Picture books made easy with Google Slides

Who doesn’t love a picture book?

Growing up, the range of story books my generation had available to us was limited compared to today. Amongst my favourites as a child were Where the Wild Things Are and The Rainbow Serpent. Oh, and of course, there were the amazing Dr Seuss books.

One of my favourites from my son’s younger years is Stanley Paste. I love the illustrations and the story always makes me cry!

Of course, the range these days is immense and so diverse. I love this list of the best picture books of 2013. Some of them look amazing.

And, these days, we have so many options to create our own story books. And not only that, we can even publish them, digitally or on paper. Picture books are a great way to encourage students of all ages to express themselves and to collaborate. Personalised story books are potentially a great way to encourage reluctant writers and readers.

As a GAfE user, I decided to create a picture book template using Google Slides and made it available on the Google Drive template gallery. The dimensions are industry standard 8×11 size. The template comes with instructions but…. stories don’t need to come with rules!

Research story book design, experiment with fonts, colours, backgrounds. Try clip art, photos, drawings (both digital and hand drawn). Just jump in and create!

Below is a preview of the template. To find it, click on the link below:

https://drive.google.com/templates?q=picture+book&type=presentations&sort=hottest&view=public

Like the template? I’d love to hear how you put it into action. Use the comments below or contact me using the link to the right.

Story Book Template Preview; click to find on Google Drive template page.

A preview of the picture book template created using Google Slides.

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Template: Basic interactive poster using Google Drawing

For some of the subjects I teach, students are required to create a digital text (as part of the General Education for Adults (CGEA) vocational qualifications). A simple test to work out if a text is ‘digital’ is-can it be consumed in its entirety by printing it out? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then it does not meet the criteria for a digital text. Another way of looking at it is a text that is multi-media, multi-modal or interactive (alright, enough of the academics already!)

So I have been looking at ways for students to create these digital texts using Chromebooks. I was considering Prezi but did not like the idea of students having to create an account, having everything public, etc. Plus, am I the only one that gets a little motion sick with all that zooming and whirling?

So I looked to Google Drive…

I have only just very recently become acquainted with the delight that is Google Drawing. It is so easy and flexible to use. So I played around with creating a simple digital text template. Here is a preview of what I came up with:

SMLInteractive poster-basic

Yes, it’s simple but I thought it was a good starting point. From here, it can be adapted to many different abilities and outcomes and hopefully inspire students to totally reinvent the poster with their own touches and design.

I am planning to develop a more sophisticated interactive poster template to share. In the meantime, here is a link to the template for your own use.

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