Sunday, December 18, 2016

Build a Snowman with Google Slides

Do you want to build a snowman?

Well now you can with this fun, and educational, Google Slides activity. This is a great way for students to be creative and to work on their writing skills by describing or writing about their snowman.

Here’s how:

  • Make a copy of the Google Slides “Build a Snowman” template, found further down in the blog post.
  • The template has a blank snowman and several slides full of items to add to your snowman including eyes, mouths, hats, arms, feet, hair, and more.
  • Copy and paste the items to build your snowman.
  • If you need different pictures, you can search for more.
  • When done building, write about your snowman or snowwoman in the textbox. You can describe them, tell a story about them, or explain who they are.
  • When all done you can download a picture of your snowman and writing to share with others.

See below to get your own copy of the template, as well as more detailed directions and a video tutorial on how to do the activity.


Get a copy of the template

This activity is created with Google Slides. To get your own copy of the template simple click the link below.

  • “Build a Snowman” template - Google Slides link
    (Original version with movable snowman.)
  • “Build a Snowman” template - Google Slides link
    (Version 2 where snowman cannot be moved. May be easier for younger children.)

Your students can click this link to get their own copy, or you can use Google Classroom to push out a copy of the template to each of your students.


Video tutorial (11 minutes)

If you would like a step-by-step video tutorial on how to use the template, see the video below:



What’s in the template

The Google Slide template has multiple parts for the activity. These include:

Slide 1 - The title slide

Slide 2 - A brief set of directions

Slide 3 - The blank snowman. This is where you will build your snowman (or snowwoman) and where you will write about them.


Slides 4 through 10 - Items for building your snowman. These slides contain images that you can copy and paste onto your blank snowman. The items are grouped on the slides by topic including Eyes, Mouths, Arms, Feet, Hats, Hair, and Extras.









Building your snowman

To build your snowman, simply copy and paste images from the items slides onto your blank snowman. You can copy and paste in several ways.

To copy an item:

  • Click on the picture and press “Ctrl” and “C
  • Or click on the picture and click “Edit” then “Copy” in the top menu bar.
  • Or right-click on the picture and choose “Copy” from the pop-up menu.

To paste an item, go to the snowman slide and:

  • Press “Ctrl” and “V
  • Or click “Edit” then “Paste” in the top menu bar.
  • Or right-click and choose “Paste” from the pop-up menu.


Once your item has been pasted in you can adjust it in many ways:

  • Drag and drop it to move it around.
  • Press the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it around.
  • Hold down the “Shift” key and press the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it one pixel at a time.
  • Click and drag the blue circle on top of the image to rotate the image if needed.
  • Click “Arrange” in the top menu bar, then “Rotate” and “Flip horizontally” or “Flip vertically” if needed.
  • Click and drag the corners of the image to change its size if desired.
  • Click “Image options” in the top menu bar, and then “Recolor” to adjust the color (works better for lighter colors).


Adding your own images

Although the template provides a large variety of items to use for your snowman, you may still want to add some more of your own. You can add more images as follows:

  • Click “Insert” in the top menu bar, then click “Image”.
  • You can add an image in several ways including “Upload” or from your “Google Drive” or with a “Search
  • If you use the “Search” option, you may want to choose “Clip art” from the “Any type” drop down menu to limit your results to clip art style pictures.



Writing about your Snowman

When you are done creating your snowman, now you will want to write about him (or her). You can type in the textbox to the right of your snowman to enter your own writing. This could include:

  • A description of your snowman.
  • A story about your snowman.
  • An explanation of who your snowman is and/or what he does.
  • Be sure to include your name at the bottom of your writing.


Downloading your Snowman

When you are completely done, you can download a picture of your snowman and your writing as follows:

  • Make sure you are on the slide that has your completed snowman and your writing.
  • Click “File” in the top menu bar.
  • Choose “Download as” from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose “PNG image” from the sub-menu.
  • This will download an image of just the slide you are on and not any of the rest of the slideshow.


You can now share your image in several ways:

  • Email it to someone.
  • Turn it in through Google Classroom.
  • Post it on your class website.
  • Share it through social media.
  • Combine it with others to make a new slideshow with everyone’s creations.


Conclusion

The “Build a Snowman” Google Slides activity can be a great way to let kids be creative and to improve their writing at the same time. One of the great things about creativity, is you never know what students will come up with. Below are a few examples of what my boys and I created.




Feel free to email me images of your students’ creations. I would love to see what they make and will be glad to share some examples here to inspire others.

Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1

32 comments:

  1. This is awesome Eric! I plan on using this in January in my elementary computer lab! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. You are so welcome Andrea! Would love to see what the students create.

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    2. I love this idea for students to use at the k - 2 level. I am thinking of sharing the activity with older students and having them create their own.

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    1. Thanks Mark! Great to hear from you!

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  3. Total genius. Thanks for sharing, Eric! PS. Would love to have a version of this for "Build your own Monster" for Halloween!

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    1. That's a great idea Sylvia! I will put that on my to-do list.

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  4. This is awesome! Thanks for always sharing your work! I tried adding animation....

    https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/17c208rvREQxxGKLnP0AA6cBntX9L_mpTYlwp0H8Fib0/pub?start=true&loop=false&delayms=200&slide=id.g1ab5f471d0_0_218

    Enjoy!

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    1. That is so neat! Thanks for sharing your creation!

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  5. Thank you Eric. This is fantastic. I had fun with it, and will be sharing it with teachers in my district. From your inspiration, I made a "Build Your Own Emoji." Anyone wanting to use it can find it here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/18smEemcfwXqy3Dwp2QYnugKz64ZJqepOowZTMtvYdzM/copy

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    1. That is awesome Norman! What a great idea to build emojis. Thanks so much for building and sharing this!

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  6. How long did it actually take to make this resource?!

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    1. Probably around 8 hours or so. I worked on it over this Saturday and Sunday. I love creating things though, so I usually don't notice the time.

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  7. This is fantastic! Just did it with one of my 2nd grade classes. They loved it!

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  8. Eric, this is AWESOME!
    I can't wait to share this with my second graders! Thank you for your creativeness.

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  9. Super cute! This must have taken so much time to create! Thank you for the work you put into this!

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  10. I'm doing my Google Fundamental Training and this was fun to me to play around with. It's super cute and the students in my school would LOVE this - great tech fun for a cold January day! Thank you!

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  12. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. I plan on using it next week with my second and third graders.

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  13. Curt:
    Great activity! Did you search for/find all of the eyes, mouths, arms, hair, feet, etc on the web?

    I would like to try to use Google Slides to create a Geography activity where 7th grade students build an area of the world (Europe, Asia, etc). I envision that they would drag/drop individual countries in place and then group them, then add to the map (features, rivers, capitols, etc.).

    Are you aware of any sites that might have individual country shapes (like puzzle pieces) for a project like this?

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    1. Allene, I found all of the images on the Open Clipart site at https://openclipart.org It is a great site for free images. You can find maps of countries there as well, so that may work for your project. If not, you could also try https://freevectormaps.com Would love to see what you create!

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  14. I loved this activity! I did it with my 2nd grade class this week. Here is an example I shared on our classroom Twitter page. https://goo.gl/UHvqQi

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing that Carol! I am so glad your students had a good time with this activity!

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  15. The third graders loved this activity! Many of them are going to do more snowmen at home. Thanks!

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  16. My students are loving this activity! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  17. I am the librarian at school and I shared this project with the second grade teachers. Thanks for posting this idea and providing the instructional video. The students had a lot of fun using Google Slides (cut and paste) and creating their own snowman with Google Drawing. They also enjoyed writing a short story about their snow creations. We posted them in Google Classroom and in the library for everyone in the school to enjoy!

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