First Unit Of The Year

Powerful Presentations” is the first unit I teach to all 6th-8th grade students as they will be expected to create presentations at some point during the year in all of their other classes.

Time frame: 9 weeks; 1 quarter

Learning Target: “I will design and create a powerful presentation that effectively communicates information.”
Each grade level worked with a specific presentation tool:

* My planning involves progressing from simple to complex tools.

Presentation Tools

I make sure to model what I expect from my students, so I created my lessons using the designated tech tools:

Google Slides



This Is How I Teach It

Lesson #1: Setting the Stage

I asked that all students download the FREE iBook “Digital Literacy & Citizenship Grades 6-8” developed by Common Sense Media onto their iPads.
DigLit iBook
*You can access all materials for FREE directly from their website. iPads are optional.

Note: I divided the content in the iBook in the following manner…

  • Unit 1= 6th Grade
  • Unit 2= 7th Grade
  • Unit 3= 8th Grade

Once students download the book, they should…

  • Read the “Introduction” and complete “Set-up Submit work” with Teacher name and email.

* I provide them with my email so they can copy and paste it directly into their book.

Lesson #2: Project Overview

I divide students into four groups and assign each group one of the four chapters in the iBook.

Final Product:

  •  Students will create a powerful presentation using (Google Slides, Prezi, PowToon) that effectively communicates information on their assigned topic using knowledge gained from the resources in the iBook (rubric attached below).

Once the students are in their groups, they designate a group leader for the day who will be responsible for…

  • Opening and saving a copy of the assigned chapter Google Doc (links below) in their Design Tech folder
  • Sharing the Google Doc with their group members to collaborate on
  • Setting up the presentation using the designated tool (Google Slides, Prezi, PowToon)

Google Doc Handouts

6th Grade

  1. Digital Life 101
  2. Scams and Schemes
  3. Cyberbullying: Be Upstanding
  4. A Creator’s Rights

7th Grade

  1. My Media
  2. A Creator’s Responsibilities
  3. Safe Online Talk
  4. Which Me Should I Be?

8th Grade

  1. Trillion Dollar Footprint
  2. Identifying High-Quality Sites
  3. Cyberbullying: Crossing the Line
  4. Rework, Reuse, Remix

Single Point Rubric: Powerful Presentations

* I developed a this rubric that was inspired by @cultofpedagogy’s interesting post on Single Point Rubrics

As a group, the students begin reading and following the instructions on their assigned Google Doc.


  1. Read and complete the activities under assigned iBook chapter.
  2. Submit completed chapter to teacher.
  3. Begin developing powerful presentations collaboratively with group.

Lesson #3: Jigsaw Presentation Day

I was inspired by a PD my principal (Michael Boots) held where he applied the Jigsaw Learning Strategy.

  • The JigSaw strategy ensures that all students are familiar with the content they are responsible for
  • Students said they thought it was more fair to present this way

Getting the Room Ready

I set up the conference room in the following manner:

  • 4 color coded tables
  • 1 iPad stand per table (*we purchased them here)
  • 4 markers per table
  • 1 poster chart with essential question on the top placed on each table
    * I used the “Essential Questions” at the top of every Common Sense Media lesson plan.EQ Sample

*This is what the room looked like before the students arrived.

Getting Students Ready to Present

  1. Students came into class and sat with their groups. I gave each student a colored slip of paper.
  2. Students were then re-grouped by color. They were then asked to sit at the table with their color on it.
  3. I uploaded the links of all four presentations onto Edmodo for easy access during presentations.

Edmodo Sample
4.     The first student to present was the one who’s poster chart was on the table
– Students were given 10 minutes to present and help their peers answer the essential question.

 iPad Observation:
     * The presenter had to set up their iPad to record themselves presenting. 
     * Their homework was to watch the video with their presentation and complete a self-evaluation.
     * Since the presenter’s iPad was recording their work, they borrowed a peer’s iPad and accessed their presentation via

5.     Once the timer went off, the presenters took the poster chart to the table on their right.
– The new presenter was the one who’s poster chart was now on the table.
– This sequence repeated itself until all students presented to their peers at the table.

Lesson #4: Evaluations

I hung the poster charts with the students’ responses all around the room and conducted a “Gallery Walk” for students to review content. After the walk, they returned to their mobile devices/computers and completed the following assessments:

  1. Unit Assessment
    a. Common Sense Media provides wonderful online unit assessments.
    6th: Unit 1, 7th: Unit 2, 8th: Unit 3
  2. Self-Evaluation
    a. Students evaluated themselves as presenters and their final group presentation using the rubric linked above

Sample Student Work

6th Grade Google Slides
I had an interesting experience with my 6th grade classes this year.
The concept of Powerful Presentations took a bit longer to grasp and the overall presentations did not meet the technology expectations. There were, however, massive improvements from the first draft to the final draft and I would like to share some of the best slides… Please click on the galleries below to view before and after photos.

* Final draft image retrieved from: Fonds-Decran

* Final draft image retrieved from: SA Business Index 

* Final draft image retrieved from: Credit

7th Grade Prezi

8th Grade PowToon

What About You?

I hope this unit and lesson were helpful.
Please comment and provide your feedback below to share ways you have taught your students about powerful presentations.



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