The Power of Project-Based Learning–and Prezi

Hello, parents,

I am so excited about a project that we are working on in CP American Lit and Comp, that I’ve just got to share.  While we are reading Steinbeck’s classic novella, Of Mice and Men, the class has been “hired” by the American Library Association to create materials that they can use during their annual Banned Books Week to support the reading of the novella in schools and libraries.  The materials students will be creating will be a Prezi–an online, innovative presentation that far exceeds what can be done in a typical presentation, like PowerPoint. After watching a few sample videos on how to create a Prezi and after viewing the Prezi that I created with the details of the project (“Saving Of Mice and Men: It’s Up To You!”), students were given a set of guidelines, divided into sales teams, and they have been collaboratively creating persuasive and creative Prezis. This activity requires students to use higher levels of thinking, employs a real-life scenario, and gives students hands-on experience with a creative software tool. These students will be able to transfer what they are learning to future classes and to their lives beyond high school. To quote Mr. Canady, students today need to become “agile technology users” and this project-based learning activity will help them to do just that. I hope that you’ll ask your son or daughter to see the Prezi their team created, ask him or her to show you how it’s done, and what choices they had to make in the design process.

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