Peer Presentations: Students Teaching Students
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a third grade classroom during their project presentations. The students in the class had a month to research and prepare a presentation on the topic of their choice. It was fun to see the level of excitement in many of the presenters, who were teaching their peers about something they found truly interesting. Their excitement was contagious, and the peer-to-peer questions were flying. The teacher was sitting back, enjoying the learning that was taking place in her classroom.
One project on the Statue of Liberty got me thinking about this week’s theme of national monuments on the Gateway. A study of our nation’s history often includes learning about the monuments that reflect important moments in the past. Some of these monuments might be close enough for a class visit, but for most classes, national monuments are experienced only through the pictures and words of textbooks. This week on the Gateway, we are presenting creative ways to help teachers introduce national monuments to their students. In this column, I will be discussing ideas to expand on these resources to make students a bigger part of the learning process.
What if each student (or group of students) was in charge of creating a virtual field trip to a specific monument or an interactive museum exhibit about it? Instead of a typical report or presentation assignment, students would have the job of bringing each national monument to life with a fun, interactive experience for their classmates. Students could get as technical or traditional as they want, creating an online experience or a physical model for their peers to explore.
Joann and I share ideas and suggestions in our posts every week, but this week I want to share a concrete example of the type of work students can offer their classmates. By teaching one another, students can learn even more. Although I don’t have a specific example of a national monuments project from one of the students I observed, I do want to share an example of a tehnical project that might spark some ideas for other fun virtual field trip presentations your students might create.
A third grade student created the following example after some guidance and instruction in the technologies she used. Her assignment was to create a virtual museum exhibit about any animal. She chose a Brontosaurus (A.K.A. Apatasaurus) and created a glog on GlogsterEDU. To access this glog, please either use your phone or tablet to scan the QR code below or click here.
When this student presented her project to the class, her friends enjoyed an interactive experience with a dinosaur, something that would definitely not have been possible with a field trip! Besides learning information about the particular dinosaur she was studying, this student learned how to create an online poster and how to create and decode QR codes.
If you search on the Glogster site, you will be able to find quite a variety of national monuments glogs that are more in line with our topic this week. People of all ages and backgrounds have created these glogs, and exploring them might give you a better idea of the kinds of presentations your students can create.
The sky is the limit when you give students the freedom to be creative and to teach one another! Good luck, and have a great week.