Tag Archives: visual arts

Trace a Photo to Make a Cartoon

Not sure how to draw? You can trace images in photographs to create cartoons using Google Slides. Try it!

  1. Create a new presentation in Google Slides. Rename it trace.
    If asked to pick a theme, pick Simple Light. Click OK.
  2. Click Layout. Pick Blank.
  3. Add a picture as a background to lock the image you will trace:
    a. Click Background. Beside Image, click Choose.
    background dialog box
    b. Click Search. Find a simple photograph that you can trace.
  4. Search for an image.

  5. Click the Select line arrow . Pick Curve or Polyline.
  6. Click around the shape of the object to trace it. TIP: Do not click on the same spot twice!
  7. Trace around the object.

    To edit, right click on the shape. Select Edit Points.

  8. Make the other shapes and adjust the object order. Add details to make it look great!
  9. Add shapes to the cartoon.

  10. Click Background. Click Reset to remove it.
  11. Trace a photo.

  12. To save it as a picture, select Download as from the File menu. Pick JPEG.

This is the “Trace a Photo to Make a Cartoon” Extension Activity from the TechnoGallery technology project. Check out the project to see how young students can use digital art tools to create a gallery of fun, original masterpieces.

Integrate Technology and Visual Arts with Google Apps

Support the Creative Process in Primary Students

Integrate technology with TechnoGallery.

Integrate technology and art with TechnoGallery.

In a previous post, I described TechnoGallery. Not only is this project fun for beginners, but it integrates technology into the visual arts curriculum. Using Google Apps for Education, the activities in TechnoGallery gradually introduce drawing tools and techniques to support the creative process of making art using technology.

To start, students explore and experiment with tools. Next they study artwork to gain inspiration. Afterwards, they apply their skills to create a series of creative designs. The completed artwork is shared with an audience in an art exhibit. Students then reflect upon the experience.

Integrate Digital Art Tools into Visual Arts

There are many benefits to including digital art tools into visual arts:

  • Encourage Playful Discovery of Art Tools: Exploring program features is a fun act of discovery. The artist can “click around” to reveal the purpose and options for each digital art tool. Each click provides instant feedback.
  • Invite Risk Tasking into the Creative Process: Digital art can easily be revised. The artist can instantly undo an action, revert an object to its original state, replace an image, or adjust a design. This provides the freedom to take chances.
  • Experiment with Different Design Choices: An artist can keep their original artwork intact by making a duplicate. This allows them to make different design choices on the copy.
  • Explore the Elements of Design: Digital art tools allow the exploration of line, color, texture, shape, and space.
  • Develop an Understanding of the Principles of Design: Digital art tools allow artists to make choices to create contrast, repetition and rhythm, variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, or movement.
  • Combine Multiple Forms of Media in Artwork: Digital art tools allow an artist the ability to combine a range of media such as objects, images, and text onto the same canvas. This presents a wide range of creative possibilities.
  • Develop Fine Motor Skills for Art Making: Creating digital artwork requires precise movements of the hands and fingers. Artists gain coordination by using digital art tools.
  • Realize an Imagined Idea: Artists often have ideas that are difficult to create because they lack the skills to draw what they imagine. Digital art tools can support artists by providing them with tools that bridge the gap between imagination and ability.
  • Incorporate Digital Art into other Work: Digital art can be easily inserted into a presentation or report. This allows the artist to express their ideas using other media.
  • Share Original Art with an Audience: Digital art can be shared with a large audience. It can instantly be uploaded to a website, posted in a blog, or sent in an email message.
  • Respond to Artwork Digitally: Digital artwork can be commented upon electronically. This allows the artist and the audience to have a conversation about the work.

Learn More About Google Drawings Activities

Integrate technology The TechnoGallery technology project is a unique way to develop fundamental computing skills. The drawing activities develop the fine motor and keyboarding skills necessary for using technology efficiently. In addition, by producing an animated art gallery, students learn basic graphic, word processing, and presentation skills to provide a foundation for future learning.

Create with Google Drawings and Slides

Can young students use digital art tools to create works of art? Yes, they can with Google Drawings!

TechnoGallery – introductory activities to investigate digital art tools – is the latest release from TechnoKids Inc.

Designed for students in Grades 1 to 5, this project uses Google Apps for Education to integrate technology and visual arts. Through guided exploration, students create a series of original art pieces to convey an emotion, tell a story, send a message, and express an idea. The art activities develop fine motor, keyboarding, and basic computing skills.

The fun begins with an exploration of the line and shape tools in Google Drawings. Once familiar with how to create and format objects, the young artists apply their creative talents to make cartoon faces and characters.

TechnoGallery line drawing

Applying their new skills, students then create a picture to tell a story using shapes and lines.

Tell a story with digital art tools

The next activity transforms text into a unique picture by formatting the style and color of letters.

Use Google Drawings to make a word picture

The final art project has students experiment with recoloring and cropping options to create stunning images.

Recolor and crop images to create artwork.

Upon completion, each piece of artwork is placed into picture frames using Google Slides. The art gallery is animated with transitions. Finally students share their artwork and explain their artistic choices during a digital art show.

Enhance the visual arts curriculum with digital art activities. Invite your students to experiment and take risks in the creative process. TechnoGallery is a new, original, and fun way to explore the elements and principles of design through a playful discovery of art tools.

TechnoGallery includes:

  • teacher guide
  • digital student worksheets
  • sample artwork
  • art gallery rubric
  • self-reflection task
  • enrichment activities

TechnoGallery is the sixth in a series of TechnoKids technology projects designed especially for use with Google Apps for Education. Other projects in this series are TechnoJournal, TechnoQuestionnaire, TechnoDebate, TechnoTimeline, and TechnoMap.

10 More Blogging Activities for Elementary Students

Are you looking for even more blogging activities? Here are a few more ideas:

1. Art Reflection

Take a digital photo or scan a piece of artwork. Post the artwork to the blog. Have students reflect upon the creative process in a short paragraph. For example, they can identify the materials, outline the techniques used to create the art piece, describe how they feel about the artwork, explain what made them chose the subject matter, list problem areas, or propose one thing they might do differently in the future.

2. Art Critic

Post a picture of a famous painting. Have students comment upon the elements and principles of design, subject matter, or feelings evoked.

3. Transform a Written Report into a Blog Series

Replace a traditional report with a series of blog entries. Divide a topic into parts and then have each part equal a blog entry. Each entry should include a picture, video, facts, or links to topic related sites. For example, a blog series about an endangered specie could be divided into four entries. The first entry could include a picture with text that describes the appearance. The second entry could include a video that includes an explanation of the habitat. The third entry could include a list of the three most interesting facts about the animal, and the final entry could have links to sites related to the topic.

4. Science Fair Diary

Most science fair projects are done primarily at home. This can make it difficult for teachers to track progress. Have students write entries documenting their progress. Each entry is a few sentences that describe activities such as research, materials, findings, or report design. This diary allows teachers to offer helpful advice, pose thought-provoking questions, or offer encouragement throughout the project. It also helps students to maintain a regular workflow, be accountable for progress over the time period, and learn good time management skills.

blogging resources

5. Joint Serial Writing

Have your students engage in a joint short story writing activity. Divide your class into groups. Give each group a tag name. They must use this tag when they write each post. This will keep the story parts together. Now, assign a group member to write the beginning of the story. It must be between 3-6 sentences. The title should read Part 1 Story Name. The next group member reads the post, and then writes a new post that continues on the story. The title of that post is Part 2 Story Name. Each group member takes a turn, until the final writer must end the story. To read the story, readers must click on the tag name. Now all the story parts are displayed. Since they are in reverse chronological order, the reader needs to scroll to the bottom of the screen to read the first post. This idea works great if you want to blog but only have access to a few computers at the back of the classroom.



Use these creative ideas to have your students enjoy blogging.


6. Network with the Community

Extend the walls of the classroom. Invite community members to become guest commenters. They can post comments onto blogs about a unit of study. For example, if studying flight it would be great to have a local pilot or aviation group become guest commenters for a short time.

7. e-Pal

Connect with students from another country. Students can communicate with one another by writing posts and commenting. Teachers can specify the purpose of each exchange or allow students to select the content.

8. Digital Career Day

Have students interview their parents, family member, or other significant adult to learn about their career. Responses are recorded in a blog post. Fellow classmates then read about each other’s posts to learn about job opportunities. Further questions are posed using comments. Each interviewee is assigned a guest account so that they can read their post and respond to student questions.

9. Cooperative Bookmark Collection

Encourage students to share resources with one another. Write a teacher blog that includes a collection of Internet favorites. Now challenge students to find even more great sites. Students use the comment feature to post links to great resources.

10. Research Relay

Create a learning community, in which all participating students exchange ideas. In a research relay, each student is assigned a particular section of a topic. They research that section and then write a post to his or her blog. Now the information can be passed onto everyone. This gives students a way to gather information from one another for an assignment or project.


Students become bloggers.