As we increase our emphasis on grading for learning at Grand Rapids Christian High, many of us are rightly re-thinking the way we have traditionally given summative assessments. It seems right to give students multiple ways to demonstrate their learning, and I know many of you are quite good at this. You have been mixing things up with a variety of creative assessment tools for years and years. Others of us (pointing to myself here!) have found it more difficult to pry ourselves away from more traditional written tests as the only method of assessing student learning. In light of all this I’d like to present one interesting classroom activity that I think you might find useful, and your students will likely enjoy quite a bit.
Photo Comic Strips in Google Slides
Step 1 – Come up with something you could ask students to demonstrate knowledge of using a comic strip storyline. Examples: Act out a scene using certain vocabulary or grammar concepts in a language class, demonstrate a hypothetical interaction between historical figures in a history class, act out scenes from a novel or short story in literature class, etc.
Step 2 – Divide students up into small groups and have them create a shared Google Slides presentation.
Step 3 – Students plan out their ‘scenes’ and, using a digital camera or phone, they take photos. An assignment may also involve finding existing photos (see Obama/Putin image).
NOTE: If the students get the Google Slides app on a smartphone or a tablet it’s easy to take photos right in the app that are automatically added to those slides!
Step 4 – After pictures have been added to slides, students add callouts (insert – shape – callouts) and text to make the pictures into a sort of comic strip. The callouts are possible on a phone or tablet, but it’s easier to do this part on their laptops.
Step 5 – Images can be kept on the slides and shared with teacher. Optionally, slides may be downloaded as separate image files (jpg or png) and arranged on a new one-page document to look more like an actual comic strip.
NOTE on Google Apps on phone/tablet: It will likely be impossible for GRCHS students to access their school Google account from their phones. It works best if students share the presentation with a personal Google account (many students already have one) in addition to their school emails.
Presentation on Making Comics with Google Slides (Eric Curts)
Comics with Google Tools (Mike Petty)