This past week I introduced Creative Commons to several different grade levels. To peak their interest, rather than working off the suggested worksheets put out by Common Sense Media (PDF Whose is it anyway?), I created a Google Slides Presentation to engage them and model CARP design principles.

While the slides and images are simple, they follow basic Presentation Zen elements such as a ‘hook’ and very little text on the page. So far I’ve used this presentation in Grades 2 and Grades 5.

Using ‘Minions’ as an example, I tried to hook the audience (my G2-5 students) as we uncovered the meaning of ‘credit’ and creative ownership. I showed them the image of minions and said, “What do you think of my drawing? I came up with these characters all on my own”. Naturally, they all protested that I didn’t create those, and we discussed credit and acknowledgement for the original artists. Next I shared a drawing I did create of the Minions, and an interesting discussion ensued on whether copying an image was breaking copyright laws or not. Based on my previous research and exploration in my post “CC=Common Courtesy“, I think it falls under Fair Use for educational purposes, but I am interested in others COETAILers opinions.

In the older grades (4-5) where individual student blogs will be used to document learning, I shared this video from Common Sense Media. Hearing a fellow student discuss the importance of crediting her work, and other authors, really hit home for the students.  I found the images using the simple search feature on Google Slides, where all images are automatically listed as ‘labeled for noncommercial reuse and modification’ (I love this new feature for students, but wish we didn’t have to click the link to find the CREDIT information):

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Screenshot of ‘Insert Image’ feature on Google Slides


I was also trying to model CARP design elements for students in my presentation, by keeping text consistent (repetition), using contrasting colours, aligning images and text and grouping images and text (proximity).

In a follow up lesson with grade 5s, we reviewed CC ‘best practice’ for citing and modelled this format for students:

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Sample CC Sourcing for G5 Students collecting images for Recount Writing


I’ll be revisiting these classrooms over the next few weeks as they begin to create a layout for their blogs and posts, and we’ll examine the CARP Principals in more detail.

In general, since I was first introduced to Presentation Zen and CARP design principals a few years back, I really try to keep them in mind for any audience, be it students, colleagues, or conference audience. Haiku Deck is one resource I like to use as it generates CC image search based on key words, and the layouts force you to minimise text on the slide. Below are a few examples of presentations I’ve created that have addressed different audiences:

Topic: Design Principles (2014 Workshop) Audience: PYP & MYP teachers

Topic: Enhancing Early Years (ECIS 2015) Audience: ECIS Participants (Munich)

Topic: Genius Hour Club Intro  Audience: Grades 4 & 5 Students [Slides built using Haiku Deck]

2 Replies to “Visual-e-Literate”

  1. Jocelyn,
    I find it very difficult for students and teachers to give credit to others when the images, videos, and text are so easily obtainable on the web. Your strategy involving Minions is quite effective – it is something they can easily relate to and it demonstrates how easy it is to copy as your own. Would you mind if I used that idea myself? I would absolutely give you credit – it is simple and effective – my favorite kind of idea! Last year, I introduced Photos for Class ( as it downloads the photos with the citation intact. And yet some teachers still complained that they had to go to another site (besides Google) to find the photos and then download. Sometimes, it is an uphill battle but it is an important one. Teachers need to model these habits and stress the importance of crediting work each and every day.

    I have used the Common Sense Media video regarding the girl and her work and I agree that it is a powerful message and does hit home with students. Just as in your Minion example, I also believe it needs to be relevant for their world for students to get the ‘aha’ moment.

    Beyond the citing sources, what I find tricky is that not all teaches understand the design elements. And just as in giving credit, teachers need to model effective design elements in their own presentations to students and other faculty. As a side note, I want to give my next presentation using Haiku. Again, simple and effective. Bonus, I didn’t realize that it ‘generates the CC image search’!

    I enjoyed reading this post Jocelyn! Thanks for the inspiration this week!

  2. I love the Minions. That is so clear. Helping students, especially younger students, understand copyright and the concept of owning an idea has always been the biggest challenge with using images. This simplified and clarifies in a kid friendly manner. You have pulled together some wonderful resources and I imagine your students have much more clarity as a result.

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