Amazing Learning Activities with Google Drawings

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Explore and create : Creation lab

Eric Curts  
Google Drawings is an often overlooked but powerful tool in the Google suite. Learn the basics of how Drawings works, and explore dozens of practical examples for teaching, learning, creativity and communication, including graphic organizers, educational memes, green screen activities, math manipulatives, desktop publishing, interactive digital posters, poetry and more.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees would benefit by having a Google Apps for Education account or personal Google account.
Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Google Drawings is a powerful, but often overlooked, tool in the Google Drive suite. The purpose of this session is to give an overview of how to use Google Drawings, and then to dive deep into a wide range of practical applications for Google Drawings in teaching and learning.

Over the years I have created an extensive library of templates and trainings for Google Drawings covering many subject areas and grade levels. All of these resources can be accessed at:

In this session we will explore the uses listed below.

Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers - Students can use Drawings for graphic organizers in any subject for compare and contrast, analysis of ideas, pre-writing, classification, ordering a system, and more. I have developed over 40 free graphic organizer templates that teachers and students can use or adapt, or use for inspiration to create their own graphic organizers.

Google Drawings for Math - Drawings can also provide fun and creative ways to address Math Common Core Standards with digital manipulatives. Topics include symmetry, angles, polygons, pictographs, line plots, area, fractions, algebra and more. I have created a wide range of Drawing templates and activities that can be used by teachers and students in math.

Google Drawings for Desktop Publishing - Drawings also lends itself well to desktop publishing with the ability to control the placement of text, images, and shapes. This can be used for students to create educational memes, greeting cards, brochures, posters, and more.

Google Drawings for Interactive Images - Drawings can be used as a Google version of ThingLink to create interactive posters and infographics. Students can use Drawings to annotate an image with links that go out to additional resources, images, videos, and information about the topic being explored and explained.

Google Drawings for Background Removal Activities - With Drawings, students can literally put themselves into their learning with this fun activity. Students can take a photo of themselves, give it a transparent background with several tools, place themselves into other photos in Google Drawings, and use the drawing tools to add speech bubbles and more.

Google Drawings for Art - With Google Drawings students can create exciting art projects such as self portraits and mosaic art. Students can add an image to their Drawing, then use the shape tools and polyline tool to make their own stylized version on top of the original picture.

Attendees will learn:
How to use the tools in Google Drawings to create images, diagrams, and interactive graphics.
How Google Drawings can be used in school for graphic organizers, math instruction, desktop publishing, interactive infographics, and more.


The session will cover the following information. Note: live links to the resources referenced below can be accessed at

1) Overview of how to use the tools in Google Drawings (15 minutes)

2) Google Drawings for Graphic Organizers (12 minutes)

3) Google Drawings for Math (12 minutes)

4) Google Drawings for Desktop Publishing (15 minutes)

5) Google Drawings for Interactive Images (12 minutes)

6) Google Drawing for Background Removal Activities (12 minutes)

7) Google Drawings for Art (12 minutes)

Supporting research

Google Drawings can be used for many teaching and learning activities. At the core though, all of these activities tie back to visual learning. Much research has been done on the impact of visual learning for students. One of the best known names in visual learning, Inspiration Software, provides an overview of the benefits as well as a detailed whitepaper at:

Some of the core benefits mentioned include improving student learning and performance in the following areas:
Reading comprehension
Student achievement across grade levels, diverse student populations and content areas
Thinking and learning skills such as organizing and communicating ideas, seeing patterns and relationships, and categorizing ideas

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Eric Curts, Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium

Eric Curts is a veteran educator who started his career as a math teacher in Ohio. After teaching middle school math for seven years, Curts became a technology integration specialist in North Canton Schools where he supported teachers in integrating technology into teaching and learning, and oversaw the district’s technology initiatives. He’s currently the technology integration specialist for the Stark Portage Area Computer Consortium (SPARCC) and the Stark County Educational Service Center where he supports teachers and all schools in the consortium through tech implementation guidance and training, and assistance with G Suite for Education tools, as well as online learning programs and other technology initiatives. He also oversees and manages the annual SPARCC Educational Technology Conference that draws educators from throughout the state. Curts is a G Suite Certified Trainer and Innovator, and co-leader for GEG-Ohio, the Google Educator Group of Ohio. He shares tech resources, including training videos, help guides and podcasts, on “Control Alt Achieve,” his award-winning blog. For over two decades, he’s traveled the U.S. to provide training, keynotes and consulting.

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