Activity: Presenting Ideas in New Ways

This activity supports Common Core in English Language Arts — CCR Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5.

Grade level: Appropriate for grades 4-12 with teacher modifications.

Duration: Two or more class periods.


Consider using one or more of the following tools for students to present their research findings or to develop narrative writing projects. For more ideas, see “Are We Really Still Assigning Book Reports? 20 Ways to Encourage Students to Interact with Texts”

Create a Trailer
Students can create a short video trailer (like a trailer for a feature film) to share the highlights of their research results. This approach is known as digital storytelling. Students can select historic photographs from Recollection Wisconsin and write and record a voiceover narration. Several tools are available online to edit and produce video trailers:

Produce a Podcast
Have students present their research and knowledge in the form of a podcast presentation. Students may create a podcast for an academic setting, demonstrating command for formal English (meeting the final standard for Speaking and Listening) in a formal report format. Or have students get creative by “interviewing” the individual(s) depicted in a historic photo or narrating the story of the photo. Some tools for creating podcasts include:

Make a Multi-Media Collage
Have students use Glogster to create their own multi-media collage based on their research topic. This project also addresses the Speaking and Listening Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 by emphasizing students’ ability to integrate and evaluate information that is presented in diverse media and formats.

Construct an Interactive Timeline
Have students piece together a timeline documenting a historic era or period. Capzles is a web-based tool that allows students to create interactive timelines using images, video, audio, and text.