Interactive Games with Google Drawings & Slides

Google Drawings and Slides aren’t just for drawings and slide shows. Both can be used to create interactive  games:

Shown below is an example of a Connect 4 game I recently made.

Most of my students had this game built and ready to play by the end of their class period.

The game is initially built in Google Drawings. Students begin with a circle, duplicate it repeatedly, and then click on Arrange on the menu bar to distribute the circles horizontally and evenly.  The game board has 42 circles altogether: 7 across, 6 down.

Game board with piecesOnce the game board is complete, it is saved as a png file and then uploaded to Google Slides as a background image, which prevents players from accidentally deleting the game board during play. Once in Slides, students create playing pieces for themselves and an opponent. The game is then shared with a friend and play begins. Students can use Ctrl + Alt + M to bring up a comment box to “trash talk” their opponents, letting them know when a move has been made and to let them know who is going to be victorious. The game can be played synchronously or asynchronously.

This game idea game from Alice Keeler. Click this link to read more:


Graphic Organizers with Google Drawings

Some of our CRES 2nd graders have selected a number of topics to include and expand upon in their All About Me graphic organizers at Popplet, which are shown at the bottom of this post. Popplet is a subscription-based program and also helps me create visuals organizers in a snap. Besides Popplet, students can use Google Drawings to create their own graphic organizers.

Listed here are some of the skills developed:

-Navigate to a web address

Responsible Use:
-Use equipment for positive and productive functions
-Recognize and respect ownership rights

Intellectual Property:
-Explore the appropriate use of copyrighted material

-Combine text and graphics to create a presentation
-Enter text appropriate to product

The video shown here, explains how to use Drawings to create a timeline.

Made with Padlet

Using Padlet to Showcase Student Work

Our 6th graders will create a Piet Mondrian inspired artwork during the first trimester. Piet Mondrian’s work is easily recognized by his use of primary colors, the use of horizontal and vertical lines, and the primary values of white, gray and black. It was a form of art he called Neoplasticism. Students will use Google Drawings to create their art and then share it on the digital canvas shown below. I deliver their assignment through Google Classroom once all students have joined my classroom. It’s an awesome way to organize and collect student work.

Made with Padlet

Creating Games with Google Drawings & Slides

This summer I started following Alice Keeler on Twitter. Her blog, Teacher Tech,  is always loaded with great ideas. I recently came across her tweet to her blog post: Play Connect 4 Asynchronously.  The basic game is made in Google Drawings because it offers the distribute tool, which is unavailable in Slides. The distribute tool is used to quickly organize and space the circles, which become openings in the “gameboard”. After the game is made, it’s downloaded as a png and uploaded to Google Slides as a background to prevent players from accidentally deleting it. With the background complete, I then created the game pieces in Slides. These are the only objects easily moved on the screen. I kept my page setup in Drawings the same for Google Slides; otherwise, the board and pieces looked distorted.

Connect 4 gameboard

Connect 4 made in Google Drawings, downloaded as a png file.

connect 4 game in slides

Connect 4 shown in Google Slides with player pieces

Mondrian Style Art With Google Drawings

Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter, is best know for a form of art he called neoplasticism. The art is prepared on a white background, with a grid of black lines and the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Young students can easily recreate their own Mondrian style art.

When students originally began this project, they used the Kerpoof website. It was loved by kids and fairly simple to use. Kerpoof, owned by the Walt Disney Company, closed April 2014. Instead, Disney moved toward creating mobile apps.

The art for this project is quickly created with Google Drawings. Just a few tools are needed: line tool, line weight, shape tool, and arrange. Ctrl + D is also used to quickly duplicate lines. Once completed, I have the students save their art as a png file and have them upload to a collaborative canvas at Padlet.

Mondrian style art image

#Mondrian #GoogleDrawings #ElementaryArtProjects

Creating Digital Badges for Students

Image of a digital badgeI spent much of my summer vacation searching out new digital projects for my students. I really wanted to do more with Google Drawings. On YouTube, I came across this well-made tutorial from Flipped Classroom. The instructions were clear and simple. Shown at left is the badge I made to award students who create a Mondrian style art project. Years ago, students used the Kerpoof Website to make that artwork, but Kerpoof closed in 2014.  My 2nd graders can now use Google Drawings to mimic Piet Mondrian’s style and earn a digital badge.


Distorted Art with Google Drawings

Kids often place a high value on images over text. In fact, kids will start searching Goggle images for pictures to add to their essays when no visual content is required. ;-( When images are requested, students frequently distort them, either horizontally or vertically. Well, here’s a simple project that takes advantage of that skill. The results can be stunning and is a great way to organize and display completed student projects onto a collaborative canvas.

Made with Padlet

#Google_Drawings #distorted_art #Padlet