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Students create animated stories using PowerPoint in this lesson idea

Subjects:

Computers & Internet, Language Arts  

Grades:

4, 5, 6, 7  



Title – Animated Stories using Microsoft PowerPoint

By – Anthony K Whelan

Primary Subject – Computers / Internet

Secondary Subjects – Language Arts

Grade Level – 4-7

Select a blank page in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can have the children open up MSPaint simultaneously and have them create a picture. This picture can be copied from Paint to PowerPoint, either inserted or cut and pasted, resized and positioned to personal taste. Children can obtain other pictures from Kids Pix Deluxe 3 or from the Internet. (Some KPd3 images do not copy, so be warned, but the 3D textured paint effects are spectacular). The children can also insert pictures from PowerPoint’s clip art. Other images can be sourced via scanners or digital cameras, but the best idea is to go onto the Internet and ‘harvest’ pictures. Google Image search is brilliant, because it screens out nasty sites and brings up pictures for viewing (Be cognizant of copyright). To copy a picture, with a pc, right click the mouse, left-click copy, then click on PowerPoint which will be nested at the bottom of the screen, right click mouse and then left click paste (or control C, and then control V to paste). (For a Mac, it’s ‘hold the mouse button down for a few seconds, and a prompt window appears and you follow the prompts.) Once the image is pasted into PowerPoint, it can be resized, moved about and special effects can be added via the animation commands. The children can add a sentence about their picture by using Word Art or the text icon. The text icon can be resized by clicking on the large

‘A’

icon. Text can be animated. I always encourage them to animate the text ‘by word’ because it is a great for reinforcing or teaching reading. The text can be copied and pasted to be superimposed on itself. This way, the more creative children can apply different effects, such as color and animation. To insert a new page, click the Insert command at the top of the page and insert ‘new slide’. Other enhancements to be included can be voice-overs, slide transition effects, hyperlinks between pages (great interactive projects, stories or games can be designed by older students, but that’s another story) and rehearsed timings to automate the pages. These stories are great to share with younger students. One story could be chosen and opened over an entire network to be read at every computer.

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