"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, May 9, 2014

Which mammal eats the most field greens?

The third graders have been learning about mammals. I am always looking for ways to broaden opportunities to express new knowledge and such an opportunity arose last week. In a quickly planned lesson, each student wrote a riddle about his or her mammal and then created a Google Presentation.  The first slide of the presentation has the riddle and the second slide has an image of the mammal and the answer (i.e., the mammal's name). The classroom teacher will combine all the slides into one slide show, which will be shown to the parents at the Mammal Morning.  This slide show will also be shared with their 1st grade learning buddies. I plan to house it on my Webpage, so that all the students at the school can view it and learn about the mammals.

This project provided me with the opportunity to work with the students using Encyclopedia Britannica's ImageQuest, a database of about three million images on varying subjects. This project also allowed me to embed some important skills and strategies around presentations - font choice, theme, color, etc.  

To complete the mammal presentations, the students:

-->Opened up their Google Apps account

-->Created a folder

-->Shared the folder with the teacher

-->Created a presentation within the folder

-->Chose the theme of the presentation

-->Typed in their riddle

-->Opened a new tab on the browser

-->Logged into ImageQuest

-->Searched for their mammal

-->Selected an image

-->Downloaded the image

-->Uploaded the image to their Google Apps account

-->Inserted the image into the second slide

-->Cited their source in the notes (the teacher will include all of them in a final slide)

-->Previewed their work

-->Made changes (if necessary) to the slide show

This was a lot of steps for third graders, but I always have high expectations and faith in their abilities, and sure enough, each child found success. The process also required the additional step of uploading because of a quirk in our Google Apps.

One of the reasons for the success rate is having students who are comfortable with the technology and take to steps quickly. It makes projects like this easier because those students take on the role of resident experts. It is also gratifying to see students who might not excel in other areas become the leaders in the technology realm. I am excited to build on their knowledge in the next project!


  1. First of all let me say that the star nosed mole is really gross! I love this idea though! Simple yet filled with learning! There is so much I need to learn about Google! Thanks for sharing this!