Tuesday, November 15, 2016

I'm Thankful for Google Drawings

As Thanksgiving draws near, I know some of you are looking for creative, innovative ways to engage your students for the short two day week before Thanksgiving break. 

Recently, as I was researching some new ways to use Google Drawings in the classroom, I stumbled upon a blog post by Kacey Bell (@ShakeUpLearning) about the idea of creating online Magnetic Poetry. Instead of using a magnetic white board and magnets with words, Kacey created a Halloween Magnetic Poetry template in Google Drawings. It was a huge hit, as you can see if you check out what people were saying about it on Twitter. Some teachers used this as an independent writing activity, and others had students work together on one drawing to come up with some great collaborative poems and stories. This could also be used as a whole-class activity using an interactive whiteboard. 

Kacey Bell did not have a Thanksgiving template created for Magnetic Poetry, so I found one from Jamie Forshey, another teacher blogger, and adapted it a bit to my own liking. When you click this link, it will force you to make a copy of the Thanksgiving Magnetic Poetry drawing. 

Feel free to share the link above with your students, or you can make some changes first. You might want to change the picture, or add or remove some of the words to adapt the activity to the grade level you teach. The words are actually pictures so they look more like magnets, but you can easily add more by typing words into a new text box with a white background. To remove words you do not want in there, just click and delete. When your drawing is ready, you can force a copy to your students by first changing the end of the URL to say "copy" instead of "edit," then sharing the link with them. Remember that they will need to share the drawing back to you if you would like to have access to their work. This pro tip can be used for any Google Docs, Sheets, Drawings or Slides. 

Of course, if you are using Google Classroom, you can send a copy to each of your students there instead of forcing a copy using the method above.  

I hope this activity not only serves to engage your students in a creative activity before Thanksgiving, but also sparks more ideas for you to use Google Drawings with your students. Please use the comment button below to share those ideas with our followers!

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