Have you ever wanted to know more about an animal you had heard about? What do you already know about that animal? What do you want to know about that animal? What are some questions you have about that animal? Using YouTube/SchoolTube share a handful of videos about interesting animals from a particular region of the world. The kids will choose their animal to research following the videos.
2 Direct Instruction
Use a Google presentation template to create a model for the kids to use as an example. This will provide the structure some students will need while provding the freedom for other kids to expland their thinking and presentation skills. You may even create an entire model lesson and share this with the students with view only access. Any Google skills can be scaffolded prior to the lesson. It's also essential the students collaborate with each other when needed as well.
3 Guided Practice
Students can work individually or in collaborative groups via Google. Teachers can provide ongoing feedback in Google as they monitor the student work live. Any questions and clarfications can be included in inserted comments on a separate Google document or within the presentation via inserted comments.
Research tools can include Encyclopedia Britannica School or a similar safe place for students to gather information from.
4 Independent Practice
Students will then have the option to expand their learning and sharing via tools like Animoto, Google images, and eventually Glogster EDU or ThingLink as a culminating tool to present their mastery of the content. The students can simply create their own Google presentations and share them in the wrap-up, but for the kids that want to expand their opportunities they may incorporate other web 2.0 tools to present their knowledge as well.
Students post their products to your choice of learning management tools: Edmodo and Schoology are your best bets. From there the kids can share, comment, provide feedback to each other. Knowing all of the tools used in creating can be edited as they're linked the project is never really "completed." The students can gather the feedback and edit/improve/adjust their presentations as needed.