Each year the 3rd grade students at Holladay Elementary take a PE field trip to Three Lakes Park to go fishing. This year they decided to do a science experiment to see which type of bait worked best. In groups, they researched which kinds of fish are at the park and what types of bait to use. The students developed their own hypotheses about which type of bait would work best, and then they tested their hypotheses at the park by keeping track of which types of bait caught which kinds of fish. They also measured the fish as they caught them and took photos. They had practiced measuring fish earlier in Art class using fish rubbings. The photos were posted online here using CoMemories. (CoMemories is a great site for sharing pictures because anyone can contribute with the given link). Back at school, students analyzed the data and drew conclusions. They concluded that worms were, by far, the best bait. I helped them publish their findings in a brochure for the visitors center at Three Lakes Park. They also created group presentations about the different types of fish using a program of their choice (Comic Life, Keynote, Pixie, and/or video). You can take a look at the students’ presentations here. Finally, they scored their projects using a rubric. This project was also Holladay’s entry for Henrico21. Hopefully we’ve helped future 3rd graders and other visitors to Three Lakes Park catch lots of fish!
Kindergarten students in Ms. Lewis’s class at Davis Elementary have been studying rhyming words (K.1e) so today we created a class comic book of rhyming word pairs. I gave them a Comic Life template that you can download by clicking here. The students opened the template and added their name to it. Then we brainstormed rhyming word pairs and wrote them on the Promethean Board. I asked them to choose a pair to illustrate on their page. We did a Google Image Search to find the pictures, but they needed a lot of help with that, so I made a folder of images that you can use (download here). After the students added the pictures to the comic, they typed the rhyming words in the speech bubbles. Then I showed them how to change the style of the images using the Style button. We ran out of time at that point, but if you have extra time you could also show them how to change the Style of the text, the paper, and the speech bubbles. I combined their documents together into one Comic Life and saved it as a PDF (go to File > Print > PDF > Save As PDF). Then I uploaded it to Youblisher to create an online flipbook for embedding in a blog or sharing with parents. You can take a look at it here.
Third graders in Ms. Leo’s class at Varina Elementary have been learning about drawing conclusions when they read. So today they created comics that told an ambiguous story and their friends had to draw conclusions about what they think happened. We practiced the skill first with some sample picture stories. I did a quick image search of a girl with some presents and then I showed a picture of the girl crying. They drew the conclusion that the girl didn’t get what she wanted. Then I showed a picture of a dog chasing a cat followed by a picture of a sad dog, and they drew the conclusion that the dog didn’t get the cat. Once they got the idea, they opened up a blank Comic Life and added a title “Conclusions”. Then they dragged over four panels. I instructed them to do a Google image search for pictures that would tell an ambiguous story, similar to the examples I modeled for them. They dragged the pictures into the top two panels. They put a picture of themselves in the third panel and added a speech bubble saying something like, “Can you guess what happened?” Then they switched with a partner and their partner added their picture and wrote their conclusion in the speech bubble. I combined all their comics together and saved it as a PDF. Then I uploaded it to FlipSnack where you can read it online here.
We had Monday off for Presidents Day (SOL1.3), so many 1st grade students have been learning about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (SOL1.2) this week. Today 1st graders in Ms. Reese’s class at Laburnum reviewed facts about the presidents, practiced writing sentences, and learned a new program called Comic Life. I gave them a template with 4 panels that you can download by clicking here. I also gave them a folder of pictures to use that you can download by clicking here. First they chose which president they wanted to write about and typed his name in the title. I showed them how they could change the font and color using the Style button. Next we added some pictures to three of the four panels. There were portraits and photographs of the presidents as well as pictures of money, monuments, and memorials. For each picture they chose, the students had to write a short sentence in the speech bubble. Finally they took their picture with the Capture button and typed a sentence about themselves in their speech bubble. I combined them all together into one PDF document and uploaded it to Flipsnack. You can see their finished comic book online here.
Second graders in Ms. Street’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been learning about ancient China (SOL2.1), and today they created a comic book about the famous places and inventions of this incredible civilization. They started with a blank Comic Life document. I showed them how to add a fancy title and change the style, then they dragged over six panels. I gave them a folder of pictures to use that you can download by clicking here. They added 5 pictures of their choice and then took pictures of themselves for the 6th panel. I showed them how to change the style of the photos to make them look more comic-like. Finally we added speech bubbles, and the students typed in sentences to give facts about each picture. I combined all their comics together into one comic book and published online here. If you are studying ancient China, there are lots of great resources online. You can watch a video about how they invented gunpowder here. You can take a virtual tour of the Great Wall and see a panoramic view of it here. I also made a Google map here where you can zoom down and see part of the Great Wall.
Kindergarten students in Ms. Miller’s class at Holladay Elementary have been learning how to calculate 1 more and 1 less (SOLK.4b), so today I showed them how to demonstrate their math skills by using Comic Life. I gave them a 4 square template that you can download by clicking here. First we changed the title to say “More Less” to practice typing those words. Then I showed them how to use the “Capture” button to turn on the built-in camera. For the first square, they took pictures of themselves and wrote their names in the speech bubble. Next I told them to collect a certain number (less than 10) of an object. Some got 8 crayons, others got 5 pairs of scissors, and some got 7 erasers. It was their choice. Once they gathered the objects they took a picture of them for the second panel of the comic and wrote the number in the speech bubble. Finally they figured out how to show 1 more and 1 less of their original number, took those pictures, and completed the speech bubbles with the new number. For example, if they started with 6 paint brushes, they took a photo of 5 and wrote “1 less is 5.” Take a look at a few student samples: Zoey, William, and Stephanie.
First graders in Ms. Gerrard’s class at Davis Elementary have been learning about goods & services (SOL1.7) so today we reviewed those concepts with Comic Life. I wanted them to understand that people can provide goods as well as services. So all the pictures I gave them are of people: farmers, builders, cooks, doctors, firemen, and teachers. You can download the folder of pictures here. I also gave them a Comic Life template that you can download by clicking here. We discussed what kinds of goods and services each job provides. You could use this site to help review those ideas. There are four panels on the template, so I instructed them to add two people who provide goods and two people who provide services. Then I taught them how to type a simple sentence in each speech bubble: “I make a good,” or “I do a service.” Next we added a new page and showed them how to take their picture with the built-in camera and how to type their name with the special lettering. We also added a speech bubble for them to type in what kind of job they wanted to do and whether it provided a good or a service, but we ran out of time. You can take a look at a couple of student examples: Connor and Nardeen.
Kindergarten students in Ms. Fennell’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been learning about needs and wants (SOLK.7) so today I taught them how to make a needs and wants comic using the program, Comic Life. They started out with a template that you can download by clicking here and a folder of pictures that you can download by clicking here. On the first page it says “I have needs and wants.” I showed the students how to take their photo using the built-in camera and type their name in the speech bubble. The next page says “Needs” and has four boxes. I taught them how to use the Finder button in Comic Life to find the folder of pictures I gave them. They had to look at the pictures, identify four examples of needs, and drag them into the boxes. Most of the students did a great job identifying food, clothing, water, and shelter as needs. But pizza presented a bit of a dilemma. Was it a need (food) or a want? I let them think about that, then we went to the last page, titled “Wants.” They had to drag in four pictures of wants. Finally, I showed them how to change the style of the pictures and text using the Style button in Comic Life. You can see some student examples of this project here: Josiah, Markiya, and Alejandro.
Fifth graders in Ms. Payne’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been learning about plant and animal cells (SOL5.5). Today they made a comic book to review the different parts and their functions. The students could chose whether they wanted to illustrate an animal or a plant cell. They started by drawing the cell and its organelles in Pixie. Then they exported it as a PNG file and dragged it into a Comic Life document. Next they used the speech bubbles to make each part of the cell “talk” and describe its function. I stressed to them the importance of writing complete sentences with correct grammar and spelling. Then they did a Google Image search and found a photo of a plant or animal to accompany their cell diagrams. They also used the built-in webcam to take a picture of themselves to add to their comic. I combined all the pages together into one document, saved it as a PDF, and uploaded it to Youblisher. Youblisher is a site like Flipsnack that allows you to upload PDFs and it publishes them as online flipbooks. You can see their finished comic here.
Fourth graders in Ms. White’s class at Davis Elementary have been learning about the parts of a flower (SOL 4.4). So today they used Comic Life to create a flower comic book. I wanted to show them three ways to get pictures into a Comic Life project: (1) upload your own, (2) grab a picture from the Internet, or (3) take a photo with the camera. First I showed them how to upload their own pictures. We drew a quick diagram of a flower using Pixie and exported it to our folders. Then we opened Comic Life, added three panels, and dragged our picture into one of the panels. Next, we did a google image search for a flower and dragged one of those pictures into the second panel. Then we used the built-in camera feature to take photos of ourselves and added those to the last panel (if you have live flowers, that would actually be better to photograph, but we didn’t). I showed them how to add speech bubbles to label the parts and describe what each part does. The last step was to use the Style button to change the style of the title and photos. I combined all of their comics into one document, saved it as a PDF, and uploaded it to Flipsnack. You can see their finished flower comic book here.