Black History Hero Portraits with Keynote and Apple Pencil

For Black History Month, our middle schoolers worked on Hero Portraits. They selected a person to research, then used a photo in Keynote to guide them to trace their portrait with our Apple Pencils. Then they used the drawing tools in Keynote to color in the portrait. Finally added words and shapes to represent important concepts about that person’s life. Some students even turned the poster into an animated video!

Discovery Mythbusters Junior Sketchnotes

Recently, the 7th graders finished a unit using our Apple Pencils on our iPads. They began by working through my EveryoneCanSketchnote Keynote Interactive workbook. In the workbook, they learned about the elements of a sketchnote along with many tricks for drawing while using Keynote.

Next, the students had a choice of four different Mythbusters Junior videos from our Discovery Education online video collection. They had a choice to watch an episode on bugs, duct tape, space, or batteries. While the students watched on a computer, they used either Keynote or the Sketches School on an iPad to note the main ideas, and then they added visual elements to create a sketchnote representing the content of the video.

I was very impressed with the students’ work at capturing the core ideas of the video that they watched. They were expected to show the title of the video, 4 – 6 specific main ideas with words and pictures, and some details and organizing elements like arrows, numbering, or bullet points. They also needed to demonstrate their knowledge of the drawing app by using a variety of colors and drawing tools. Here are their sketchnotes posted below. Click on an image to see a larger version of the note.

6th Grade Life Logos: Morphi Keychains and Keynote Audio Posters

Over the past few weeks, our 6th grade students used the Morphi app and our Apple Pencils on our iPads to design “Life Logos.” Each Life Logo represented something important to the student. Students used these online tutorials to guide them through the process of creating their designs. The Apple Pencils really helped students to easily draw details for their designs.

The logos were printed on our Dremel 3D printers. After the first 1.0 version of their designs were printed, students had an option make revisions and print a 2.0 and 3.0 version of their keychain. They really had to think deep to figure out ways to address flaws and improve their designs.

Click here to view our Padlet Wall with our Life Logo Audio Posters.

Once the keychains were printed, the students created an audio poster using the Keynote app on our iPads. They added titles, a photo of their keychain (with the background removed using the instant alpha effect), and then an audio recording where they explained their logo and reflected on their design process. Their audio posters were saved to their camera roll as a video file and then uploaded to a Padlet wall. Students had the opportunity to listen to their classmates’ recordings and leave comments for them.

(Link to video tutorials for how to create the Keynote Audio Posters.)

This was the first time I have used Keynote to create “audio posters” and was very pleased with how easily the students followed the process.

7th Grade Sketchnotes 2019

After having completed our #EveryoneCanSketchnote interactive workbook in Keynote last week, students made a sketchnote using our Apple Pencils and either the Keynote or Tayasui Sketches School apps. They were very focused as they worked to turn information from their science or social studies textbooks into pictures.

Here is a gallery of the student sketchnotes. Click on the image to view a larger size.

Students loved using our Apple Pencils. Here were some comments they made on a self-evaluation survey after finishing our unit:

“I like how you can get more detailed and it always looks better than your finger.”

“My fingers are really unsteady, so this helps me draw straighter lines. I also can draw in more detail.”

“I learned that you can get very detailed and that it is more fun to draw on an iPad rather on paper.”

“I learned that I can be good at art.”

When students finished their sketchnote, they had a choice of activities using the Apple Pencils. Quite a few students used a tracing trick in Keynote to create self portraits.

Other students worked on some of the drawing lessons using the Shadow Draw app.


They also explored creating with pixels using the New Pixels app.

I loved seeing the variety of ways the students showed that #EveryoneCanCreate using our Apple Pencils!