Digital Writing Buddy Activity
Need an engaging back to school ELA activity for both virtual and in-person kids? In preparation for your writers workshop activities, students will first build a digital writing buddy. Then, they will reflect on the qualities needed to peer review as well as any words of encouragement they can offer during the peer editing process. This will set them up for success for editing with their peers.
Best of all, this Google Slides activity requires no prep. Your students will feel successful in building their own writing buddy. It’s as simple as copy and paste!
Is your class intimidated about sharing their writing with classmates? Use this resource in conjunction with your writing program to get kids excited about peer conferencing!
Digital Build a Writing Buddy
Overview of Creating a Virtual Writing Buddy
First, your students will select a background to place all their body parts onto. Next, they’ll pick a pencil body and make it fill the slide. From here, they’ll add a decorative pattern on the body, arms, a face, a hat, and either a bow or tie. Lastly, they can add writing-themed digital stickers and even make their writing buddy look like it’s holding a pencil, paper, or book!
If you’d like to take it a step further, have each child take a picture of themselves on a white background and use one of the free, online tools that will remove the background from an image. Then, they can place their portrait next to their writing buddy.
These digital writing buddy templates include 206 moveable graphics for your students to build their own pencil. Step-by-step directions are included at the beginning of the document to teach kids how to flip or change the size of an image as well as how to copy and paste them into new slides.
The download contains a two-page PDF with directions on how to access the templates. And this document comes ready to go in Google Drive, so don’t worry about trying to figure out how to import it into your Drive!
I’ve included directions for some basics like copy/pasting, rotating, ordering, and adjusting the size of images. There’s also information on how to add a text box so kids can type words.
You Will Receive
- 1 Non-Editable PDF – Basic overview of the writing buddy activity included.
- Google Drive Access Link – A link to download the virtual templates located on page 3 of the PDF.)
- 184 Student Directions Slides – These explain how to use some of the basic features this software including how to copy/paste, rotate, scale up/down, and change the order of objects in a layout.
- 7 Student Useable Background Slides – These include images of colorful, lined paper backgrounds. This is where your class will place their pencil parts onto. Any background not used can be deleted once they have selected which one they want to work with.
- 206 Moveable Objects – These items can be copied and pasted into the background mentioned above. They will use these items to decorate their pencil. (DISCLAIMER: the graphics used in this file may not be used to create commercial resources).
- 2 Writing Prompts – These prompts are designed to work for students in second through fifth grades.
- 4 Teacher Examples – The last four slides of the deck can be used to demonstrate on and show students a completed version of the project. Do not include these when you send a copy of the assignment to your class.
- Each template page is designed on 8.5×11″ slides and can be printed if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions for Digital Writing Buddy Activity
- Does this work in Schoology, Microsoft Teams, Seesaw, and Canvas? Yes! Anything created in Google Slides can be shared with your class. You’re just using those LMS’s to assign things.
- Do kids need their own Google account to use this? Yes, they will need access to Slides to work in this program, However, you can download the file in PowerPoint and have students use that instead. Keep reading to learn more.
- Can I use these digital writing buddy templates in PowerPoint? Absolutely. Anything made in Google Slides can be downloaded into PowerPoint. First, open the file. Then, go to FILE >> DOWNLOAD >> MICROSOFT POWERPOINT.
- Can kids add their own background or pictures to the scene? Yes! This is such a great way to incorporate photography into your lessons. Have kids take a picture and upload it to their Drive. Once in there, they can import it into the slide.
- How do I get the writing buddy templates to show up in my school Google account if I accidentally opened it in my personal account? Very easy. First, log out of your personal account. Then, log into your school Google account. Lastly, click on the link in the PDF and it will show up in your Drive.
- Do I need to buy a download for each student? No. But you do need to purchase a license for each adult who will use it in your school.
- I downloaded your PDF, but I can’t figure out where to access the Google Slides document. Click the link with the pointing arrow on Page 3.