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Getting the most out of Google Slides with Layers and Color Theory


Title of article with a band of colors and a Google Slides logo

In this lesson, students will learn how to use layers and color theory to create a picture out of shapes in Google Slides. Color theory, a basic element, is the key to making people feel and think in a certain way. For instance, the color red is known to make people feel excited. Along with learning about color theory, students will also learn the important graphic design skills of layering and grouping.


Why this activity?

Layering and grouping are used in all graphic design programs, whether they are complex programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop or basic ones like Google Slides. These tools allow the user to change backgrounds using a green screen, add text to images, combine images, and or add special effects like drop shadows. A basic understanding of color theory will also help students make their projects more presentable as well as more readable.



Activity

Color theory is mixing colors to create new colors and choosing colors that work well together. A color scheme is a group of colors that look good together and can be used throughout a project, like a website or ad. You can use a color wheel or a website to find colors that go well together for a color scheme. For example, a monochromatic scheme would use different shades of the same color, while complementary colors are colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel.


There are many sites that students can use to generate matching colors or show matching colors in context such as websites or advertisements. When picking a set of colors, students should determine what tone they want their design to take. For example, is it a serious announcement that would use muted colors or a fun kid’s birthday invitation with bright colors?


The video tutorial for this lesson describes Google Slides graphic design tools for shapes, including how to group, resize, rotate, change borders, and fill shapes. You can select two or more objects in Google Slides and group them so they are treated as a single object. When you group things together, they will stay in the same place. When working with shapes and pictures, this is very helpful because you don't have to worry about moving something out of place. If you need to work with the shapes separately, you just ungroup them. In Google Slides, a color scheme is a set of colors that the user picks. Students can choose the color from a palette, or enter the unique hexadecimal color code. As long as they use colors from this color scheme, all the colors in their project will match.

Kids really enjoy this activity. Sometimes they'll go back to it when they've finished another assignment.

The project for this lesson is that students create a picture using the shape tools. The pictures are simple drawings that are the background for a slide. Students use shapes, layering, grouping and colors to create the picture. Students should create a color scheme for their images. This is a good opportunity to use the color resources to find colors that match. Finished colored pictures can be printed out and put on bulletin boards, or the images posted on a website.


Resources




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