Activities with Google Drawings

Janet Corder and Joan Gore

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Tony Vincent - Learning in Hand

Tony Vincent from Learning in Hand frequently shares tutorials and ideas for using Google Drawings.

Tony also offers an online course, Classy Graphics, where he teaches how to use Google's drawing tools to make graphic organizers, custom sticky notes, social media graphics, flyers, and interactive activities. Follow #ClassyGraphics on Twitter to find out more!

Shapegrams - Tony created Shapegrams to introduce his students to the drawing tools in Google Drawings. He offers 4 of the Shapegrams for free. The tutorials on these 4 Shapegrams are excellent. For $35 per year, you can subscribe to Tony's Shappegrams site, which gives you access to all of the Shapegrams and a license to distribute them to students. Follow #Shapegrams on Twitter for more ideas and student examples!

Google Drawings

Google Drawing is a part of Google that you might not use often, but once you start experimenting with it, the classroom possibilities are endless! Google Drawings gives you and your students the ability to manipulate, add images and text, shapes and more.

The teacher can create and share fill in the blank activities (templates).

The teacher can create and share drag-and-drop activities (templates).

Students can create drawings from scratch (a blank canvas).


You can now open a new Google Drawing by typing or in the Chrome omnibar (address bar).
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Tutorials, Templates, Blogs and More

Create a Book Character Map from Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum

Lessons from Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum

What is Google Drawings and 10 Creative Ways You Can Use It by Ryan Dube

A Guide To Google Drawings For Teachers, Students, And Bloggers by Kathleen Morris

How to Create Interactive Google Drawings by Ed Tech Teacher

Google Drawings in the Classroom by Jocelynn Buckentin: lots of examples, templates, and videos

Templates for Google Drawing by Jocelynn Buckentin

Google Drawings CHEAT SHEET for Teachers and Students! by Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning)

Math Examples by Kelly Cross

Google Drawings Templates by Larissa Aradj

20 Ways to Use Google Drawings in the Classroom by Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning)

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Drag and Drop Examples

On most of these, you will need to Make a Copy in order to use them.

Who Are You by Jocelynn Buckentin

Making Change by Tamara Thompson

Timeline by John Sowash

Sight Words Activity by Jocelyn Bucatin

Energy Flow in Ecosystems Activity

Classifying and Organizing Life on Planet Earth

Types of Conflict

Transparent, Opaque, Translucent Sorting by Laura Wringe, Black Gold Regional Schools

Coin Sorting

Classifying Rocks


Season Sorter by Meg Coover

Triple Beam Balance Practice by Meg Coover

Phases of the Moon

Bones by MrAdamPE

Who Are You?

Drag & Drop Minnesota Map

Tons of Shared Resources from Black Gold Regional School Division (not all are Google Drawings)

Map created by a student from a tweet by @wasd20Nate

Landscapes Using Shapes by 7th-grade students from a tweet by @theroar_bhes

Fill in the Blank/Typing Information Examples

On most of these, you will need to Make a Copy in order to use them.

Earth's Crust

Fact vs Fiction by Kathryn Greene

Book Character Trading Card Template by Darren Maltais

Book Character Trading Card by Darren Maltais

Animal Trading Card by Darren Maltais

Frayer Model

Story Elements Butterfly Chart by John Sowash

Prediction Chart by John Sowash

Nonfiction Text Features by Amy Hermon

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Timeline

Lines of Symmetry by Eric Curts

Choice Boards

Choice Boards are the ultimate tool for differentiating learning in the classroom! Students are given a variety of activities to choose from in order to demonstrate understanding of a topic or unit of study. Choice Boards can easily be created in Google Drawings.


Family Choice Board by Susan Stewart (@TechCoachSusan)

Chemical Reactions (File, Make a Copy) by Ashley Jackson (@techcoachashley)

Create a Self Portrait

GEG Virtual Paint Nite in Google Slides presented by Emma Cottier (@EmmaCottier)

GEG Virtual Paint NIte Video by presented by Emma Cottier (@EmmaCottier)

Tutorial by Jessica Garrity


Anne Frank @EmmaCottier

Stephanie Rothstein @StephRothEDU

Kerrie Shelden @kez1133

Dr. Mandi Tolen, Ed.D @MandiTolenEDU

Stephanie Rothstein @StephRothEDU

laisunghsi @laisunghsi

EmmaCottier @EmmaCottier

Digital Portraits Using the Curve Tool @LisaAddison1

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Create a Google Drawing

  1. Open Google Drive

  2. Click File

  3. Click New

  4. Click More

  5. Use the dropdown menu to select Google Drawings

Start from Scratch

Google Drawings has so many classroom applications and this is one idea that can be used in any subject area and grade level.

The following directions are for creating a picture of yourself with 3 different callouts containing a fact about yourself.

  1. Create a New Google Drawing
  2. Go to Insert → Image and find the picture you want to use.
  3. Select Insert → Shape → Callouts.
  4. Choose one of the callouts.
  5. Drag the callout to desired location and type in your first fact.
  6. Drag the yellow dot (located at the tip of the point) to move the point of the callout.
  7. While the callout is selected, click on the Fill tool and change the color.
  8. Create 2 more callouts for the other facts.
  9. You can change the alignment, font, font size and color, etc. of the text, if desired.
  10. Click Insert →Text Box to add your name to your picture. Drag your text box to the desired location. Change the font and the font size and color so that it is clearly visible.
  11. Go to File and select Download As → JPEG.


3 Branches of Government

Point of View


Describe yourself at the beginning of the year.

What was Washington thinking when he crossed the Delaware?

How would you describe a parallelogram?

What are five important facts about an animal cell?

Change the Layout of Your Google Drawing

  1. File

  2. Page Setup

  3. Select one of the options or Custom

  4. If you choose Custom, you will probably use Inches or Pixels

Resize the Canvas

Resize the canvas by dragging the bottom right corner.

Tips and Tricks

  • Insert a Google Drawing into a Google Doc: Select Drawing from the Insert menu in a Doc. Choose New or From Drive.
  • Ctrl D (PC) Command D (Mac) duplicates an object
  • Shapes: yellow diamonds allow you to alter the shape, blue boxes are used to adjust the shape and the blue circle is used to rotate the shape.
  • To change the background from the dotted grid to any color right-click, select Background and choose your color.
  • To change the order of the objects on your canvas, right-click on the object and select Order.
  • To align objects on your canvas, select the objects you want to align, right-click and choose Align Horizontally or Align Vertically.
  • To select multiple objects, drag across them with your cursor or use Shift and click or Control and click.
  • When sharing activities (templates) with others, make them View Only,
  • Replace Edit with Copy in the URL of the shared template to force the user to Make a Copy.
  • Text can be added inside of a shape without having to create a text box.
  • After you have completed a Google Drawing, go to File and select Download to access saving options.
  • Use the File menu to download your Drawing as a PNG because it will maintain transparency. Tip: PNG files (not JPEG) maintain transparency if you have that.


Most of the time you will want to use PNG images. These images do not have a background. When searching Google Images or any other site for images, add PNG to your search and it should filter out all of the pictures that have backgrounds.

Where can you get images?

Pixabay - free images that do not require a citation

Pexels - free images that do not require a citation

Unsplash - free images that do not require a citation

FavPNG - transparent PNG images; 2 downloads per day for free account, unlimited downloads on premium account

Noun Project - icons; free and paid accounts; click here for educator pricing; must cite sources on free account

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