where in the world lesson - Boise State University

For Building Bridges with Technology Project
Boise State University, April 2002
Submitted by Jeri Kleppin
Weiser Middle School, Weiser, Idaho
Lesson Number 2
Social Studies: 7-8th grade
Adaptable for other grades, across the curriculum
Curriculum Objectives addressed:
1. Working in small groups of varying interests and/or computer skills
2. Collecting data for presentation
3. Understanding the spatial organizations of peoples, places, and environments.
4. Understanding the human and physical characteristics of places and regions.
Technology Objectives addressed:
1. Using the internet for information and graphics
2. Observing and creating PowerPoint presentations
Activity Description
Students were presented with a challenge to work in a small group to create a 7-slide PowerPoint
presentation about a country of the Eastern Hemisphere, our course of study for the year. This challenge
and the expectations were outlined in a PowerPoint presentation to them along with a student sample of
such a product.
Small groups were assembled based upon a simple Interest Inventory each student completed.
Each group contained divergent personalities, learning styles, interests, and approaches to tasks. Each
group contained an “expert” on PowerPoint. These individuals were trained on this presentation software
by myself and a student skilled in PowerPoint in two 45 minute sessions in the computer lab.
Each group assembled and followed directions for the group project on a teacher-produced
handout. They chose the country they wanted to present, obtained teacher permission, and assigned
individual tasks within the group. These groups reassembled at the beginning of each project day to share
information, cross-reference tasks, and decide where to go from where they were with a deadline in mind.
Monitoring Student Progress
Teacher observation and student group checklists.
Student viewed the original student sample, one created by myself, and others’ work-in-progress at
various times.
Time dedicated to the Project
Teacher time involved included training sessions, class time, and lesson preparation totaling 15 hours.
Five class periods of 45 minutes each were used. These were not successive class periods.
Final product presentation
Student groups set up their presentations on classroom computers. All groups then gathered at individual
monitors to observe their classmates work. As they did this they completed evaluation forms. All
presentations were also shared via the multimedia on a large screen in class.
These presentations will be used by my students, as well as other social studies students at Weiser Middle
School. They will be utilized this year for end-of-the-year review for a final exam. They could be used in
future years as introductions and reviews for individual units of study and/or end of the year study as well.