All About Me Digital Collage

By the time the 2020-2021 school year is up, my district will have conducted Fully Remote School, Hybrid Learning and “Full”* in-person learning.

*Take that “Full” with a grain of salt, because some kids remain fully remote and/or will attend class virtually when quarantining is necessary!

How can one manage the revolving door of attendance, successfully teach art and maintain one’s sanity?? It’s not easy… BUT, technology has helped! I have employed several lessons this year using Google Draw and Google Slides and they have worked incredibly well because students can access the platform to do the assignment whether they are remote or in-person AND, better yet…. I can monitor their work in REAL TIME!

This “All About Me” collage is a lesson I did at the start of the trimester— I teach three teams over the course of the year, each team has art daily, but only for twelve consecutive weeks. When starting with a new team, it always feels like the first day of school with lots of rules and expectations to go over. “Get to know you” activities are a must!

This digital collage, created with Google Slides, was the perfect way for me to learn about my students. The requirements were as follows: Include a minimum of ten layered images that represent your hobbies/interests/heritage, and make sure your name is incorporated creatively in the design.

I did not invent this lesson, but tweaked it after seeing some great examples posted by a fellow teacher in a middle school art teachers facebook group. The instruction packet attached below was also adapted from one posted by the same teacher. Big thanks to Shannon Frey!

“All About Me” Digital Collage Instruction Packet

Before starting this lesson, we watched a brief video made by another brilliant art teacher, Rebecca Speech. The lesson explained in THIS VIDEO TUTORIAL is a digital collage based on a famous quote, but uses all the great tools available in Google Slides and was therefore relatable to my students in terms of what kinds of effects they could create with their collaged images including size adjustment, layering, transparency, rotating, etc!

Here is an additional, VERY HELPFUL HANDOUT on how to remove unwanted backgrounds from images so that you can incorporate them seamlessly into your collage:

I am truly grateful when colleagues across the globe are willing to share their ideas and resources. Sometimes art teachers are a “department of one” in their schools, and this year more than ever, it has been wonderful to borrow inspiration online from other creative minds so as to not feel like I am in a vacuum! Enjoy!

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