Performance Toolbox #2: PowerPoint Narrative

Instructional Context (answer the questions below):

What do I know about my students that will inform this lesson?


I will need to know if my students are familiar with alternative forms of storytelling. I will also need to know if they are familiar with the idea of visual literacy.

How does this lesson connect with and build on the previous lesson(s)?

This lesson builds directly on the previous day’s lesson as it delves further into visual literacy and asks students to explore how the type of technology impacts the way we receive information.

How do you expect to build on this lesson in subsequent lessons?

I plan on using this lesson as a way for students to create a PowerPoint narrative that incorporates the themes we have discussed throughout the unit. I will use this as a summative assessment for this unit and students’ deepened understanding of today’s lesson and assignment will impact their understanding of the final class tomorrow.

Standards Addressed:

List the NYS Common Core State Standards your lesson will address:


W.11-12.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.11-12.11a: Create interpretative and responsive texts to demonstrate knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of the connections between life and the literary work.

  1. Engage in using a wide range of prewriting strategies, such as visual representations and the creation of factual and interpretive questions, to express personal, social and cultural connections and insights.


L.11-12.3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.


Essential Questions/Big Ideas:

What essential questions or big ideas will your students be working toward in this lesson?

  • How do humans communicate? How is that communication impacted by the introduction of new technology and the passage of time?
  • Can people communicate with silence? What lies beneath silence and how does that impact people’s relationships?
  • How can time be viewed as benevolent or malevolent? Or is the passage of time ambivalent to humanity?


Central Focus:

What is the primary purpose of today’s plan?

The primary purpose of today’s lesson will be to prepare students for the PowerPoint narrative assignment, which will be the summative assessment for this unit.



Learning Objectives (List 3-5 SMART* Objectives):


Students will be able to. . .


1) Students will work in small groups to analyze Chapter 12. They will be able to determine whether or not this Powerpoint is “writing.” They will be able to analyze the Powerpoint and provide evidence-based claims on the information from the text. Students will analyze the theme of “silence” in the Powerpoint and how this theme has played out throughout the entire novel.   Informal: The teacher will assess students on these abilities based on a combination of classroom observation and also based on their ability to complete the PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet. The teacher will look to see that students are engaged in the assignment and that they are participating in the exercise.
2) Students will use Chapter 12 as a mentor text. They will create their own narrative using the Powerpoint in Chapter 12 as a model.  Students will demonstrate an understanding of visual literacy as well as written rhetoric in their slides (i.e., appropriate use of images and animations).  Formal: The teacher will assess the PowerPoint Narrative using the PowerPoint Narrative Rubric. Students will be given both the rubric and the PowerPoint Narrative Assignment.

* SMART= Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.


Academic Language Demand/Language Function Objectives:

What one language function (e.g., Analyze, Argue, Describe, Evaluate, Explain, Interpret, Justify, Synthesize) will today’s lesson require students to practice? What learning task will obligate students to practice this language function?

Students will be asked to synthesize the themes of this novel by creating their own PowerPoint narrative. Students will also be asked to analyze the structure of the PowerPoint narrative and explain how that structure impacts the way readers receive information.

What specialized vocabulary will your students learn as part of this lesson?

Students will develop a further understanding of the phrase “visual literacy” in this lesson.

Assessments (list all formal and informal assessments):

Please see above


What will you or the students do that will 1) prepare them to learn what they are about to learn in the lesson; 2) make them enjoy, understand, and value what they are about to learn in today’s lesson?

Students will watch Egan’s PowerPoint presentation. This will allow them to see how this format provides another dimension to the narrative.


What will you have the students do that will obligate them to reflect upon what they will have learned in today’s lesson?


Students will be asked to write a brief reflection in their notebooks about how writing in different formats and through different programs is an important aesthetic judgment call authors make. Students will also be asked to note which formats of writing they enjoy writing in the most.


Instructional Strategies and Learning Tasks (Describe Procedures & Timelines):

Time Instructional Strategies/Learning Tasks Purpose
7 mins Students will watch Egan’s PowerPoint presentation. Once the presentation has run its course, the teacher will say, “So, which form did you prefer? Did you enjoy reading the PowerPoint in the book or was it missing something until it was presented to you as a real PowerPoint?” She will pause and wait for responses. She will then say, “How does the medium of writing impact the way you understand it? In other words, did you find the PowerPoint narrative difficult to understand or did it make sense to you? Why do you think that was the case?”  She will pause and wait for responses. This time will be used for motivation. It will also provide the teacher with an opportunity to informally assess how well the students understood the PowerPoint narrative.
15 mins The teacher will now say, “Turn to the four people closest to you. You will then work together to figure out the impact of the structure of this narrative as well as how Egan fleshes out the themes we’ve talked about in a very different form. I’m going to hand out a worksheet to help you organize your ideas. Also, pay attention to how Egan organizes her story and to how she conveys it. You’ll notice that there’s much less writing, which is like the infographic that we did yesterday. How does that affect how you would write a PowerPoint narrative?” The teacher will now hand out the PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet. She will then say, “You will have ten minutes to complete the worksheet. I’ll be walking around to answer any questions that might come up as you work your way through this chapter.” The teacher will circulate the room as students work in small groups to complete the assignment. She will be available for questions as the students work. The teacher will use this time to informally assess the students on their ability to analyze the multimodal narrative. She will also use this time to determine if students understand how Egan organizes and structures the PowerPoint.
5 mins The teacher will now say, “Before we move on to the next assignment, I just want to stop and go over the features of a PowerPoint narrative that you just identified. What are some elements that need to be included and why do you think their inclusion is important?” The teacher will pause and wait for responses. She will then say, “How do you think you can make a PowerPoint narrative that effectively conveys a central ideas? What elements would you include?” The teacher will pause and wait for responses. This time will be used for students to report out on their group work. It will also be used to encourage students to begin to think about how they would construct a PowerPoint narrative.
3 mins The teacher will now say, “Well, I’m glad that you’ve begun to think about how you would write a PowerPoint narrative because that’s your next assignment!” The teacher will now hand out the PowerPoint Narrative Assignment and the PowerPoint Narrative Rubric. She will now say, “Let’s go over this quickly. For this assignment, you’re going to pick one of the key themes that we’ve focuses on for this book. So, those would be silence, time, and technology.  Your PowerPoint will be a maximum of 10 slides and a minimum of 8. Make sure to include pictures and to avoid overreliance on words for this assignment. You can include pictures from the Internet or take a more creative step further and use your own. Does anyone have a question before you begin working?” The teacher will pause and wait for responses. “You’ll have the rest of class time today to begin working on this narrative. Treat it as any other paper. By that, I mean take some time to plan out what you’ll include in this ‘essay’ and engage in some brainstorming. Think about your own memories that may have been triggered as you read A Visit from the Goon Squad. I’ll be walking around and I’ll be available for help if you need clarification or a writing conference. We’ll be presenting these narratives in front of the class when this assignment is due. Let’s get started!” The teacher will use this time to provide explicit instruction regarding the new assignment and she will explain it to the students. She will also include some information to help them think about ideas for their narratives.
10 mins Students will work on their PowerPoint narratives during this time. The teacher will circulate the room and assist students as they begin to brainstorm. She will also be available for one-on-one writing conferences if necessary. This time will be used for the students to start working on their summative assignment with the teacher in the room. The teacher will help provide direction if necessary.
3 mins The teacher will now say, “Okay, everyone, please save your work! Before you leave, write a brief reflection in your notebook about how writing in different formats is important or difficult. Please mention which type of format you feel is most accessible and which ones you would like to learn more about!” This will act as closure for the day. Students will be able to reflect on the importance of different media for their writing and how many different formats can be applied.


Student Supports

How will you help students learn/organize in today’s lesson?


I will provide students with a PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet that will help them better organize information. I will also have students use the PowerPoint chapter in Egan’s novel as a mentor text that they can refer to as they create their own narrative.

How specifically will you help students to complete the language function listed above?

I will have students specifically complete these language functions by having them create their own PowerPoint narrative. I will also have them closely read this chapter so that they can understand what textual and organizational features Egan employs to make this format work.

Key Instructional Materials and Resources

List the handouts, displays, websites, etc. have you prepared for today’s lesson:


  • PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet
  • PowerPoint Narrative Assignment
  • PowerPoint Narrative Rubric



List additional materials needed for today’s lesson:

Students will need access to a computer or tablet with PowerPoint installed on it. Students will also need their copy of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Acknowledgement of Sources:

What materials/ideas from others are you using for today’s lesson?

The PowerPoint Narrative has been adapted from Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.

The criteria of the presentation aspect of the PowerPoint assignment and rubric were adapted from Chapter 10, “Storytelling,” from Nancy Steineke’s Assessment Live!
Name: _________________________________                                        Date: _____________________

PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet

In the worksheet below, please identify organizational and textual features of a PowerPoint narrative as demonstrated by Jennifer Egan in A Visit from the Goon Squad.


Textual or Organizational Feature

(Please identify which one you have chosen in this column)

Name the Textual or Organizational Feature

(ex: use of personal pronouns)

Why do you think the writer includes this feature?

Textual Feature


Organizational Feature




Name: _________________________                                                   Date:____________________

Ms. Flynn                                                                                            12R


PowerPoint Narrative Assignment Rubric







Theme and Organization

The student effectively explores a theme over the course of 7-10 slides. The theme refers to time, silence, or the impact of technology. The student effectively incorporates the organizational features of a PowerPoint Narrative. The student mostly references a theme throughout 7-10 slides but does not fully develop it over the course of the narrative. The student includes some organizational features. The student occasionally refers to a theme over less than 7 slides. The slides are not organized sequentially and there is no flow to the PowerPoint narrative. The student does not explore a theme in the narrative.  The PowerPoint contains less than 7 slides.


The student relates a compelling story that involves developed characters and a specific plot. The narrative is both creative and imaginative. When the student uses words, they include strong nouns and vivid verbs. The narrative has a distinguishable beginning, middle, and end.  Points of view are clear. The student’s story is mostly interesting and unique that tells a story. The student uses mostly strong word choice.  There are distinguishable elements of the story but there is a lack of a distinctive beginning or end.  Points of view are mostly clear. The student does not include different characters and the plot is not fully developed.  When the student uses words, they are generic and not distinctive. The PowerPoint does not provide a strong beginning, middle, or end. The narrative does not tell a story. The student does not present different characters or a distinctive plot.

Visual Components

The PowerPoint provides a strong connection between the visual elements as well as the verbal elements. The student uses original pictures or creates diagrams to convey information. The graphics present information clearly and help relay that information back to the chosen theme. The PowerPoint contains images that connect to the selected words. The student relies more upon words than upon the visuals. The graphics relate to the information but there is some occasional confusion. The PowerPoint contains mostly words and few pictures. The graphics are vague and do not connect directly to the narrative. There is a great deal of confusion due to the chosen visuals. There are no graphic images.

Presentation Style

The student effectively uses storytelling to convey his or her narrative. The student speaks clearly and at a reasonable pace for the presentation. The student modulates pitch of voice to indicate when other characters are speaking. As the student presents, he or she maintains eye contact with the audience. The student maintains the attention of the audience throughout the presentation. The student also appears to be confident based on stance. He or she also demonstrates enthusiasm for the story. The student demonstrates moments of good storytelling but occasionally speaks in a monotone. The student speaks at a rapid rate.  The student mostly demonstrates enthusiasm but at times appears uneasy on uninterested in his or her story. The student focuses mostly on the audience but occasionally spends time reading directly from the slides. The student occasionally modulates tone and pitch but mostly speaks in a monotone. The student sometimes makes eye contact with the audience but mostly reads of the slides. The student looks either bored or uninterested in the presentation. The student speaks entirely in a monotone. The student reads entirely from the slides. The student looks either bored or uninterested in the presentation. The student ignores the audience completely.


Name: ______________________________                                                        Date: _________________________

Ms. Flynn                                                                                            12R

PowerPoint Narrative Assignment

PowerPoint Narrative

In Chapter 12 of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan presents an innovative type of narrative using a PowerPoint. For this assignment, you will create a narrative that, like Egan’s, uses PowerPoint to tell a story.

In this narrative, you will choose one of the themes we have studied throughout this semester:

  • The passage of time and its effects
  • Silence and how people communicate through it
  • The impact of technology upon the way people communicate


Your PowerPoint must have a minimum of 7 slides and a maximum of 10 slides. Your slides should include some type of writing that also incorporates a visual element as well. In other words, you must include pictures or organizational diagrams like Linc’s that help convey a story.  Use Chapter 12 as a mentor text to help you organize your narrative; also refer to the PowerPoint Narrative Worksheet to help you identify textual and organizational features.

Due Date: ________________________________________

PowerPoint Presentation

You will also present your narrative to the class and, as a result, this presentation will be part of your overall grade for this assignment.  Because you have been asked to create a narrative, how you “tell” your story will be a key aspect of your grade.  In order to ensure a good storytelling performance, I highly recommend that you rehearse your presentation. Below, you will find some guidelines to help you determine what you should focus on in your storytelling presentation:

  • Make sure you speak clearly and enunciate your words.  Also, make sure that you speak at a steady pace and don’t rush your speech.  Ensure that everyone can hear you.
  • Maintain good eye contact with your audience. Try to add emotion to your story by varying the tone and pitch of your voice. Also, ensure that your facial expressions match the words you are saying.
  • Make sure that you hold the attention of the audience. The best way to do this is to seem interested in and enthusiastic about your own story!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *