Pixel Power: Pictures in Your Classroom

boy with paints

Superpower technologies can be expensive. However by using free websites, open source resources and public domain visuals, you can save and have "pixel power" at the same time!

partsUse visuals to help students deal with difficult language skills. From Paint and Kidpix to Tuxpaint, any graphics software will work for most simple drawing activities.

For example, More Parts by Tedd Arnold help students learn about idioms. Check out a lesson on Figurative Language at ReadWriteThink (3-5). Also try the Eye on Idioms activity. Check out a K2 lesson for Even More Parts at Scholastic.

Online Tools for Visual Expression

Many website have incorporated Flash-based interactive tools for creating visual expressions.

Do some brainstorming with at least three of the following tools. Design an activity that connects this online tool to standards in at least two different content areas. Create a sample project. Then, use Microsoft Word to create step-by-step instructions for the activity as well as a link to the tool. Or, ask students to write the steps they followed in making their creation.

dot k2

dot 3-5

If the software doesn't have print option, use the PRINT SCREEN key to capture the Desktop or ALT-PRINT SCREEN key to copy the current screen. Then, paste it into Word to print. Or, print from the clipboard.

Just For Fun

Although many website are instructional, some are mostly for fun. Think of ways to turn coloring activities into learning experiences.

k through 2

grades 3-6

Open Source Software Solutions

You can save money in your building by always looking for open source solutions before buying software. Open source refers to the sharing of information. For example, while the GIF file format is proprietary, the PNG (Portable Network Graphic) is the open source alternative format that is gaining in popularity.

Let's try some open source software. Download TuxPaint.

Start with background locations. Right-click and Save as Target the home, travel, world, school, shops, adventures, park, farm, trash, city, circus, space, disaster PowerPoint. Also, explore pictures people and objects. Design an activity where students tell stories using the background starters. Or focus on a particular language skill such as verbs, adverbs, adjectives, figurative language, etc.

Open PowerPoint. Click on a picture to select it. Right-click and choose Save As Picture. Go to Program Files>TuxPaint>data>Stamps. Create a new folder if you wish. Name your new stamp. Open TuxPaint and it will appear in your Stamps.


Online Sources of Visuals

There are many online sources you can use to locate visuals for your projects. Also remember that United Streaming provides still graphics as well as movie.

Use the following resources for ideas.


Developed by Annette Lamb, 7/06.