Mystery Draw #1

Mystery Drawing exercises have the potential to provide a fun listening exercise to reinforce key vocabulary and when presented digitally, provide students listening practice with different media.

Do you want to give this Mystery Drawing A Try? Make a copy of the Mystery Draw exercise shown on the left and try it out yourself. Since this is the first one I've created, I tried to keep it simple. Fair warning though, the audio directions will seem fast. This is deliberate as I want students to practice stopping media and replaying to capture critical information. Too often, I've heard students say that listening to something again or stopping and replaying is considered cheating. Yet another remant of practices promoted during the NCLB-era and this type of exercise attempts to provide authentic practice to help change these mindsets. I imagine the student who would be most successful will the one who takes their time and stops and replays.

Here's how I created this exercise.

1) In Google Drawing, I created the one inch ruler template on a landscape page setup. Want a copy?

2) Within Google Drawing, I downloaded the template as .png file.

3) Create a new Google Slides file. Change the page setup to landscape first. File > Page Setup > Custom > 11 x 8.5 inches

4) Change Background Image. Slide > Change Background > Image: Choose > Upload downloaded .png file as the background image. Setting this as the background image means that the rulers will not move. This is important as I drew most of my objects on top of the ruler images to get the correct size. If the rulers moved when I was moving my other objects, I would have been easily frustrated. Plus, I can see doing coordinate grid mystery draws in the future and having that coordinate grid not move is essential!

5) Write up Mystery Draw steps in a Google Doc. This is important step as it provides a transcript for students to critique or add to after the initial mystery draw.  It also provides an easy source for captions to your audio for maximum accessibility.

6) I recorded the directions on my cell phone using a Voice Recorder App. (I was hoping I could just upload this audio file into YouTube Editor but it didn't like the .m4a file type.)

7) Using iMovie, I combined the audio file and the Mystery Draw image and exported to YouTube.

8) Inserted the YouTube video onto the Google Slide. (If I were using this with students, I would place the YouTube video off-canvas unlike what is shown above. This would preserve canvas real estate and would still be accessible for students who wouldn't be working in presentation mode. For students who rely on captioning, size video accordingly.)

9) Distribute your Mystery Draw Google Slide Assignment to students so they each have a copy.

Lessons Learned.
1) Don't give up too quickly on an idea. I've had this idea since June but couldn't figure out a way for it to work. I was trying to make it work via Google Sites with an embedded AudioBoom or SoundCloud and then Google Drawing within an iframe. This idea appealed to me because it would easily allow for students to see each other's work. There is probably a script that could make this happen and duplicate pages for each student but I think the same can be accomplished by having students post their products within Google Classroom discussion post. Another option could be duplicating the slides and pushing out a single Google Slide file with students each working on their own slide.

2) You could use Web Capture within YouTube to skip a few steps and streamline the process.

Next Steps.
1) Try this out with students! See what happens. Gather feedback and refine moving forward.

2) Figure out a viable workflow on Chromebooks so students could create their own mystery draws for one another. Then, it's not just a listening exercise. It truly becomes a listening and speaking exercise and with multiple iterations it also incorporates writing practice.

Test Yourself.
My mystery draw object looked like this when completed. How did you do? Could you see yourself doing something similar with students?