This was the funniest lesson I've ever done.
I'm not sure that qualifies me for Teacher of the Year status or anything, but today I had an entire class of students engaged, participating, speaking, and begging to be in on the fun. It didn't take long to set up, it practiced a ton of skills, and my room was raucous with mirth.
I didn't come up with Slideshow Karaoke, I'm not sure it has a direct parent. I learned about it this summer from Darren Massa. I filed it away in whatever part of my brain is now full time dedicated to remembering possible lesson ideas, to be accessed as needed. As organized as my external filing system is, my internal one probably has that next to the names of everyone who ever played in Metallica and next to the plot of all the Star Trek movies* College** is in there somewhere too, Mom.
Here's the basic drill (how I did it, you change it, it's your world)- I broke my kids up into eight groups. Why eight? Because I have six Chromebooks and two MacBooks. I told each group to create a five-to-six slide slide deck, plus a title slide. Don't put your name on it. Your slide deck needs to follow one topic. Each slide needs to have an image and a short piece of text on it. That's all. Every deck goes into a shared Drive folder. Not much time was given to create these decks. They don't need to be detailed.
Then I call groups up and randomly choose a deck from the folder. Not the one they choose. The group must present the slide deck as through it were their own presentation. Do your best to fill in the blanks in your knowledge of the topic. Improvise. Think on your feet, stay calm, and do your best. I'm not expecting accuracy, I'm expecting creativity and effort.
Dear readers- my kids are hilarious. Hi-lar-i-ous. Some of my quietest kids came out of their shells and Back to the Future. Turns out none of them had seen Back to the Future. Try to imagine how confusing the plot of that series is if all you know about it is some pictures in a slideshow. They totally faked their way through it, getting a bunch quote unquote wrong about the movie but completely right in the context of what they were given.
made up the best stuff. I had a group who had to present about
We learned about slideshows, we learned about public speaking, we learned about improvisation, we learned about making clean, understandable slides, we learned how funny and quick some of our friends are, and we had a great time. Everyone. The shy ones, the one's who would be terrified of speaking in public, got to be supported by their peers. It didn't kill anyone, no one cried or stressed out. The class made it a safe place because everyone was in the same boat- totally unprepared.
There are other forms of Slideshow Karaoke I've heard of. One is create a completely random deck. Random image, random text unrelated to image. Put five of those together. Then give the speaking group a random topic. "You have to talk about why the character in this books is a hero." The speaking groups need to take these random slides and try to fit them into the narrative they have been given. I think this is what I'll do next.
The other is take all the presentations currently in your Drive, choose a slide from each and create a new deck. Give the speaking group an unrelated topic and make them relate it. Same idea, but making use of slides that have a specific purpose adds another level to it.
I'm so amused by the decks my kids created that I'm even linking to them right here. Use them in your class or use them as a jumping off point. This has so many possibilities.
*except Into Darkness, suck it JJ and Orci.
**all the WWE I watched in...