NyGirl has really been interested in planets lately. We have a full unit covering the solar system in her Houghton Mifflin science book...but it is very limited when it comes to techie ideas (though the book offers a supplemental website with additional quizzes and games that accompany the unit).
So I decided to create our own unit. I thought about lapbooking and then scanning in the images to create a slideshow...until i found VoiceThread. So instead, I ended up creating our own Solar System unit in which NyGirl will create a complete Power Point presentation to upload and narrate via VoiceThread. In the process, she is getting some typing practice (we use Sense-Lang.org for typing lessons), and a general overview on how to use presentation software and become familiar with computer icons, commands, and tasks.
So far I have taught her how to select slide templates and styles, add slides, add transitions and effects, change fonts, and add clip art. The easiest part was typing the information in for the planet Mercury.
This is going to be a fun project, I can already tell.
The thing is, once younger students are introduced to the concepts of productivity and presentation software, they can run with it and leave us in the dust. I think it's hilarious when some educators scoff at the idea of showing children in the lower elementary years how to use these types of software. It's perfectly do-able and absolutely equips them with ways to express their ideas and thoughts, making school projects all the more fun for them.
So that's it for now.