Friday, April 18, 2014

Teach a Kid to Use Word, Stock Up On Printer Ink

This week Boo's teacher assigned a research project for their social sciences unit. The kids need to pick a country (other than our own!), research it (climate, geography, food, school, etc.), and then create a bristol board presentation. She'll be working on it with them in school, but she wants them to do some of the research at home, and bring their stuff in to class in their special folder. This is only second grade, so we're not talking really in-depth stuff here, but it's a great exercise for them.

Boo picked Japan, since he loves karate. Sounds good. And we started the research on Tuesday. I got him going, and gave him some tips, but he did most of the work on his own. One thing I did teach him was how to do some basic stuff in MS Word. He wanted pictures for his display, and I find the easiest way to print one from the web is to grab it and insert it into a Word document. That way you know it will fit on the printed page, and you won't get extra stuff you weren't counting on printing. You can also add a border or what-not if you wish. So I did it once, and then he took over. I also showed him how to change the font and font size so he could create captions.

Well, it appears I've created a monster. Or a creative genius. Or something.

I went out for a bit this morning, and when I came back he excitedly called me upstairs. He was making posters for his room, using these new skills I'd taught him for his social studies project. He found images he wanted, right-clicked to "save as image." Then opened a Word document and inserted the image. He then chose a font and wrote a caption under each, and printed. He even did a sort of title page to highlight the collection, which is now proudly displayed on his wall.

In case you don't have boys, these are all computer games. His faves.

Anyone have a good line on discount printer toner?? I think I'm going to need lots!

Research tip for kids - There are so many excellent informational sites directed specifically to the younger set. When searching, include the word "kids" in your search stream. This will bring up pages better suited to their reading level, with the kind of details they will find most interesting and useful.

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