Your teacher has assigned you to a team with three other students. Before you begin gathering information, you and your team must determine what information you need. Some questions to answer at this point are:
- What family will you tell the class about? Your own? Someone you know? A family you create?
- How can you learn about that family? Do you need to conduct personal interviews, or find the information elsewhere?
- What do you want to tell the class about this family? Think about all the possible things you can talk about.
- If you need to search for the information, where are you most likely to find it?
You also need to determine who on your team will do what. Someone might be good at research, someone else might be good at writing, someone else might have artistic talents. Plan your project before you jump on the computer - this is much better use of your time.
Once you have settled on the types of information you need, it's time to find it. If you are going to conduct personal interviews, develop a series of questions to ask and write them down. If you are going to conduct outside research, the Internet provides access to huge amounts of information - you need to know how to find it and how to decide what information is best for your project. For this project, here is a llist of possible starting points:
Search engines: www.google.com, www.yahoo/com, www.msn.com, www.ask.com - there are many. Use the video and image search features of these search engines to help you locate items to add to your presentation.
Search terms you can use in the search engine you select: impact of immigration, immigration staistics, mexican immigration (or substitute the name of the country the family is from), vietnamese music (again, substititute the name of the relevant country), filipino (or whatever) art, immigration reasons, immigration history, immigration from (name the country). You get the picture, right? Here are some web sites that may help you:
Historical immigration statistics:
The economic impact of immigration:
All kinds of good stuff about immigration and other aspects of our history:
If you need more help in finding the information you need, ASK! There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.
Now that you have gathered the information you need, what will you do with it? You need to organize and analyze the information you have collected. Is the information in the form of numbers? Is it something you can summarize in text? Do you have artwork or other graphics? Audio or video files? You will be making your presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint, and you can do a lot with your slides in this program.
If you have numerical or statistical data, consider using a table or graph to illustrate it. Build the table in Microsoft Excel, then use the graphing function to bring the numbers to life. Copy the graph to the slide.
If your information is text, remember to keep your slides simple, like an outline or summary. YOU, not the words, are the focus of the presentation.
If you have artwork or other graphics, be sure to choose high-quality items (large file size). These look much better on the screen since they're enlarged several times. You can use the right mouse button to copy the graphic, then paste it onto the slide.
The computer used for the presentation will have Internet access. Provide links on the slides to online information that can help tell the story.
Let your teacher know if you have audio or video files as part of your presentation. A sound system will be available, but it must be prepared. Download the files to the CD provided to you for ypour presentation and provide a link on the appropriate slide to play it.
Here are a few pointers to remember about making a presentation using Microsoft PowerPoint:
- Make sure everything is visible. Use a font type, size, and color that contrasts well with the background.
- Use simple, plain backgrounds. Strikingly dark or busy backgrounds are distracting.
- Limit the text on any slides with words. The best guide is no more than six lines, with no more than six words each.
- Although we want an entertaining presentation, don't go overboard with fancy animations. Use them discretely if you use them at all.
One final note: CITE YOUR SOURCES. You know how to do this, and you know it's the right thing to do. Other people's words, pictures, art, and music must be attributed properly. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Enough talk, you're ready to start.