We’ve all heard it before: “I don’t know how to draw a __________.”
And I believe I have found a very simple solution: Google Images.
Last week my students were working on their first “page” of their “I Am Unique” books. We learned the vocabulary and hand movements to say “j’aime” which means “I like”. The students had to use their “magic writing” to write down the word of an item they liked. Then they had to draw it underneath. (Sidenote: I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this depending on their group of students, but I have quite a few this year who are still learning that print and the picture on the page of a story are associated with each other, which is an important outcome in the Alberta Program of Studies for Kindergarten).
The idea popped into my head very quickly: just search for an image on Google Images! This gave us the opportunity to talk about how sometime we find inappropriate content on the Internet when looking for information, and that if we find it, we have to just ignore it. To be honest though, this has never happened to my students because the search terms they use are pretty harmless. We searched for items like chocolate ice cream, snakes, turtles, and flowers. Nothing negative came out of those searches. This one time when I was preparing for a lesson about the Canadian Food Guide, I searched for “meat” a little too quickly and got some VERY interesting results.
So, digital citizenship, check!
The students loved it. They loved scrolling through the images and being able to pick the one they liked best to help them in the drawing process of their task.
Look at the difference it made for this student! Together, Google Images and I helped him with his drawing on the left. The drawing on the right was his first attempt with no visual aids.
I did hand over hand with him to make the triangle of the cone, since he is still working on his pre-printing shapes, and I also helped him narrow down the colours needed for his chocolate ice cream. We practiced the lines on the waffle cone together too.
I also found a great visual on Pinterest from the Handwriting Without Tears program that I framed to stand up in front of students. It’s great for students who are unsure about letters but have the awareness to form some letters, or at least attempt to copy them, giving them more confidence in the writing process.