favor this subject and why they will as well. You can use a list or a short paragraph to present your reasons, but either way, you will use grade-level writing.
You will have time in class to work on the assignment, but you will also need to use time outside of class to finish the project. You will share your slideshow with your teacher for approval and editing. You will have two weeks to complete this assignment.

Closure/Modifications: The completed projects will be presented in a class period or two. Presentations should be 3-5 minutes at most. Modifications could include reducing the writing requirements, scribing student work for them, using a dictation program, offering the opportunity for editing by the teacher before the assignment's due date, or grading the student only on the slideshow and not the oral presentation component.

Assessment: The slideshows are graded for:
Completeness -- Are all requirements met? Did the student have an introduction, description of the target audience, and at least 3 reasons to recommend their subject?
Writing Conventions -- Is the writing at grade level?
Graphics -- Can the slides be read easily by presenter, audience and instructor?
Content -- Is the subject approproiate for the audience?
Presentation Skills -- Did the student present the material according to grade-level expectations (e.g. Poise, Voice)?
I would suggest using a rubric for the assessment process.

Return to the Lesson Plans Page