Get Creative with Google Slides and Drawings

Updated December 2016

Teachers and students can do amazing things with Google Slides and Google Drawings! Let’s take a look at how to use these two great apps to be creative and to collaborate! You’ll get to take part in making a digital booklet and fashioning an interactive digital poster. That’s in addition to seeing an array of fantastic ways of putting Slides and Drawings to good use. Inventive ideas include publishing collaborative alphabet books, editing images, constructing timelines, creating infographics, publishing newsletters, and making narrated presentations. Note that many of these ideas work best on a computer and won't necessarily work smartphones and tablets.

Glanceable Graphics

Create a Header for a Document or Website

  • Start a project a drawings.google.com
  • Right-click the canvas to choose a background color
  • Copy and paste images from the web (including openclipart.org)
  • Insert text and shapes
  • File > Download as PNG
  • Insert that PNG file into a document or web page

Annotate a Screenshot

  • Take a screenshot on a Chromebook by pressing Control + Window Key
  • Paste the screenshot into a new Google Drawings document
  • Add arrows and shapes
  • Click Share, name your document, click Get shareable link. Change to Anyone with the link can view and copy the link.
  • Paste long links into Bitly.com to create a custom link

Trace to Make an Icon

  • Import an image and use Image options... to make it partly transparent
  • Click the arrow next to the Line tool and select Polyline
  • Click to add line segments to outline the image
  • Enclose the shape by going all the way around the clicking the first dot
  • Give the shape a fill and line color
  • Delete the imported image
 
 

Image Tracing

  • Import an image
  • Click the arrow next to the Line tool and select Polyline
  • Click to add line segments to outline a part of the image
  • Give the shape a fill color and transparent line
  • Move the shape over
  • Add a new shape and move over
  • See this is action in this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. example (this technique takes a lot of practice)
 
 

Graphic Organizers

More Ideas for Drawings

 
 

Comics

 
 

Templates

Collaborative Book

  • Create one Google Slides document your whole class will share
  • Add a slide for each student or each group
  • Optionally create an index slide that links to the other slides
  • Share the document with students and assign a slide number
  • Idea: Students use Vocaroo.com to record audio and add links to slides
  • Go to File > Publish to the web to get embed code for your website 

Make an index slide by inserting a table with names or topics. Then link each item to its slide. See examples below.

Image Maps

Creating a collaborative Google Slides presentation where students each have their own slide? Create a slide for each student. Then use the Polyline tool to outline each student. Link each shape to the student's slide. Select all the shapes and give them a transparent outline and fill. When in Present view, each person's photo is a clickable hotspot.

 
 

Interactive Slideshows

Narrations

  • Record voice as you present a slideshow using the Screencastify Chrome extension
  • Saves to Google Drive where you can get a shareable link to the video file
 
 

Mind Maps

  • Shapes can be connected with links in Drawing and Slides by dragging a line a purple dot on a shape
  • Use arrow keys to nudge shapes
  • Hold down shift while arrowing to nudge precisely 
  • Google Drawings Mind Map Tips

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