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6-8 Assignments

8: In 20 Years

posted May 7, 2012, 12:42 PM by   [ updated May 7, 2012, 12:42 PM ]

Your assignment is to design a poster, magazine cover, or other print object that characterizes where you see yourself in 20 years.  This should reflect the same ideas as the essay you wrote on the subject.  Here is an example:


Your design must consist of a minimum of:
  •  three photo layers:
    • A picture of you (your face must be recognizable)
    • A background
    • Other additions: a body that you splice your face into, other people, animals, furniture, etc.
  • some text explaining your future position
Your design must be submitted as a JPG or PDF.  Photoshop, Word, or Pages files will not be accepted.

8: ePortfolios

posted May 7, 2012, 10:25 AM by   [ updated May 7, 2012, 10:53 AM ]

Before you leave Christ the King, you are going to create a website that will collect as many of your projects as we can find.  That way, you will have access to your work many years after you leave the school.  You can also use it as a portfolio, to point to how your skills have evolved over the years.


Part I: Setting up your Portfolio

  1. Sign in to your Google Account
  2. Click Sites in the Google Apps bar at the top of the page
  3. Click Create.
  4. Use a Blank Template and name your site with your name and Portfolio
    • example: Michael Dreyfus Portfolio
  5. Select a theme
  6. Under More Options, enter the following ***exactly*** as written here:
    • Site Categories: 2012portfolio
    • Site Description: Student Portfolio for class of 2012
  7. Click Create
  8. Click the share button and setting to Anyone with the Link.  Save this change.

Part II: Adding your content

  1. On the home page, write a bit about yourself.  Your interests, your goals, where you're going to high school.
  2. Create a page for each project you upload.  Describe the project and insert it.  You can upload files, insert videos, and embed google Docs.

Combining Papers with MixedInk

posted Mar 19, 2012, 12:15 PM by   [ updated Mar 19, 2012, 12:54 PM ]

Gr. 8: Bubléraptors

posted Mar 16, 2012, 9:07 AM by   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 9:07 AM ]

One of the most common things people want to do with Photoshop is make a collage; combining two or more images. There are a lot of great examples of this on the site Michael Bublé Being Stalked by a Velociraptor.  On this site, images of the popular singer are combined with images of velociraptors, to hilarious effect.

Here are two excellent examples of Photoshop Collages:



Making collages like this requires the use of many techniques to fit images together seamlessly.
  • Using selection tools to isolate images from backgrounds
  • Using the eraser tool in various sizes to remove background material
  • Adjusting image sizes and rotations
  • Cutting partial layers to make images fit above certain parts and below others


  1. Find and download an image of a celebrity you want to stalk with a velociraptor.
  2. Open it in Photoshop Elements
  3. Open one of the velociraptor images provided in Photoshop Elements
  4. Use a variety of techniques to remove the background from the raptor image
  5. Copy and paste the velociraptor into the celebrity image.  Adjust size and orientation to make it fit.

Gr. 8: Making an Avatar in Photoshop

posted Mar 16, 2012, 8:12 AM by   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 8:25 AM ]

In the next few weeks, we're going to be exploring lots of different aspects of Photoshop.  For our first lesson, we're going to start with a photograph of ourselves and turn it into a digital avatar using filters.


Understanding layers is the bread and butter of photoshop.  Layering is a really simple concept: when you add a layer, you're literally stacking an image on top of an image.  This can get confusing though if you don't remember to pay attention to which layer you're on, or what order the layers are in.  Here's a few quick things to remember:
  • Layers sit on top of each other.  The layers at the top of the list are in the front.
  • You can make layers visible and invisible.
  • You can only edit the layer that's selected.
  • Duplicate layers you want to edit.  That way, you still have the original if something goes wrong.


  1. Take a picture of yourself in Photo Booth and drag it onto the desktop.  Don't use any effects.
  2. Right click on the picture and select Open With--> Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0
  3. Duplicate the background layer by right clicking on it and selecting Duplicate.
  4. Use the crop tool to select only the portion of the image you want to keep.
  5. Go to Filter --> Filter Gallery.
  6. Select a filter you like on your image.  Use the sliders to adjust it to your liking.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6.
If you try to use a "Sketch" type filter, you will notice that the sketch takes a particular color.  You can change the foreground and background colors in the main workspace before you go into the Filter Gallery to change those colors.

Pi Day Lessons

posted Mar 14, 2012, 11:23 AM by   [ updated Mar 14, 2012, 11:44 AM ]

Happy Pi Day!  We're going to explore different aspects of circles and their amazing ratio, pi!

What is pi?

Watch the video below. Pause it whenever you need to think about what you're seeing.

This shows that pi can be thought of as a length. If you unroll the edge of a circle with diameter 1, the length of that edge is around 3.14159.  We call that edge the circumference.

Let's do something similar in Sketchpad. Download the file "What is pi.gsp" below.  Follow the directions to calculate pi.

This activity shows us that pi is a ratio.  It's a comparison of the circumference of a circle to its diameter .

How can we calculate the area of a circle?

Watch the video below. Pause it whenever you need to think about what you're seeing.

Now we're going to do something similar in Sketchpad.  Download the file Circle Area below.  Follow the instructions to create a rectangle with the same area as a circle.

Gr. 6 & 7: Triangle Investigation

posted Mar 12, 2012, 9:40 AM by   [ updated Mar 12, 2012, 9:44 AM ]

  1. Download the Sketchpad File
  2. In Google Docs, open up the Template Gallery
  3. Choose the template "Triangle Investigations"
  4. Each question in the template corresponds to a page in the Sketchpad file.  Answer each question and complete each page.

6th Grade: Wonders of the World

posted Mar 5, 2012, 1:22 PM by   [ updated Mar 7, 2012, 1:01 PM ]

You will be creating a website that describes the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Components of your page

  • Title: What was it called? Student numbers?
  • Where was it? Maps.
  • Date it was built
  • Description of it: What did it look like?  How big was it?  What was it made from?
  • How and when was it destroyed?
  • What proof is there that it existed?
  • Pictures
  • What do the ruins look like?
  • How was it built?   Who was it built by?
  • Minimum of 5 sources cited.

Summarizing Sources

Within your group, divide up the facts above.  Each team member will find a source for that fact, and summarize what they've learned about it on an index card.  For example:

Question: How were the Pyramids of Giza built?
Summary: There are many theories of how parts of the pyramids were built.  It used to be believed that the Egyptians built enormous ramps and rolled the materials up them.  There is some evidence that the Egyptians invented the crane, and were actually able to lift large blocks with them.  Still others hypothesize that the egyptians invented an elevator, powered by animals turning a wheel, that they used to lift materials from the inside of the pyramids.

6th Grade: Radio Stories

posted Jan 30, 2012, 12:30 PM by   [ updated Feb 14, 2012, 12:15 PM ]

Today, the entertainment world is dominated by video.  Capturing the sights and sounds of our world in motion is so easy, that few people still take the time to listen to stories.  Stories told in audio only can have a magical quality, somewhere between the worlds of books and video; radio brings you sensory delights of the real world, music and voice, but leaves your imagination free to create the faces, places, and ideas the way books do.  Especially when it comes to the human voice, stories on the radio often have intimacy where TV has only awkwardness.

For this project, we're going to ask someone close to us to tell us a story, and then we're going to produce that story in the style of a radio piece, adding music, discussion, and reflection.  We'll look for themes that link the stories and publish them in collections.

Guidelines for Picking Stories

  • Find several adults close to you that can tell you a story.
  • The stories should take less than 5 minutes to tell.
  • The stories should be relevant to that person's identity, family history, or personal struggle.
  • The people should be willing to have their stories published online.

Guidelines for Recording

Many devices are capable of recording audio these days.  Digital cameras that record video, phones that take voice memos, and computers with microphones can all be used as voice recorders.  Students must identify a device they can use and experiment with using it in advance of beginning this project.


StoryCorps - Good examples of types of stories people tell about their lives
"Our mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives."

RadioLab - Great examples of radio productions with a high degree of editing, music, and reflection
"Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world."

This American Life - This American Life showcases a moderate amount of editing but great summarizing and reflection.

Submit your Stories

Use the form below to submit your story ideas.  You must submit at least three of these.


In order to get our audio or video into school, we may have to upload it to Google Docs from home.  This is a pretty simple process:
  1. Go to Google Docs
  2. Click the Disk Icon to Upload a file

  3. Find the file and click OK.
You can practice this using this boyscout.mp3 file.

Using that file, the garciaa.mp3, or another file of your choosing, practice importing audio into Garageband, editing it, and adding sounds.

Support for Importing Video to Your Computer at Home or School

Project Milestones

  MilestoneEvidencePoints Due Date
 1 Bringing in recorded raw audio Audio shared with teachers on Google Docs 10 2/6/12
 2 Splitting raw audio into a minimum of 5 named sections Screen shot and list of sections including times they start and end. 10 2/15/12
 3 Cutting raw audio down to 3 minutes Screen shot and updated list of sections 10 2/16/12
 4 Written Introduction and Reflection Document submitted 10 2/16/12
 5 Recorded Introduction and Reflection Screen shot 10 2/24/12
 6 First Draft of complete piece (including sound effects and music) Audio and Screenshot Submitted 10 2/27/12
 7Final Draft of complete piece  Audio and Screenshot Submitted  40 3/2/12


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