Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pop Art President

A few weeks ago I posted a webmix from Symbaloo on my Webmix page.  The Symaboo team compiled a great set of links on each of the 44 US Presidents.  They also provided extra sources for kids to look through in case they needed to find more information.  

(By the way -- If you aren't familiar with Symbaloo -- you SHOULD be!  Check out the post I did a few weeks ago on the presentation my great friend and colleague Susan, from The Digital Scoop, and I did on Symbaloo at the Florida Educational Technology Conference - FETC.  Click here)

After finding the webmix on the Presidents, I decided to have my fourth graders do a research project on one of our great leaders.  To make it fun, I tied in the idea of Pop Art that they are learning about in their art classes.  They were learning about Andy Warhol and his beautiful contributions to the pop art scene.  

After the students collected their information on a Google Doc, I then showed them how to use the website  Pixlr is a great free online tool that is very similar to Photoshop Elements.  Pixar Editor has many of the same feature, bells, and whistles as PSE.  Pixlr also has a section called Pixlr Express similar to many of the collage maker apps in the App store, as well as a section that focuses on Instagram-like filters and effects.  That last section, Pixlr-o-matic, is where we spent our photo-editing time.  

Students reviewed the process of finding an image online and downloading it to the desktop.  We then followed the on-screen directions and created a pop-art inspired version of our Presidential portrait by changing the Effects, Overlays, and Borders.  We had to search for just the right Effect (we used Artfunkle in the Creative group of Effects) and activate it so that we could use it.  We then played with the Overlays and Borders until we found the perfect one for our popart portrait.
Effects - Artfunkle

Once we saved our newly edited portrait to the desktop, we drag copied it onto our Google Drawing page and started using our research to create a mini-poster highlighting the life of our President.  Students were encouraged to use good desktop publishing skills and make good choices in regard to color and font.  A minimum of ten facts were required -- and most students provided many more.  We also made sure that we had ZERO spelling errors and that we provided our source somewhere on the page.  It was a great project and the students had a great time!  

Have you used Pixlr at all?  I would love to hear how you have incorporated it into your classrooms!