Google Slidin’ our way through Research and Multitasking

I do NOT want my kids to simply memorize things. I actually despise teaching wars and battles because I feel that it can be difficult to convince kids to just learn the concepts, the chronological events, and the cause and effects. Despite my hatred of teaching the wars throughout History, I decided to teach the War of 1812 using Google Slides. I am AMAZED by what my 8th grade students produced in such a short amount of time (~4 days)

Start out with giving them directions by making an example Google Slides. Why? Well, if you want them to make something awesome give them an example of what it could look like, give them examples of slides they could make. Kids that haven’t used slides don’t know what it should look like. So, here are my directions.

Here is the finished product of what one of my students did out of those directions and four days.

You might be asking, what did you do for FOUR days?

  1. Students watched the PBS version of the War of 1812 and took notes underneath their slides.
  2. Students researched events as they watched them on their screen and recorded what they saw.
  3. Students used Google Maps to find where the battles took place and then plotted them on their map.
  4. Students looked up timelines to check that they were doing everything correctly and in order.

&& the MOST amazing part.. is they did this ALL AT ONCE. Kids multi tasked like no other. They listened, watched, typed, googled, and read simultaneously. They also LOVED it. They asked, how can we get this at home?

presentations-128 (1)Have your students download the Google Slide app, and they can continue to work and show their parents what they are doing anytime/anywhere. Also, have them download Google Drive just so they can see their whole drive at home. Next thing you know, kids will be walking in the hallways doing work from class.


I know now that it isn’t about memorizing battles, it honestly isn’t even about the War of 1812. It’s about getting kids prepared to multi task in life, to look things up they don’t know, to check that they got things correct, to design something unique, and to really give them freedom in how they process information. This speaks SO much to a community my coworker has started called The Test is Life. Check it out!  TTIS_Web-Headers


Thanks dearly for reading stuff I so love to do with students,

Kendra Tyler



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