Using HaikuDeck to present literary character traits

Submitted 7 years ago
My Rating

My Take

HaikuDeck’s design makes this a go-to for short student presentations. It’s well designed both in terms of simplicity of process and quality of resulting product. By modeling clean, large fonts and layout styles it subliminally teaches students about good presentation design, while they can focus on the core of the lesson which is the literary analysis. There’s just enough customization available to give students some choice; it would be nice if there were some more. While HaikuDeck does the heavy lifting of design and image search, students can focus on thinking about point of the lesson and the language of the author.

One current drawback is pacing. I would prefer to assign pecha kucha presentations, that require automatic playback of 15 or 20 seconds per slide, but HaikuDeck’s automatic pacing is set at about 5 seconds. (A workaround this would be for you as the instructor purchase the Pro version and copy student presentations to your account and export as .pptx files and then set the pace in PowerPoint.)

Again, the advantage of HaikuDeck is the image search, which finds Creative Commons licensed images and embeds the credits automatically. Coupled with the layout templates, this presentation apphelps students focus on the literary objectives rather than the logistics of searching and tagging photos. The result is beautiful shows and better understanding of character development.

How I Use It

Haiku Deck is great for slide presentations that are to be shared on the web. I had my 12th grade British Literature students use this app, where I used to have them use PowerPoint or Google Slides, to make character sketch presentations for Chaucer’s characters from The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. The learning target is to share direct characterization and indirect characterization quotes with corresponding photos. A particular focus is on significant details of indirect characterization that imply personality traits.

Fullscreen photography and design templates that guide students to making a coherent, visually-appealing presentation. I limit the required number of slides to 10-15 to help focus the students on the most pertinent details. Students were able to quickly pull quotes that touch on character traits and find photos using the built-in search tool. Keeping the search for copyright-friendly images within the site, streamlines the process of making the slide show and facilitates focus on the point of the lesson. The students are more engaged in the literary thinking and have fun finding the right picture. Of course, it’s somewhat challenging with some quotes to find a photo to match a more-or-less abstract idea, but that can inspire worthwhile learning, too, as students thinking metaphorically.

It was easy to present the HaikuDeck presentations using a projector. Embed codes also make it possible to add them to class websites, wikis, or blogs, where students can refer back to these visual character sketches. Students like seeing each other’s presentations and it brought the descriptions, some of them obscured by the poetic language at first, into clearer view.