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Picturing America

What it is: Picturing America takes hold of the notion that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and applies it to teaching American history. The National Endowment for the Humanities is providing American art masterpieces into classrooms and libraries. The idea behind Picturing America is that bringing our nation’s artistic heritage into the classroom gives students unique insights into the character, ideals, and aspirations of our country. The Picturing America program is completely free for schools and libraries and provides them with 40 high-quality masterpieces, a teacher resources book, and the program website. How to integrate Picturing America into your curriculum: What better way to teach your students American history than actually bringing history into the classroom and providing students with real ties to the past? I wish that I had the opportunity to learn history this way! Picturing America is going to bring authentic conversation into your classroom about American history. It would be the perfect use of web 2.0 collaborative tools where students can discuss the history and the art in Picturing America. Picturing America masterpieces would also be easily integrated into the art classroom or in literacy as writing inspiration. The teacher resource book is going to provide you with wonderful tie ins to your current curriculum. This is an amazing program, I encourage you to take part in it! Tips: Apply for the Picturing America program today. A big thank you to my friend Jill who shared this site with me! Please leave a comment and share how you are using Picturing America in your classroom.

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Piki Kids Comic Creator

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Character Education, Fun & Games, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Websites | Posted on 06-10-2008

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What it is:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an online comic creator for students.  Students can upload pictures from their computers, or search Flickr for images to use in their comic strip.  The comics are very flexible so students can make them uniquely their own.  Students can choose the number of panels, the look of the panels, color choices, and much more.  When students are finished creating their online Piki Kids comic, they can save them to a gallery, or print out.

 

How to integrate Piki Kids Comic Creator into the classroom:  Students love reading comics, there is something about the interaction with a comic that makes even struggling readers willing to try.  I find that the same is true with writing.  Many kids who struggle to write would dread writing out a story or series of events after reading a book.  But, introduce a comic and suddenly those kids who don’t like writing are writing full stories.  Piki Kids Comic Creator is the perfect way to get your students writing about anything.  Studying dinosaurs?  Have the kids find some clip art of dinosaurs that they can upload to Piki Kids and have them write about what they are learning comic book style.  Learning about the Civil War?  Have the students retell the story as a comic strip.  You will see creativity that you didn’t know your students possessed!  Comic strips are also an excellent place for students to “write” a book report after finishing a book.  Comics can be used in science to show processes (like plant cycle…give those plants a voice!)  Comics can be used in math for students to create word problems for fellow classmates to solve.  Use comics in character education, after teaching a lesson, students can illustrate, comic-style, what that might look like.  From the technology side of things, Piki Kids Comic Creator is a great place to teach kids skills like uploading to a website, searching flickr for pictures, changing font, size, and color.  

 

Tips:  Piki Kids Comic Creator is an excellent tool.  Be aware that there are adwords on the website.  I use these as an opportunity to help my student spot advertisements and talk about why sites include ads on websites.  Everything can be a learning experience!

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Piki Kids Comic Creator in your classroom.

Comments (2)

Hi there,

Comics are truly a great tool for educators. You seem to have captured various ways in which they can be used in the classroom!

You could also check out http://www.toondoo.com, an easy-to-use comic strip creator with loads of inbuilt characters. ToonDoo is currently being used by educators from all over the world.

Have fun teaching and learning with comics!
Meera

Hi! I just found your blog and after reading post after post, I’m amazed at all of the great resources you have shared! I too am a technology teacher and many of these I have not heard of. I am going to be teaching a technology enrichment class and I love the Piki Kids Comic Creator. I can’t wait to show it to my kids, they are going to have a blast!

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