You can do this 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 Jack-O-Lantern.
- Make a copy of the Google Slides "Build a Jack-O-Lantern" template, found further down in the blog post.
- The template has a blank pumpkin and several slides full of items to add to your Jack-O-Lantern including eyes, mouths, hats, arms, feet, and more.
- Copy and paste the items to build your Jack-O-Lantern.
- If you need different pictures, you can search for more.
- You can even add or draw your own shapes as needed.
- When done building, write about your Jack-O-Lantern in the textbox. You can describe it, tell a story about it, or explain who it is.
- When all done you can download a picture of your Jack-O-Lantern and writing to share with others.
Get a copy of the template
- "Build a Jack-O-Lantern" template - Google Slides link
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.
What’s in the template
The Google Slide template has multiple parts for the activity. These include:
Slide 1 - The title slide
Slides 2-4 - A brief set of directions
Slide 5 - The blank pumpkin. This is where you will build your Jack-O-Lantern and where you will write about them.
Slides 6 through 13 - Items for building your Jack-O-Lantern. These slides contain images that you can copy and paste onto your blank Jack-O-Lantern. The items are grouped on the slides by topic including Eyes, Mouths, Arms, Feet, and Hats.
Building your Jack-O-Lantern
To build your Jack-O-Lantern, simply copy and paste images from the items slides onto your blank pumpkin. You can copy and paste in several ways.
- 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 pumpkin 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 Jack-O-Lantern, 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.
Adding other shapes
Since Jack-O-Lanterns often have geometric shapes cut out of them, you can also do this by adding a wide variety of shapes from the "Shapes" menu in Google Slides.
- Click "Insert" then "Shape" then choose the shape you want.
- Drag to create the shape.
- Rotate and resize as needed.
- Color with the "Fill color" tool.
Drawing your own shapes
If you want, you can also draw your own shapes to be as creative as you want. You can do this by using the "Polyline" tool in Google Slides.
- Click "Insert" then "Line" then "Polyline".
- Click endpoints to create the shape.
- Color with the "Fill color" tool.
Writing about your Jack-O-Lantern
- A description of your Jack-O-Lantern.
- A story about your Jack-O-Lantern.
- An explanation of who your Jack-O-Lantern is and/or what he or she does.
- Be sure to include your name at the bottom of your writing.
Downloading your Jack-O-Lantern
When you are completely done, you can download a picture of your Jack-O-Lantern and your writing as follows:
- Make sure you are on the slide that has your completed Jack-O-Lantern 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.
The “Build a Jack-O-Lantern” 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. 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. 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