Monday, April 23, 2018

2nd Graders Create Tomie dePaola Timelines In Google Draw

Mrs. Quaal's 2nd graders have been reading books written by Tomie dePaola and learning about his life and accomplishments as an author.  As their study was ending, Mrs. Quaal wanted students to be able to see Mr. dePaola's life events in the form of a timeline. Creating a timeline is part of the 2nd Grade Minnesota Benchmark: SS - Use and create timelines to chronicle personal, school, community or world events. This was a fabulous blending of digital integration with social studies and ELA standards for 2nd grade. 

From previous lessons, I had already discovered that Google Drawings was a useful tool for students creating timelines, so I suggested to Mrs. Quaal that we use this digital tool. Google Draw has several features that are useful in creating timelines.  First, I wanted students to be able to add images to their timeline. Several of the free 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 were 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 web 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 creating a visual representation of Tomie dePaola's life, 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! Though we don't usually print out the results of our digital work, Mrs. Quaal wanted to create a classroom display, so she printed them out. In an effort to save on color toner, we kept the background of our timelines white. Their digital and printed timelines looked great and students learned so much from this experience.