Friday, January 27, 2017

4 Fun Literacy Activities with Google Docs

Google Docs is a great word processor, but is much more than just that. Although we can certainly use it to type up a report, take notes, or write a story, we can also get creative with the features and functions built into the program to make some fun learning activities.

Recently I did a video training webinar where I took a look at four creative ways to use regular Google Docs features in new fun ways to practice and develop literacy skills. These include:

  • The highlighting tool for the activity "Improve Reading Comprehension with Google Docs Black Out"
  • The special characters tool for the activity "Emoji Learning Activities with Google Docs"
  • The word count tool for the activity "Have Students Write Better by Writing Less with Google Docs"
  • The header tool and hyperlink tool for the activity "Choose Your Own Adventure Stories with Google Docs"

See below for the full 1-hour training video, as well as resources, ideas, and templates for each of the four activities.

Training Video (1 hour)





1) Improve Reading Comprehension with Docs Black Out

Description: In this activity students use the highlighter tool to black out any text that is not critical, leaving behind just the main ideas.

Resources: For full details and resources for doing this activity, see my original blog post "Improve Reading Comprehension with Google Docs Black Out"

Below is the portion of the training video that covers this specific activity:




2) Emoji Learning Activities

Description: In this activity students use special characters to insert emojis to summarize stories, write creatively, and explore character emotions.

Resources: For full details and resources for doing this activity, see my original blog post "5 Emoji Learning Activities with Google Docs"

Below is the portion of the training video that covers this specific activity:




3) Have Students Write Better by Writing Less

Description: In this activity students use the word count tool to write within a character limit or word limit.

Resources: For full details and resources for doing this activity, see my original blog post "Have Students Write Better by Writing Less with Google Docs"

Below is the portion of the training video that covers this specific activity:




4) Choose Your Own Adventure Stories

Description: In this activity students use headings and hyperlinks to create interactive stories in Google Docs.

Resources: For full details and resources for doing this activity, see my original blog post "Choose Your Own Adventure Stories with Google Docs"

Below is the portion of the training video that covers this specific activity:




Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for an excellent webinar on 4 easily replicated literacy activities. I do not work in a Google environment, as my district has gone to Microsoft OneNote and the Office 365 suite of tools. However, I was pausing the the video and trying out the strategies you were illustrating. With little or no difficulty am able "translate" the activities in Microsoft tools - Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Good stuff.

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  2. Thanks for the information with regards to the activities (highlighter tool, word count, choose your own adventure & special character tool). As I read through your suggestions I was drawn toward two of them, the word count and choose your own adventure, activities. I am always trying to have my students either add more details or take away details in their writing that are not needed. I plan on using the word count as a tool for these students to learn how to say what they need and want to say with the right words. This skill with certainly help them with their writing, especially when they are writing summaries to the stories they are reading. The choose your own adventure idea is the one that intrigued me the most. I am going to be studying the Underground Railroad in a couple of weeks and I am planning on having students create their own choose your own adventure focused around slaves escaping from the south. Students will research the obstacles that occurred in real life for the slaves and they add them to their adventure. It should be a lot of fun and entertaining.

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