Sunday, January 1, 2017

Creating a Project with Google Drawings

Google Drawings is my favorite program to use for students to create projects because the possibilities are endless.  Basically anything that you create with a blank sheet of paper, can be created using Google Drawings.  Here are the steps that I give students when creating a project with Google Drawings:

These directions do not happen overnight.  I teach each direction as a different project until the students become more familiar with the program.  The idea behind teaching with technology is not to invent new lessons, but to incorporate technology into lessons that you are already teaching.  Remember, add a little at a time and build on the last piece of technology taught.

I introduce Google Drawings with a blank graphic organizer like this one.  This is a great opportunity to teach the students to double click on the shapes and practice typing.  I even teach students how to change the font and font color when they are ready.

Next, I teach students how to insert an image.  I use a lesson about schema in which students insert images to show their interests.  Inserting an image is easy in Google Drawings because you can search for images within the program.  When inserting images, it is important for students to spell the words correctly during their image search.

On another project, I focus my lesson on inserting shapes and typing sentences.  Google is flexible and allows you to type directly into a shape.  Here is an example of a student project when the class was working on adding text.

The last step is to teach the students how to add a background.  There are two ways in which students can add a background.  To add a single color background, right click anywhere on the page.  On the right click menu, choose the background option.  From there, a variety of solid colors will be available.  When you choose a color, the color will cover the entire canvas.

Students can also insert any image and enlarge the image to fit the whole page as a background.  This is a great way for students to illustrate the setting of a story.  I tell students to do this step first because of layering.  When students insert the background last, they panic because the background covers up all of their work.  Of course this can be fixed by sending the image to the back, but the whole catastrophe can be avoided if the students insert the background first.    

Remember, when you teach lessons with technology, you add technology into lessons that you are already teaching.  I take paper projects that the students have completed in previous years, and restructure the same projects utilizing Google Drawings.  What are some projects that your students can create using Google Drawings?

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