Classroom presentations come with many challenges–not the least of which is keeping your students engaged long enough to teach the lesson! New technology creates many opportunities to spruce up your presentations and keep students captivated, so the trick is simply to figure out which methods will work best for you.
In this article, I will explain three ways to make classroom presentations more engaging for students of all ages. Be sure to remember that you can always make tweaks to these ideas to fit the individual needs of your classroom. Great presentations come from understanding your audience.
Stop Motion Videos
Stop motion videos are a fun way to incorporate movement into your presentations. You can find a short video online, or create your own! Stop motion videos are typically made by shooting photos of a scene, making small changes to the scene between photos, and then stitching these photos together to create a cohesive video. There are 4 steps to creating your own stop motion video to use in the classroom:
- Brainstorm and Storyboard: Think through what you want your video to look like, and plan out your “scenes.” For example, you could be making a video to demonstrate the migration of early humans across the African continent. For that video, you would want to have a few “scenes” that show arrows moving across a map of Africa.
- Shoot Your Video: Once you’ve storyboarded, you can shoot the photos that will become your video! To keep your camera or phone in the same spot between photos, either use a tripod or mark a spot on a table with tape. Take a few photos, move your props slightly, take a few more photos, and repeat until you’ve finished the scene.
- Stitch Video Together: Once you’ve shot all of the photos to use in your stop motion video, you can upload them to a montage maker and choose your speed!
Or….As an alternative, you can shoot your scene as one continuous video, and then turn it into a stop motion video.
- Download and Present: Once you’ve created a beautiful stop motion video, you can download it and present it in the classroom!
Embedding a subtitled video in a presentation is another great way to captivate a classroom during a presentation. This can be especially helpful when you want to emphasize the dialogue in a video. Examples of this could be putting subtitles on a scene from a Shakespeare play to capture each individual word, or on a video in a foreign language class to help students visualize the words that are being spoken. In general, adding a video in your slides gives your presentation something refreshing and new for students to engage with, and adding subtitles is the perfect way to make videos more attractive and understandable. If you aren’t able to find subtitles for a video, try creating your own!
Additionally, subtitles provide a level of accessibility for students with learning disabilities that benefits them greatly in the classroom. Students with ADHD, dyslexia, or who are on the autism spectrum can all benefit from watching videos with subtitles on them. Subtitles help with focusing, allow for students to see how words are spelled, and connects what is being said in screen to who is saying it. With these advantages, subtitles can help a variety of students stay more present and engaged during a classroom presentation.
Memes are a great way to convey a feeling or opinion that students can connect with during a presentation. Memes are simple concepts or ideas represented with images and text. Usually these memes resonate with something current and popular. Connecting an idea from a presentation or lecture to something in popular media can help students better understand what they are learning about in the classroom. Memes can be used in History classes to make the feelings or decisions of historical figures more relevant, in English to convey a character’s development, or even in science class to demonstrate a law or property.
It is much easier for students to learn when they feel connected to and invested in the material they are presented with. Memes are a lighthearted and fun way to engage a classroom and show students how topics in history, science, and literature can be relevant and important in the present day. Browse Kapwing’s Meme Generator to see what memes are trending and to start creating your own. Below is an example meme that exemplifies a property of ice: because it is less dense than water, it floats! This meme uses humor to make the scientific property memorable (the man in the life vest is a celebrity named Ice Cube).
Good luck on your next presentation! Check out Kapwing for more classroom ideas, lesson plan inspiration, and video editing tools to make learning a fun and engaging experience for all!