The Worst Presentations………EVER!

Having a 2 week winter break is refreshing for students and me. This break gives me time to reflect and think about changes for the second half of the year. I have always viewed the first few days after winter break as a second chance, beginning of the school year. It’s a great time to ease back into and try some new ideas.

When the school year began, I was anti-Google Slides. In my opinion, Google slides is the easy, go-to project that students ALWAYS choose. I can’t stand grading them because they bore me and are often poorly done. So, I decided to use an idea from the book, Eduprotocols. This idea is called, “The Worst Preso…EVER.” 

To begin this activity we watched the video entitled, “Death By Powerpoint,” by Don McMillan (I linked the clean version). This video is 4 minutes long, and Don McMillan takes a humorous look at common Powerpoint mistakes. After each common mistake, we stopped the video, took down some notes and discussed. I like this video as it sets the humorous, laid back tone for the rest of the lesson.

After the video completes, students are partnered into groups of two or three. I made a Google Presentation and shared with the groups. The goal for the groups is simple………..make the worst presentation ever! The students choose a topic that they like or dislike and they must break 5 rules in their presentation (break 1 rule per slide).

The last piece of this lesson involves student led presentations and student led feedback. However, there was one catch…………students could not present their own slides! I chose 3 judges, timed the presentations for 2 minutes, and let it go. IT. WAS. HILARIOUS.

I have done presentations in class before, and this lesson worried me. Presentations and skits in past years have been awful. As a result, I avoid them. Here’s the beauty of this lesson, the presentations are supposed to be terrible anyway! When I put up the first presentation, and asked for volunteers, there was apprehension. After the first round, with a bunch of laughter and good feedback, every hand was going up to volunteer.

At the end of the day, I pointed out to students that sometimes you have to make light of situations, and some mistakes in order to improve. I guarantee you going forward these student will catch themselves using too many words, too many bullet points, bad color schemes, and awful fonts. I guarantee you I will use this lesson again and again because this was a great, student-led culture builder for Room 303.

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