Many of you are probably familiar with the iPad app, Haiku Deck (options for editing on the web are coming soon). It can be used to create presentations (similar to Powerpoint, but more graphically appealing, in my opinion), and is very user-friendly.
One of the things that I like about Haiku Deck is that it does not allow you to add huge blocks of text to your slides. This is good because too much text makes for a very boring presentation. (Take a look at “What Would Steve Do”, #3 as supporting evidence for this.) I also like the ease with which you can find images to punctuate your text.
My 4th graders are reading Tuck Everlasting, and discussing the figurative language in the book. Usually, when I first introduce figurative language, I ask them to find examples for each type (simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and personification), and share with the class to show their understanding so I can quickly gauge if there is a need for more instruction.
Yesterday, I thought, “Why don’t I let them type their examples in Haiku Deck? Then they can learn the app, and show what they know about figurative language at the same time.” And, yes, I was in the middle of the lesson when I thought of that. To be honest, I’ve done the lesson for so many years, I was boring myself – which does not usually bode well for keeping the student’s attention.
In 5 minutes, I was able to show the students how to create a slide, add text, select an image, and share the product. Once all of the products were in, we played a quick game to identify the type of figurative language as I showed each example on the big screen.
While they were working with their partners, I heard one student say, “I love doing this!”
I love that they were engaged and learning, and all it cost me was about 10 minutes more than the previous times I’ve taught that lesson. Now, they have a new digital tool in their belt that they can choose from when they write their own examples of figurative language.