Steven H. Curl
Physical Science/8th

Links to Files Associated with This Lesson

  1. Light.ppt


Content Area Objectives Addressed:

Students researched and organized information according to the physical properties and processes of light.

Students explained the various methods in which light is produced.

Students described the full spectrum of light waves and their practical applications to everyday life.

Students utilized technical writing to describe the concepts, processes and procedures involved in light production. 

Students compared and contrasted how light can be manipulated through refraction, diffraction and reflection.

Students explained how humans and other animals are able to perceive the visible spectrum of light.


Technology Objectives Addressed:

Students created non-liner PowerPoint presentations. 

Students preplanned their presentations by using outlines, idea (concept ) maps, and storyboard.

Students developed the skill of hyperlinking one slide to another.

Students utilized WordArt and ClipArt to enhance multiple pages  of the project.

a. Students recognized and develop the essentials of good screen design, thematic color and consistent font size and type.

b. Simplified screens with just the right amount of information, font, and graphics; not too clattery or distractive. 

Integrated graphics and animation from the Internet into an existing presentation.

Created or copied diagrams to illustrate different aspects of light and how we perceive light. 


Activity Description

Decide if the following would be a process, procedure or a concept:

What was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?

   Students had an introduction to energy waves, including a chapter on sound waves. I then introduced light waves by having students use prisms and natural sunlight.  I used this activity to spark interest and get them thinking about light itself, how it behaves, and how it is produced. The next step was a brainstorming session I conducted with the students concerning the concepts and processes of light.  As the class was brainstorming, I wrote a concept map on the board. I then divided the class into groups and assigned one portion of the concept map to a group. There were four major divisions and assigned one portion of the concept map to a group. There were four major divisions on the concept map. I had one group of two students doing just the title page, main menu and credits page. 


   After assigning group to a particular portion of the concept map I gave an overview of a non-linear presentation. I was able to show an example of a presentation so the students would have a better idea of what they were attempting to create.  

  I then explained that a good presentation, especially a non-linear, had to be organized and display how all terms are related to each other.  I also informed the students most presentations( or even web sites for that matter) should allow the user to arrive to the desired information in three clicks of the mouse.  This set-up a discussion about outlining and how it could be handled. I then allowed groups to outline their portion of the presentation and helped them utilize resources for gathering more information on their topics (textbook and internet).

   The next step was to explain the differences between concepts, processes and procedures.  Also, I explained how to develop a good idea map.  Most maps entail a concept, examples, and then properties shared by the examples.  I then gave students a chance to practice discerning between a concept, process, example, procedures and properties, with several examples.  This step took a little time but really clarified in the students' mind, how a person could find the concepts, properties and processes within any topic.

   The next step was the storyboard.  I gave students the general directions and overview and purpose of the storyboard.  I really stressed what was to be placed on the board font, graphics, and color scheme) and the buttons they were to utilize.  I also explained the importance of numbering pages in the storyboard so that when the linking process began, each slide would be clearly marked and referenced to all other connecting slides.  

    Finally, students were able to create their PowerPoint presentations. 


 How did you monitor student progress?

   Monitoring student progress was not a problem.  The key to making all of the above mention steps a success was deadlines.  I had the outline due on a specific date, the idea map on another, and finally, the storyboard on a third date.  Beyond those items, I was somewhat flexible on the time allotted.  For the remainder of the project, I just monitored how students were using class time and decided if they honestly nakedly more time for what I was asking them to do.  The slowest potion of the project was capturing Internet pictures and graphics.  In some cases, I had to encourage students to illustrate something with another item (a Clip Art or drawing).  

  General monitoring was quite simple.  I would just glance at computer screens and see what progress had been made.  At times, I would "float" from one group to another and ask or answer questions. 


Was there a template or an example that students were expected to follow?

  No template would have been appropriate.  I always stress creativity in my projects and would not want students to be "locked in" to a particular framework.  There were items that had to be consistent since one of the main objectives was to form an all class production.  What I had to do was to make sure the group doing the menu page and title page checked with all the other groups to find items that would help preview (on the menu page) what was going to be seen in the rest of the presentation. 

   An example PowerPoint presentation was available for students to observe if needed.  The example PowerPoint was very structured which helped students visualize what was expected.  Students really did not have a problem with structure because the underlying construct of each group's presentation depended upon their outline and concept map. Since I had students turn those items into me,  I was able to give feedback and direction where needed.  Since students followed the necessary preplanning steps, they were able to easily create their presentations with focus and intensity. 


 How much time did you dedicate to this project?

   The pre-planning stages only took three days.  Groups then had used approximately three days to finish the presentation.  

   As a teacher, it took a little more time to gather everything the students would need.  I spent two Saturday mornings and some evenings gathering and creating handouts, finding web sites and looking for any additional resources - approximately 12 hours of outside class time was necessary.  I I were to do the same project next year the previously mention time would be much less(4 hours).


How was the final product presented?

   The final product was presented using a Smartboard.  I just opened the class's PowerPiont presentation and had them guide me through each potion of the program.  I let each group explain how they developed their portion of the presentation.  

 Who was the audience for the final product?

   The presentations were given in front of the class amongst peers and the teacher.  Most decided to share in the orating of how they constructed their presentations, so each person in the group had a portion to describe.   

Learning Issues

What prior knowledge was required on the part of the students in order for them to be successful in this project?

   Students needed to utilize good research techniques, whether in a textbook or on the Internet.  Some tips were give, (on a handout) and some websites listed to cut down on the amount of wandering.  

  Students knowledge of PowerPoint had been expanded by previous assignments.  Prior to eighth grade, most students had an introductory course to PowerPoint in a another class. Most students were skilled in crating slides, choosing and manipulating fonts, ClipArt, and WordArt tools.  Other skills needed were ones that helped develop an basic chart, (graph) within a program.  Most students utilized (by nature) good screen design through use of a consistent background color, framing and arranging fonts and  graphics on particular pages. 

  Prior curriculum had already been addressed by the introduction of waves, what and how they do what they do.  A whole chapter concentrating on sound had been covered just before moving into this presentation on light waves. 


Resource Management

What was the student to computer ratio?

  The student to computer ration was one student to one computer. 


How did your schedule your students' computers time?

  The computer time was scheduled in the library where more computers were available, three days. Three other days were conducted in the classroom where there was a five student to one computer ratio.  These class sessions did not involve too much computer time (preplanning stages); instead, most work was done on paper. 


What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment used by students?

   The technology equipment I used was primarily in a computer lab. The computer lab is available to classes a few times throughout the day.  I was fortunate to have this resource a available.  The computer lab also had a scanner available for placement of pictures, graphics or data for students to place in their presentations. 

How would yo suggest beginning teachers obtain computer resources for their students?


  Same response as lesson 1.  As a suggestion to other teachers I would recommend a person thoroughly investigate what his or her school has to offer.  I believe many teachers are unaware of what their own buildings possess.  Most of the time, if a teacher takes the initiative to seek-out the technology, they are able to find it and utilize it.  Our school had a bank of eighteen computers in the library available most school days. All one has to do is sign-up for the.  I recently asked our SYSOP if there were any available computers I could have in my room. He suggested I go visit teachers in the building and ask if they are using the computers sitting in their classrooms.  I soon found I had collected four extra computers. Again, it takes some extra time and effort,  but the basic hardware can often be found.  If not in the building, the district itself may have extra computers or other hardware. 

  Much of the software is present in the school building when the teacher arrives.  On the other hand, software can be purchased by following the proper channels, it is necessary to have the program approved on both building and district levels.   


Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other technologies as they needed-high, medium, low.

  The level of access for students to use computers was approximately 1:1(high).  Other technologies  would not rate as high, our school has one digital camera, one Smartboard, one scanner, and fo8ur to five printer (low). 

  The level of supervision was for this assignment was high.  I would say I average between 22 and 26 students.  Those numbers are manageable as long as I am organized, the students are well informed, and the computers are available in the library. If the computer student ratio is higher, I have students add hand written or illustrated portions to an assignment, or they can do research and extra reading.  

  Concerning this lesson in particular, there were days when the groups began to have problems or equipment failure, in those cases, time slipped away very quickly.  I found myself unable to serve all the students as needed and almost required a trouble shooter for the problems and a teacher to help others with academic or computer program operation questions. 


  What hardware wqs required for you project?

  The hardwae required was 22, 486 computers and networked printers.  Smartboard and projector. 

What software was required for your project?  

    The software requried was PowerPoint 97, Netscape, Microsoft WordArt, ClipArt, and Draw. 



Criteria for an Electronic Presentation
PowerPoint Presentation Requirements

What kind of assessment did you use for this project?

  My assessment was an evaluation form which covered all the major aspects of the presentation, see attached copy. 

  What categories did you assess?

  My major categories were content, screen design, technical and creativity. 



How does the product that you submitted compare with other students' products for this same project?

 The approach to this assignment involved a class effort.  All portions of the presentation were distributed as evenly as possible.  In comparing one group of students work to another, I had to consider what things they would have in common.  The result is what was used as an overall assessment form. 

  In reflection, I would summarize the students' work as equally comparable.  Students seemed to grasp the main concepts they were responsible for and displayed them in an appropriate manner(concepts, examples and properties).  Most groups were able to utilize the same computer functions and followed the main format given to them.  

What did you like best about this project?  What did the students like best?


  What I like about the non-linear format is that it is very comparable to a web page.  Students no longer are stuck moving sequentially through all portions of a topic.  In fact, they have the choice to diversify and branch-out to where they can illustrate all aspects of an idea (concept). 

  Another benefit to the non-linear approach is that students had to pick apart a topic, internalize it, then reform the information into a structure that others could follow.  The process of students going through these steps allows them to operator at a higher learning level.  


  Lastly, I was lucky to have found a computer skill most students had not been exposed to - hyperlinking.  After a short lesson on hyperlinking students were very enthused to try it.  Not too many teaching lessons have comments from students like, "coll", and "let's go try it!" These students loved hyperlinking, especially after they found out a person could make almost anything added to a screen a hyperlink.  We had fun!


Rank the level of student involvement in this project.  

  I can safely say that student involvement was high throughout the project.  

Rank the level of student interest in this project.

  Student interest never really seemed to wane as the project went on, so I would rate interest high.  Students really integrated the technology sapect ( learning new computer skills) with the curriculum ( learning about light). 

  Would you teach this lesson again?

  Definitely yes!  I will teach the lesson again in mostly the same manner.  I may change the subject matter or the way in which the information was divided amongst class members.  

  I can foresee adding onto this type of a lesson.  I really want to make a web page utilizing these same methods.  But of course that will require me and the students to start from scratch in a new format ( we have visual Page as a web editor).  I would think I would have to spend more time teaching Visual Page basics and not necessarily having students delving in higher - end learning. 











Criteria for an Electronic Presentation


Major components

Category                          Possible Points                Points

Idea Map                         10                                   ______
Storyboard                       30                                   ______
Goal/content/theme                                                  ______ 
Screen design                                                          ______
Technical                                                                 ______

Total                                                                        ______/100


Minor components 

1. Idea Mapping                                                                          Points 
      - concept/examples/properties organized in a related manner.   _____
      - includes a process and a procedure                                       _____

2. Storyboard 
       - includes pictures/clipart / wordart                                           _____    
       - identified fonts ( size and color), use                                       _____ 
       - described linking, which slide are to be linked together            _____
       - information to be displayed on each screen                             _____

3. Screen design
       - Special effects add interest/detract                                          _____
       - appropriate use and blending of colors, fonts                           _____
       - consistent use of style, continuity amongst slides                       _____
       - screen too empty / too busy                                                     _____

4. Technical 
       - number of slides ( 8-12)                                                          _____
       - links to other slides - operational / flows                                  _____
       - different transition effects                                                         _____
       - use of two outside resources ( internet, scanner, camera, textbook) _____
       - Draw or paint graphic                                                               _____








Decide if the following would be a process, procedure or a concept:

1. Organ systems of the human body

2. Photosynthesis

3. Biome 

4. Driving a car

5. Theme in a story

6. Polygons

7. Formation of a tornado

8. Diagramming a sentence

9. Factoring (algebra)

10. The process of blood through the heart











PowerPoint Presentation Requirements

Students will choose a major topic from his/her classroom curriculum.  The topic will then be developed into a PowerPoint presentation through thought-out and purposeful stages.  As part of the requirements, students will need to create an idea map, storyboard and an 8 to 12 slide presentation.  The following is a brakdown of each portion of the assignment.  

Idea Map- 10 points 

Based on the topic chosen, the student will design a concept map to illustrate how the topic's examples and properties and related.  The mapping structure will serve as a basis for planning the non-linear multimedia project.  In addition, students will need to identify one process and one procedure that are inherent in the topic.  


Storyboard - 30 point

The student will provide an outline of the critical PowerPoint components appropriate for the examples that he/she has identified in the idea map and then provide a sketch or storyboard of each screen. The sketch will show button placement that the user takes from one screen to the next, the major components to be placed in the project, color scheme, font sizes, clipart, and the information to be taught.  The storyboard needs to be completed before starting the work within the software program.


PowrePoint Presentation - 60 Point

The final product will result in a non-linear presentation on the selected topic from an instructional area. The project should support the objectives of the curriculum topic, incorporate two sources outside the PowerPoint program, and the implementation of appropriate screen design.