I have long been a fan and user of Google Drive and all the apps have to offer. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I showed any favor to Google Drawing. In my recent round of technology integration coaching with some teachers in Texas, I had two request mind maps as a component to the lesson we were going to team-teach. I looked into Lucid Charts and various other “concept mapping” applications but didn’t fall in love with any of them. I created a couple in Lucid Charts to use as templates for the classes but just didn’t get a good feel for them. This led me to have another look at Google Drawing – an app I had previously discarded as fairly benign. I ended up using Google Drawing in a fourth-grade science class where they created drawings of the phases of the moon. They also learned how to search for images within the drawing, imported photos, and animations. Right after that, I used Drawings to teach concept-mapping in a fifth-grade social studies class. They used “The Road to War” to map out four major events/reasons leading up to the American Revolution and then mapped off of those clusters to add more specific details. The best part in both lessons was the individuality of each students’ work. I taught the process of using Drawings, but they put their own personal choice to it. Most times, their maps looked better than mine! I have included two examples at the bottom of this post. Here are some quick ways to utilize this Google App in other subject areas:
- English/Language Arts:
- Reading Response charts (character T-charts, story element charts, chapter summaries)
- Writing Prewrites (Beginning/Middle/End, story element charts, main idea and supporting details)
- Social Studies:
- Concept maps, Timelines
- Phases of the moon, life cycles, food chains, water cycles, diagrams of cells
- Picture problems, visual demonstration
Eric Curts recently published this blog post on using Google Drawing to have students create Motivational Posters. It’s a great way to reinforce vocabulary, build community, and teach art elements. Check out his step-by-step guide and other ideas on how to use them in any content area.
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