Sunday, February 22, 2009

Saying "Thank You" for Images

I am helping my fourth grade students improve their research skills by taking a simple topic and asking them to find seven facts about birds. Of those seven facts, they are to choose the thing they think is most important.

What To Do Next
We had just finished using PowerPoint for the first time to create a math shapes presentation. I decided to have them place the information they gathered in PowerPoint. Part of my goal with all students is to have them focus on telling their story with images and using the n
otes section for all their text.

Getting Started

The students wrote their seven facts on a sheet of paper and put a star next to the most important fact. On the server, I placed a template for each student in their own folder. Once the research was complete, each student typed the word Birds in the title of slide one. They typed their name, class (4A/ 4B), and February 2009 for the subtitle.

On slide two they typed "The important thing about birds is ..." and they filled in what they thought was most important. On slide three through eight, they added a sentence such as "Birds have feathers" or "Birds have wings".

This took most students a whole 42 minutes of work.

Citations or Saying "Thank You"
In the next class period, I demonstrated how to use to locate bird p
hotos. I explained that any time you create something, you deserve to have someone say "thank you" for using your work.

In school work, this is called a bibliography. I pointed out how Pics4Learning makes this very simple by including the proper way to say thank you at the bottom of the image.

The Hard Part
Surprisingly, the hard part was helping the students resize their images. Pics4Learning images slid onto the PowerPoint slide as very large images. This is great because students often use the little thumb nail size photos. I went around the room and individually showed the students how to change the viewing size of the slide so they could see the whole image and resize so it fit on the slide.

This will take us two if not three full classes. I'm looking forward to seeing the final presentations.

The Fun Surprise for Me
When I was looking at one of my fourth grade student's pages, her citation pointed to Andrea Hernandez in FL. Who would have guessed, I actually knew the photographer. A neat bonus for me!

Image Citation:
Hernandez, Andrea. p1010121.jpg. summer 2008. Pics4Learning. 22 Feb 2009


  1. Ann,
    I am always in awe of your willingness to share with others. This is a terrific, foundational lesson.
    I have a theory that starting our kids off on doing CC searches and citations for images is the best way to prevent future plagiarism. Because many have taken pictures they understand that a real person is behind the camera, and that saying thank you, as you so eloquently put it, is both a courtesy and obligation. For most kids publishing ones writing is a foreign concept--the author is invisible to them. Once kids have seen the value in acknowledging the creativity of a photographer, I think it's a natural step to citing sources in print.

    Again a great post, thanks. Hope to see the finished products posted somewhere.

  2. Jan,
    Thanks for the nice comment. I love to share because when I started out teaching computer classes I learned a lot through Internet searches. I want to add to what others find online. I like receiving feedback from others when they read the posts. Especially when they share additional ideas with me like you did.

    I hadn't thought about the fact that students themselves take a lot of photos. It is probably a more tangible concept to them than printed ideas which also need citations.

    I'm so glad you left your comment. I will probably put the final efforts up in Slide Share when we are done. I'll let you know when they are online.


  3. Wow, what an incredible photo of a bird. That Andrea Hernandez must be some photographer...hehe. I really like this lesson, too, and this very direct and understandable way of teaching kids about citing sources (and also using sources that people choose to share). Pics4Learning is such a great source of images. That is why I share images there. I have finally started using flickr, and I have a cc license on my images there (although may rethink those that contain my children...not sure how I feel about others using those). But I would not allow my students to search flickr at school. You never know what might come up in response to a flickr search.

  4. Andrea:
    I was so excited when I realized it was your photo. It is a great one! I've been putting a lot of images on Flickr with a cc license as well.

    I agree with you on both counts at Flickr. First, I really do not want my students to use Flickr because the content is really not always appropriate in a school setting with the K-8 crowd. Second, I keep my family photos as private images. I have shared a couple of my family photos on the Photo Fridays and 365 groups, but don't wish to have their images available to the general public for general purposes.

    I've added some photos to Pics4Learning last weekend. I'm looking forward to finally seeing them on the Pics4Learning site.