Common Core Standards: ELA
- The Standard
- Sample Assignments
5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Between the Internet, television, and advertising of all kinds, we’ve become an increasingly visual culture. Since we get so much of our information from looking at various displays, it makes sense to throw visual and multi-media displays into presentations. Not only do these give most of our audience the information they need in a way they’re used to getting it, but they also help those who are “visual learners,” or who absorb information best when they see it instead of merely hearing someone talk about it.
Sample Questions for Use in Class
1. How Many Ways to Say It?
Have students read the passages below on various learning styles, and discuss the questions in a small group; then, have each group present its answers to the class as a whole. Students should be encouraged to use alternative ways to present the information that include each type of learning.
Visual learners primarily learn by looking or watching. Reading, viewing images, or watching someone do a task are all ways of learning that appeal to visual learners.
What are some examples of things you can use in a speech that will help visual learners follow your point?
(Possible Answers: graphs, charts, images, PowerPoint slides, writing notes on the board.)
Auditory learners primarily learn by hearing and listening. Lectures, music, and reading aloud are ways of learning that appeal to auditory learners.
What are some examples of things you can use in a speech that will help auditory learners follow your point?
(Possible Answers: speaking out loud, playing music, question and answer sessions with the audience, reading important information or having someone in the group read it.)
Kinesthetic learners primarily learn through movement or “doing things.” Hands-on projects, writing, and games that require participants to move around are all ways of learning that appeal to kinesthetic learners.
What are some examples of things you can use in a speech that will help kinesthetic learners follow your point?
(Possible Answers: games, encouraging the audience to write down notes, having the audience participate in a project by touching sample products or building something while you give instructions.)
2. Matching For Fun and Profit
Match each of the following types of presentation aids with the learning style they appeal to. Some questions will have more than one answer.
1. Writing on the blackboard (a; b, if you read aloud what you're writing; c, if you ask a student to do it or ask students to write it down themselves.)
2. PowerPoint or photographic slides (a; b, if you read or speak while you show the slides)
3. Passing around a sample (a; b, if you explain what it is; c)
4. Having the audience get up and move around to practice an activity (all of the above, if done correctly)
Unless you’re a bit of a geek, it’s likely that your students will know more about digital media in all its myriad formats than you do. Get them thinking about creative ways to enhance their presentations and learn something about what’s out there by using the following activity:
Split students into small groups and give each group a topic. You can have students draw these from a hat, or assign them at random. The topic itself can be nearly anything, since the point is to get students to think about the media available to present it. (You can, of course, use in-class topics that the students should be thinking about anyway.)
Have each group brainstorm five to ten different types of media they could use to present the topic to the class. These might include video clips, PowerPoint slides, photographs, animations, audio recordings of music or sound, computer-generated graphs or charts, interactive media like Web sites or video games, and so on. Then, have each group tell the rest of the class which media it chose for its topic and why. Let the rest of the class discuss the pros and cons of each choice. For instance, a group making a presentation on the Civil War may choose to use photographs, which are readily available, but may also say it wants to use videos from the war itself, which isn’t possible because no video footage of the Civil War exists. (Videos of reenactments, however, are available and may be helpful.)
1. What is this a map of? Who made it? How can you tell?
(Possible Answers: This National Weather Service map shows the number of severe thunderstorm warnings in the continental United States by coloring each county depending on how many severe thunderstorm warnings it had during the year.)
2. Which U.S. counties had the most severe thunderstorm warnings this year? Which had the least? How many did our county have?
(Possible Answers: The maximum, according to the map, was in Osage County, Oklahoma, which had 23 severe thunderstorm warnings in one year. Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas also had a high number of severe thunderstorm warnings. Several counties in the western U.S. had no severe thunderstorm warnings at all. The answer to the last question will depend on where you live.)
3. Say you have to give a presentation and you have to use this map in your presentation. What possible topics could your presentation be on so you could use this map to explain those topics to your audience?
(Possible Answers: Will vary. Many will have to do with weather, but other likely candidates include presentations on places not to live in if you’re scared of thunderstorms, places where your homeowner’s insurance is likely to be more expensive, or places in which you are most likely to be able to catch a tornado to Oz.)
Quiz 1 QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
Quiz 2 QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
For Questions 1-10, assume that you have been assigned to give a presentation on the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who died in 1961.