Monday, February 13, 2017

3rd Graders Create Digital Timelines With Google Drawing!

February is such a great month for students to learn about our country's history!  Among the celebrations are Black History Month & President's Day. In an effort to bring these topics to life, Mrs. McCollough wanted her students to create a timeline of the major events in Abraham Lincoln's life. She asked for my help in finding the right digital tool for her students to use. (MN Benchmark: SS. Create timelines of important events... & SS. Examine historical records, maps and artifacts to answer basic questions about times and events in history)

After a great deal of digging, I found quite a few options. I settled on the web app Google Drawings. I used several criteria in choosing this one.  First, I wanted students to be able to add images to their timeline. Images from this time period are so interesting as it was the early years of photography. It also gave students a chance to use historical records and artifacts from the period. Several of the online timeline creators don't allow images to be included in the timeline, so they didn't seem right for this job. In addition, students are used to using Google tools. Having them use the drawing app would add to their knowledge of using a digital drawing app and enhance their knowledge of the options within Google. Finally, when students inserted an image from within Google Drawings, they were able to search the web without having to leave the app. Since classroom time is always limited, I saw this as a real advantage. The search tool within Google Drawing offered up images that were public domain, thus giving us an opportunity to discuss copyright. (Always a plus!)

In addition to learning about Abraham Lincoln's life and contributions to our nation, students learned to use the line tool (with & without arrows), change line weight, text boxes, font size,  and image sizing (pulling from the corners not the sides). They enthusiastically shared their timelines with each other and with their teacher! A fun way to learn about history!