Thursday, July 7, 2016

Cultural Comics with Google Slides: a 3rd grade experiment

It was the beginning of June and my colleague Ms. Conklin and I met to talk about a final project. A project the students could have a lot of fun with through the last month, but also a project that would also incorporate their cultural universal unit of study.

We decided to take their research on a location and turn it into a comic book style travel guide. A comic book they create from the ground up and build collaboratively.

We decided to use Google Drawing and Google Slides to make comic books...

  • Students paired up into teams before coming to the lab to research a location and begin drafting their travel guide
  • When they came to the lab every student used Google Drawing to create the "tour guide" character
  • Once the characters were made one member of the team created a Google Slides presentation which would become the travel guide
  • The guide was then shared with the partner
  • The partners worked together to create an informative travel guide with their individual characters having a conversation and resenting the information
  • First visit to the lab
    • We went through a lesson on using shapes, lines, line weight, line color, and fill color in Google Drawing and the students had a week to create their character on their own (in class, at home, etc)
Travel brochure:
  • The second visit to the lab
    • A week after the Character lesson, we started the Google Slides deck.
    • Students learned how to group all the elements of their Google Drawing character and copy/paste it into a Slides deck
    • One team member created the Slides file and shared it with the other
    • They then proceeded to paste in their characters and use their rough drafts to create their travel brochure
  • The third visit to the lab
    • After students created the Slides file and began work we didn't give them much direction or help, we wanted them to explore, experiment, and get creative
    • This third lab session was split in half, with the first half being in-depth look at what a few groups had created
    • We talked about things that seemed to work from both style and writing standpoints
    • We discussed how groups could alter their visuals to better support their text, and their text to better support their visuals
  • The fourth visit to the lab
    • This was primarily a work session. At this point the students had spent a lot of time outside the lab making changes and building their brochure
    • We spent a few minutes in a formal lesson to answer any big technical questions
    • The bulk of the period was teams working together and a lot and informal, on the fly, Q&A
Examples of the characters from Google Drawing:

The travel brochure:

Looking forward to trying it again next year!

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