Common Core Standards: ELA
SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
This standard asks students to use their laptops, tablets, and smartphones for something more than texting and playing Angry Birds. As it turns out, not only are these items great for entertainment and keeping track of the latest gossip, but they’re also great ways to get the audience involved in a speech by encouraging them to do something they already spend several hours a day doing: staring at a screen. (Added bonus: Your students can finally teach you how to run the classroom’s DVD player!)
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Oedipus the King Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Crucible Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Lottery Teacher Pass
- The Odyssey Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Things Fall Apart Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
Sample Activities for Use in Class
1. What Can We Use?
Give students a broad sample topic. They can work on this either in groups or as a class. The topic can be nearly anything, as long as there are several different digital media options available to present information on that topic. (For instance: “How Airplanes Stay Up,” “The Least Interesting U.S. President Ever,” and so on.) Have students brainstorm possible digital media options for displaying information on this topic to an audience of their peers, both in small group interactions and in large lecture-hall-type settings.
Some of the options, like PowerPoint slides or videos, may be obvious. Encourage students to move beyond the obvious, however, by thinking in terms of interactive tools like audience quizzes or by changing “classic” media to a digital format, like electronic documents or e-books. You may also want to have students rank the perceived usefulness of each item, giving their reasons why it is extremely useful, somewhat useful, or not at all useful. If a type of digital media seems “not at all useful,” have students name something that is useful that could replace it.
Figuring out the best way to get a message across isn’t always about amazing graphics and surround sound. In fact, preparing for the audience you’re likely to have goes a lot further than having the latest technology.
For this activity, you may want to make a list yourself or have students make one of their own. The list should contain examples of several groups of people with disabilities or conditions that students would need to adapt a presentation for in order to ensure each person is able to understand the material and participate. For instance, you may include individuals who are visually or hearing impaired, have dyslexia or other learning disabilities, or have physical conditions that make it difficult for them to sit in a lecture hall or similar location long enough to hear a speech. Since some individuals have multiple disabilities, you may want to give some of the people on the list multiple conditions as well.
In groups or as a class, have students go through the list one example at a time and think of ways to adapt a simple speech - say, for a student body president campaign - so that each person on the list can understand the speech and participate in a question and answer or similar feedback session afterwards. For an added challenge, have students create a plan for a presentation that accommodates everyone on the list.