Mother's Day is fast approaching and once again, millions of children in elementary classrooms will be busy preparing some cute gift to give to their Moms. And while I adore these handmade treasures, I thought that maybe I could offer some tech-based alternatives to the traditional "handprint with a poem" art project. Because, you know, you're 21st century teachers, or maybe you're just looking to cover some ICT outcomes before the end of the school year!
Here are my top 5 classroom activites utilizing technology that still produce a wonderful keepsake!
1. A Wordle All About Mom
- Check out the Wordle website to create an interesting and fun visual representation of Mom's best characteristics. The more you type in a word, the larger it will appear in the finished product. Bonus tip: check out my blog post on Word Mosaic to make your wordle even more interesting.
2. Why I Love You Video
- Ok, admittedly this one will take a little bit of blood, sweat and tears, and a whole lot of adult guidance depending on the age of your students. But really, in this day and age of free or easily accessible video editors combined with a generation of kids who knew how to turn on the computer before they were potty trained, it shouldn't be too onerous. All you'll need is a video recording device -- I recommend a flip camera or even just your iPhone 4 -- and some creative questioning. Set up an interview station with some class-generated questions/prompts ("my favourite thing about my mom is..."), and capture their cuteness on video. Use iMovie, Quicktime or even an online editor to edit the video...or leave the raw footage, bloopers and all! To share with Mom, choose a private setting on YouTube and email the link.
3. Photo Collage
- This one can be as complex or as easy as is appropriate for the age group you work with. Have students take pictures of things that remind them of Mom, items that they think she'll like, or bring digital copies of them with Mom from home. Maybe you want to bypass the issue of working with actual pictures, and instead have them find images online. Whatever the case, once the pictures are in hand, have the students put them together either in one page collage using an online program such as Photovisi or set the images to music, perhaps using Animoto.
4. Design your own card
- Not keen to have your students roaming about the internet? Stick to an age-old goodie: hand made cards. Utilize templates in Microsoft Word to have students design their own Mother's Day card. Take advantage of easy to use clipart galleries or have them create a basic template on the computer, then colour in their creations once they've gone to the presses.
5. Create a story about Mom
- For your slightly older students, check out some great online story creators to let them author a story all about Mom! Check out Storybird or Little Write Brain for a free online versions, or Tikatok for one that you can purchase a hard copy of their final creation.
Enjoy the creative process, and most importantly, don't forget to wish your Mom a very Happy Mother's Day this Sunday!!