0:00-0:30:My presentation today is on literacy tools that use imagery to present curriculum topics and ideas. These tools employ pictures, word clouds, videos, and graphics to help students better comprehend concepts found in many of the Virginia Standards of Learning, while still being fun and engaging. Let's take a look!
0:30-1:00:My name is Elyssa Klopfenstein and I am currently a 4th grade teacher at John F. Pattie Elementary school. I love to read and get students excited about reading, through a variety of methods such as book talks, posters, and videos. Today I am going to present four useful tools that use imagery to help get students interested and engaged in books.
1:00-3:00: BigHugeLabs.com is an amazing website that offers 42 different options for users to manipulate and customize digital photos. Users can create posters, billboards, magazine covers, jigsaw puzzles, and trading cards just to name a few choices available. Photos can be from a personal collection or from a Creative Commons site on the web. All of the tools on this site are free to use, but in a classroom setting it would be a good idea to identify which tool you wanted students to work with so that they don’t spend the entire class period trying to choose which tool they want to use. And the best part is, the tools are all completely free to use without an account! **Click on link and demonstrate one tool to the group**
3:00-5:00: I created this motivational poster as part of an assignment using a photo of me reading aloud to my 4th grade class. This format is great for featuring a photo and captioning it at the bottom with something fun and is truly that simple! Colors, fonts, and styles can all be formatted to whatever the creator wants so that their poster gives the impression they intend. Students could even use this at the beginning or end of the year as an alternative to traditional “All About Me” posters, putting a favorite subject, quote, movie, book, etc at the bottom. As it is intended to be motivational, it could also be an engaging activity before tests, especially SOLs, to create fun posters on test-taking strategies or words of encouragement.
5:00-7:00: Movie Posters are another option on BigHugeLabs, which can give users an attractive and eye-catching way to advertise a book, important historical figure, or curriculum topic. I created this poster for a book I read, The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey, as a way to entice students into possibly reading the book. Posters could also be hung in classrooms and used to show student’s skills in making inferences and predictions before students read a book or explain what they think the author’s purpose was based on the imagery and text.
7:00-9:00: The Captioner tool allows users to add speech or thought bubbles to any uploaded photo. Possibilities are practically endless for what students and teachers could create using this tool. Pictures of plants, animals, places, and famous historical figures could all pose questions or have quotes and information featured next to them. Up to 4 captions can be added to the photo uploaded, with speech bubbles like the ones seen in this example I created, thought clouds, or single lines to represent actions.
9:00-11:00: Billboards are a real-life application that many students would recognize in the classroom. As with the other options on BigHugeLabs.com, any digital photo can be uploaded and then the user is required to add captions. Students would have to be concise in what they want to say because users can only add text to the top and bottom of the picture. This is an example I created using a photo from our annual field trip to Jamestown.
11:00-13:00: Tagxedo is a tool that allows users to type in and repeat words to create a word cloud in many different shapes, fonts, and colors. The size and orientation of words within the cloud can also be edited so that certain words are more prominent than others. You can import words from websites to turn tweets, blogs, and news into a word cloud or you can type in words of your own. Another great feature of this tool is that it is very easy to save your creation to your computer or any social media site, as well as have it printed in the shop on any number of keepsakes like a shirt, bag or mug. Like BigHugeLabs, this tool is completely free with no account needed! **Have audience shout out words pertaining to reading and create a word cloud to show**
13:00-15:00:I found that this tool would be a great way to let students describe and express themselves or things they like, whether it is a book, movie, show, sport, video game, etc. Tagxedo also provides many pre-created images that users can manipulate and edit to their liking. In the gallery they had a large selection of portraits, silhouettes of animals and countries, and many more to choose from. This would allow students the choice to create their own custom cloud, or put their own words into a pre-created shape. They could even upload a personal image as their word cloud shape to describe themselves to the class. This would not only provide a more interesting way for them to write about themselves, but stress the importance of vocabulary and word choices.
15:00-17:00: Having students make word clouds on famous and influential historical figures would be a great way to re-imagine a presentation or report on that figure’s contributions and importance. Students could find a picture of the person they have to report on, upload it as their cloud shape, then choose what descriptive words, events, and accomplishments they want to include. With editing, students could also make certain words larger and more prominent than others to draw a viewer’s eye to them and highlight their importance.
17:00-19:00: Important places and building are also choices for word clouds on Tagxedo, whether students use a pre-created template or choose to upload a photo of their own. In my browsing, I found not only this word cloud based on The Acropolis, but also a huge selection of word clouds in the shape of continents and countries that are featured and studied within many of elementary Geography standards.
19:00-21:00: This word cloud is one I created describing a school library, dealing with many words related to literacy and literacy tools. I edited the shape quite a few times, mostly juggling between the image of a heart or a book, but I enjoyed that a user can do this so easily and also save multiple word cloud shapes using the same words. In working on this one myself, it made me think of possibly giving students a set of words or topics and asking them to manipulate the word cloud shape to express what those words mean to them.
21:00-23:00: Animoto is a video making tool that allows users to add photos, text, music, and audio to a theme on the website to create a video on any topic they wish. To get the full library of options, you must upgrade to their “Pro” account, bt the free options are truly enough to create an engaging and informational video. This tool also provides users with many options to share their work, whether through a social media site, e-mail, saving it to a desktop, or even burning it to a CD or DVD. In presenting this tool, we are going to watch a video I created and see other videos that could be created with this tool to fill curriculum standards. If students and teachers want to create videos longer than 30 seconds, they will need to sign up for an Educator Account for access to creating longer videos.
23:00-25:00:Animoto is a useful tool for letting students create their own videos on books. I created this book trailer on The Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac as a way to engage readers and get them interested in the book. It would be important, when creating a video like this, to explain to students that you want them to use minimal text and let the background theme, music, and photos they input describe the book for them. In creating trailers, just like with movies, students also need to know that they are not supposed to give EVERYTHING away, especially not the ending! The video needs to show just enough to grab the viewer’s attention and make them want to read the book.
25:00-27:00: Having teachers or students create videos where they are demonstrating a skill or curriculum concept is a great way to hold a classes’ attention. Video demonstrations also help students who learn better through auditory or visual instructions to gain the necessary information to complete a task. Teachers could film videos of their own students explaining symmetry in their own words to show their comprehension of the topic.
27:00-29:00: This video on the life cycle and metamorphosis of a caterpillar is made by Life for Beginneers, an Australian group that creates nature DVDs and activity card box sets on animals that are native to Australia. It is a perfect example of how you do not need words, whether spoken or written, to demonstrate a concept with a well-made video. It shows the caterpillar going through every stage of its development, including the adult butterfly laying more eggs and the new caterpillars hatching to start the cycle all over again. Students could create their own videos like this, using photos or creating the scenery and animals out of paper so their teacher could film their production.
29:00-31:00: This video about ancient Egypt tells students all about the culture and their contributions to the world through fun, engaging characters. It was created by an educational company called Tropic Mind that creates educational videos. This would be an excellent video for a teacher to use for instruction, or students could create their own videos detailing important topics on this ancient civilization. Artwork, writing, and costumes could all be integrated into the videos students create.
31:00-33:00: Easel.ly is a tool for creating infographics on any topic the users desires. They have a number of pre-created templates that users can choose from, or you can start with a fresh canvas as pictured above. Adding objects, backgrounds, shapes, and text is very easy on Easel.ly and provides teachers and students with a much interesting and engaging way to present data and information with images. The final infographic can be as simple or complex as the user wants! The tool is still in its BETA form, but it offers a huge range of creative options for free.
33:00-35:00:Infographics can even be used to explain WHY they’re such a useful tool! As this infographic points out, using this form of imagery in teaching allows the viewers to experience the topic being presented and connect with the pictures. Infographics provide a much more engaging option for tracking and presenting data.
35:00-37:00: This infographic uses imagery to show the states on each side of the Civil War and the casualties, divided by the bloodiest battles. Presenting the information this way with bright colors, maps, and human figures gives a visual aid to students who may not understand just how many lives were lost during the battles. It also allows students to see from a geographic standpoint where the lines of the war were drawn instead of just reading a list of Confederate and Union states.
37:00-39:00: This infographic shows the rock cycle and under what processes the three types of rocks are formed. What I thought was especially powerful and helpful about this image is the way that the teacher used a different color for each of the transformations rocks can undergo. They could even have left the text off and had a legend in the corner saying what transformation went with each color. Students could very easily create an infographic like this as a project to illustrate a variety of scientific processes including erosion and how to classify organisms.
39:00-41:00: This final infographic is useful because it takes commonly misunderstood words and presents both what most people think it means and what it is intended to mean, according to Grammar.net. It would be a great tool to use in a classroom to discuss vocabulary and word meaning with students, as well as possibly looking at the word parts that cause people to think the word means one of the definitions on the right, as with the word “noisome” and “noisy.” The dueling sides format lends this infographic to a variety of uses in many curriculum areas and could even be used to present the two sides of an argument or debate.
41:00-45:00: I hope that you have enjoyed my presentation on BigHugeLabs, Tagxedo, Animoto, and Easel.ly and have gained some ideas on how imagery can enhance literacy instruction in the elementary classroom. Are there any questions?
LIBS 602 Final Portfolio Assignment/Conference Presentation
A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words:
Using Images in Elementary School Literacy Instruction
By Elyssa Klopfenstein
Rich, Jenna. Polaroid. 2012. Graphic. Blogspot. Web. 3 Aug 2013.
A Little About Me
Klopfenstein, Elyssa. Edublogs Avatar. 2013. Graphic. Edublogs. Web. 3 Aug 2013.
Showing Personal Interests
Leung, Hardy. Wall-E and Eve. 2010. Graphic Tagxedo. Web. 2 Aug, 2013.
VA Civics SOL 3.11:
Martin Lither King, Jr.
Leung, Hardy. Martin Luther King Jr. 2010. Graphic Tagxedo. Web. 2 Aug, 2013.
Contributions of Ancient Greece and Rome
VA History SOL 3.1:
ancient Greece and
Leung, Hardy. Acropolis. 2010. Graphic Tagxedo. Web. 2 Aug, 2013.
VA Reading SOL 3.7:
•Comprehension of a
variety of print and
books and online
Klopfenstein, Elyssa. Library Words. 2013. Graphic Tagxedo. Web. 2 Aug, 2013.
Klopfenstein, Elyssa. “Skeleton Man Book Trailer." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 24 Jul.
2013. Web. 2 Aug. 2013. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLwOWFGP9BE>.
VA Math SOL 2.15:
•Draw lines of
symmetry on a figure
•Identify and create
figures with at least
one line of symmetry
SparklesOnlineSchool. “Symmetry Part 1 - Grade 1 2 3 Mathematics - Making Symmetrical Shapes-
Line of Symmetry." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 24 Aug. 2012. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Animal Life Cycles
VA Science SOL 2.4:
changes as they
mature and grow
Life For Beginners. “Caterpillar life cycle animation." Online video clip. YouTube. YouTube, 2 Aug.
2010. Web. 2 Aug. 2013. < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIwEjdO_TL8>.
VA History SOL 2.1:
•Explain how the
contributions of ancient
Egypt have influenced the
present world in terms of
architecture, inventions, an
d written language
Tropic Mind. “TropicMind.com - Ancient Egypt - Educational Video for Kids." Online video clip.
YouTube. YouTube, 28 Jun. 2012. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Use Infographics to Teach Infographics!
Witz, Heidi. Why Infographics?. 2012. Infographic. (: heidiwitz :)Web. 2 Aug 2013.
VA US History SOL
knowledge of the
effects of the Civil War
•Identify on a map the
states that seceded
from the Union and
those that remained in
Liu, Daphne. The Civil War. 2012. Infographic. Visual.lyWeb. 3 Aug 2013. <http://visual.ly/civil-
The Rock Cycle
VA Science SOL 5.7
rock cycle and how
between rocks occur
Ruggiero, . Rock Cycle Diagram II. 2013. Infographic. EdublogsWeb. 3 Aug 2013.
Vocabulary and Grammar
VA Reading SOL 5.4:
The student will expand
vocabulary when reading
•f) Develop vocabulary by
listening to and reading a
variety of texts.
•g) Study word meanings
across content areas.
10 Commonly Misunderstood Words in English. 2011. Infographic. Grammar.netWeb. 3 Aug