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This Civil War lesson includes great details on setting up group PowerPoint presentations


Computers & Internet, Social Studies  




Title – PowerPointing your way through the Civil War
By – Kat
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Primary Subject – Computers and Internet
Grade Level – 8

For this project, students are assigned at least one partner, if not two, and given a list of topics. They then choose their topic from the list and work together to create a power point presentation that will be used to teach the class about their aspect of the Civil War. With minor adaptations, this would work well for almost any time period in history.

Additionally students are issued a question ticket and allowed to ask a total of six questions per day. This encourages the students to solve their problems with the help of peers, or through trial and error, and helps you keep your sanity!

Project Mission Packet
Unit Project: PowerPoint-ing Your Way Through the Civil War

Mission: You will work with your partner(s) to create a PowerPoint presentation that will teach the class about a specific topic from the Civil War. Then you will present your work to the class.

Requirements of Your Mission: Your presentation must meet the following requirements

      1. Not counting the citation slide(s) and title slide, your presentation must be a minimum of 7 slides long. However, you are encouraged to go beyond 7 slides.


      2. The presentation must contain at least 5 graphics, but you are encouraged to include more.


      3. Your presentation must contain accurate well-organized information about your topic.


      4. Your presentation must answer the questions found on your Topic Information Sheet which are specific to your topic.


      5. Your presentation must be colorful, interesting, free of spelling and grammar errors, and contain a mixture of both text and graphics


      6. Your presentation must use a minimum of four sources. Three of these sources must be on-line sources. All sources must be cited in MLA format and should be found on a separate slide titled “Citations” at the end of your project.


      7. Your presentation must have a title slide with the title of your topic, your block number, and all team members’ first and last names included on it.



How to Accomplish Your Mission:

      1. Meet with your assigned partner(s)


      2. You and your partner(s) will decide on your top three topics from the list of topics provided to you


      3. After you have been given a topic, you and your partner(s) must decide who will fulfill the following roles
      *The Cavalry: (in groups of three or more, there may be two Cavalry members)

As the Cavalry, you are responsible for the following aspects of this project

        -Choose the background for your presentation


        -Finding two or more of the required sources


        -Proof-reading the text of your presentation, and proof-reading the citations


        -Deciding what graphics will be used


        -Writing half of the text used in your presentation


        -Ensuring that the information is properly organized in your presentation


        -Adding any “extras” such as animation to your presentation


      *The Infantry:

As the Infantry, you are responsible for the following aspects of this project

        -Ensuring the presentation is turned in on time


        -Writing half of the text used in your presentation


        -Creating the MLA citations for you citation slide


        -Finding the graphics used in your presentation


        – Finding two or more of the required sources


        -Speaking during the presentation of your PowerPoint project


        -Keeping up with the Project Mission Packet


        -Asking your teacher any questions your team may have during this project
      4. After choosing team roles, you and your partner(s) should become familiar with the Project Mission Packet and what is required for this project.


    5. You are now ready to begin your research. You ARE encouraged to research and work on your project at home

Materials You Will Need to Complete Your Mission:

      1. You are asked NOT to bring disk, flashdrives, or any other exterior memory device to the computer lab with you. I will have an e-mail address set up for you to use if you need to access your project at home or send information to be used on your project to school. This is in an attempt to cut down on viruses


      2. You will need to bring paper and a pencil in case you wish to lay out your project on paper.


    3. You will need to bring your bathroom pass in case you need to leave the computer lab. This is your responsibility!!! I will not bring spare passes for you!

Grading System: You and your partner(s) will be graded in two ways:

      1. A rubric will be used to grade your actual PowerPoint presentation and how well you presented your project to the class.


      2. You and your partner(s) will be graded on how well you worked as a team. My observations of your team as well as your own evaluations of your partner(s) will be used to determine this grade.


    The grading rubric for your presentation can be found within this packet.


PowerPoint Basic Instructions:

1. Opening the program
Look for the orange icon on the desktop labeled PowerPoint and double click. If you don’t see an icon, go to the start button in the left hand corner and look for PowerPoint under programs. Then double click.
2. Creating a presentation
Look at the top right-hand corner of your screen and click on the word design. There will be a blue and white rectangle beside it. This will pull up various background options for you to use. Pick a background and double click.

3. Title Slide
After you have selected a background, the program automatically takes you to your first slide, a title slide. This is where you should type in your name, the name(s) of your partner(s) and the topic you are researching in the text boxes which appear on the slide. You will want to put your group members’ names in the subtitle box.

4. Creating a new slide
To create a new slide, look at the top right hand corner of your screen. Beside “design” there is a white rectangle with a “flash” on the corner of it and the words “new slide” written on it. Double click on this. If you do not like the layout of the slide, look on the right hand side of your screen under “content layouts”. Choose a different slide configuration from the selection and begin putting in your information.

5. Adding pictures
When you have found a picture or graphic you would like to use, left click on the picture, highlight copy, return to your PowerPoint presentation left click again where you want to place the graphic and highlight paste. From here you can work on the size of the picture.
6. Sizing a picture
When changing the size of a picture, only grab the corners. This keeps your image from becoming distorted.

7. Pacing your presentation:
It is NOT suggested that you make your presentation an automatic scrolling presentation (where the slides change at a set pace on their own). This can create problems when you are presenting.

8. Viewing your presentation
On the left hand side, highlight (click on) the slide you wish to start your program with. Then look at the bottom left hand corner of your screen and click on the white rectangle on top of a stick, OR you can go to the top of the screen to your tool bar, hit view, and click on view slide show.

9. Saving your presentation:
While at school you will save your presentations to G-Drive in a folder under my name!!! If you save it anywhere else it will be gone tomorrow!!!

***Rule to remember: save every 15 minutes!!!!

These are basic instructions… If you wish to add more “bells and whistles” play with the program!!!! This project should be fun as well as informational!!!!

E-Mail Kat !

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