Learning Vocabulary w/Google Drawings

How do you get students to internalize learning vocabulary words? This was a discussion I had with a colleague. Sometimes the simplest activity with a “techno twist” can be the one which engages students with active learning. My colleague came up with the idea of having students create a crossword puzzle and sharing this with their friends as a vocabulary study tool. This idea inspired the use of a Google Drawing  in conjunction with  the Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker.

Using a crossword generator makes this project easier for the students to learn how to design a crossword puzzle. The students simply input the vocabulary words and the definitions into the crossword generator. Once the crossword puzzle is created a screenshot of the puzzle is captured and inserted into a Google Drawing. This provides the skeleton for creating an interactive crossword classmates can try solving. The crossword project supports critical thinking skills, using creativity, and basic technology skills.

Steps for Creating the Crossword Puzzle

  1. Click for Discover Education Criss Cross Puzzlemaker
  2. Enter a Title for the Crossword puzzle
  3. Enter the Words and Definitions
  4. Click Create Puzzle

crossword-1

 Insert Crossword into Google Drawings

  1. Open Google Drawings
  2. Click Insert Image
  3. Choose image to Upload
  4. Click Select
  5. Crop & resize image
  6. Insert Table

insert Crossword 3.gif

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Creating Interactive Vocabulary Activity Using Google Sheets

Today I’m going to share how the word bank activity was created in the “Using Google Sheets to Create Vocabulary Activity Post” .  This activity can be taken one step further by adding  the badge component for “Gamification” into the classroom. Badges can be a motivator for middle school students who are into playing virtual on-line games where they earn visual trinkets to advance. However the concept for earning badges and gamification will have to wait for another blogging moment! In the meantime read this post by Alice Keeler about “Badges and Intrinsic Motivation” to learn more!
Vocabulary Google sheet activity

STEPS FOR CHANGING the THINKING SMILEY EMOTICON TO A HAPPY FACEScreen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.09.58 AM

  • STEP ONE:
    • Create the question and answer layout with a word bank on a Google Sheet
  • Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.09.35 AM
  • STEP TWO:
    • Insert code “If Logical Expression function”
    • This changes the Thinker emoticon to a Happy Face
      • when the correct answer is typed into yellow cell

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.11.04 AMScreen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.10.37 AM

  • STEP THREE:
    • Protect the columns range which displays the function
      • This will allow only you and editor collaborators to make changes
      • Protecting a range prevents students from accidentally change the function