Friday, May 24, 2013

Getting the most out of your digital clip art

Before my sister and I started making clipart together and selling it on TpT, I had started collecting quite a bit.  Ok, a lot.  It was fun and new and cute and not expensive and I just couldn't stop buying.

Hoarders.  All teachers are on the razor's edge of being on a reality TV show.

Anyhow- I started thinking about this clipart, and how it wasn't serving a huge purpose just sitting on my computer. Waiting for ME to do something with it.  So then I got to thinking, why can't the kids use it?

At my school, we have a special network drive meant for the kids to store their work on.  So you go to the drive, find your grade and teachers name and save what ever you're working on to your own folder.  Pretty sweet, I must say.  So I started out with some clipart my sister had made, and created a folder that had only the .PNG files both color and b/w.  And then I called small groups to our computer workstations (at the moment I have four working computers, as one gave up the ghost back at Christmas time, notice it there with my scathing caterpillar poem hanging on it).

For a small group technology lesson, I was showing my second graders how to use power point.  Specifically, how to insert a picture and a text box and then save their work.  And they caught on quickly enough that many of them I was able to get into making the pictures bigger, smaller, changing the order so they could hide a fish behind the seaweed, and grouping objects together so they could keep their treasure together.

I had fun, they had fun, it was a good teaching moment.

Now- here's where it gets good.  As I add in more clipart to our class folder, they get more options.  And with more options, they can get more creative  And by getting more creative, I just have them add in a text box and write about what is happening in their picture and I've got writer's workshop going on.  They can get a whole story done just by adding more slides.

 I am super excited! Not only can they write general stories about their creations, but if I collect clipart that has to do with familiar stories, or make it for that matter, then it can be a retelling and summarizing tool as well. Or an exercise in creating alternate endings.  Or add in my clipart of the famous Americans and have them use that to write everything they know about the person.  Or say what they would think if they were alive today.  Endless possibilities.

I'll get to make great things with clipart, and THEY'LL get to make great things with clipart.  It's more bang for your buck, if I do say so myself.

Is anyone else out there finding interesting ways to use their digital clipart?  How are you making it more than a one hit wonder on your hard drive?


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