Teaching Tips, Project Ideas, Working with
and Technical Notes from Sunday Software
you for purchasing Kid Pix from Sunday
Your support allows us to build new Christian software, keep other Christian
software available, provide free teaching support online and over the phone,
and provide free Teaching Tips like these. This document was printed from
teaching with programs like Kid Pix
in the church since the early 1990’s. Many of the ideas here come
straight from my own computer lab and those who have used creative writing
and drawing programs over the years.
Note: You may have
edition 3 or 4. These tips apply to both. The two versions are nearly
identical in appearance, though the menu icons and a few options may look
different. There are several different versions of Kid Pix 4. Some are
compatible with Vista and Windows 7 and OS X 10.4+, some are not. This guide
has some tech notes. The Kid Pix Manual can be browsed or printed from
the KP toolbar after you install the program. If the animated graphics and
stickers don’t work (boxes are blank on your drawing page), our
customers can contact me for a fix!
screenshot on the right... the student has imported a Bible graphic
found online*, added their own text, and added some animal and flower
graphics from the stickers menu in Kid Pix. This is a "reflection
illustration" created after the Bible study. *The Bible graphic was
copied from an online site by the teacher and saved in the Kid Pix
"library". Over time, you can accumulate a good library of Bible
images for the kids to work with. (Kid Pix doesn't come with Bible images.)
Kid Pix in a nutshell:
"It is PowerPoint for Kids"
Kid Pix's creative writing and drawing tools let your
students create their own multimedia pictures and slideshows about
Kid Pix can speak out-loud over
the computer speakers whatever is typed on the screen using the text
You can import graphics, including
photographs, and illustrate them. .
Kid Pix doesn't have Bible content
in it. You use it to create content/reflection after the Bible
You can create a one page illustration
or several pages which can be turned into a slideshow. Each
student/workstation can be assigned part of a class project and share it
Students will tend to doodle without clear
instructions and expectations. Read our tips below.
The Key to
Getting Results with Kid Pix:
Sit down with
your students as they work on their creations. Discuss ideas
with them. Ask them about their work while it's in progress. Make
suggestions while they are working, don't wait until the end.
Many of your
teaching opportunities will occur DURING the process of creating in Kid Pix. Computers and
fun software put them in an attentive or focal state. They'll be open to talk
with you if you project yourself into their awareness, rather than standing
students to work together on ideas and share the tools. Your
expectations and active management will go a long way to ensuring this.
After they are
done, ask them to show the class what they've created. Ask them to
explain it. Ask them questions about their work. Ask them to compare their
content/reflections to other presentations on other computers.
Create a FOLDER
on your computer full of Bible images and pictures. These will come
in VERY handy when you want kids to import a Bible scene and add their own
content. For example, say you are studying "Jesus Calms the
Storm". Find some illustrations of that story online, and copy
them to a folder on the computer where your kids are working on Kid Pix.
Then have them import those images as a background and enhance them with
their own content (illustrated and written).
Typical Lesson Uses
Illustrate and Rephrase the Verse.
After a Bible study about Psalm 23, the teacher might ask students to:
- Illustrate their favorite two verses in the Psalm,
including the text of the verses in their illustration. Then they play
them back for the class.
- Or.. the
teacher might assign different verses to different computers, --each
computer making a presentation on their assigned verse. Then when
everyone is done, the teacher asks each station to play back its
presentation in verse order -with everybody watching and listening.
Summarize/Reflect on the Bible Verse
the reflection example on the right, the student has imported and
illustrated two 'saved' Bible graphics which the teacher found and saved to
the computer ahead of time.
Rewrite the story/dialog.
After a Bible study about Jesus' Call to the Disciples, the teacher might ask
the students to:
- Rewrite Jesus' call to disciples who were carpenters,
nurses, or a factory workers, instead of
fishers of men. Also write the disciples responses, including "the
disciple who chose not to follow" and his reasons why he didn't
heed Jesus' call.
- Create the dialog which Jesus probably heard in the
crowd when he invited himself Zaccheus'
house. In the crowd illustration, illustrate two people, one
positive and one negative.
- After studying the story of Pentecost in Acts 2,
re-imagine the "good news" which Peter shared but put it in
the language of a pirate, or a baby, or a surfer dude (the gift of
Pentecost was making the gospel intelligible to the 'hearers').
Create a slideshow
of student photographs depicting key scenes in a Bible story.
mentioned above, it's a REALLY GOOD IDEA
to create a folder of Bible images, Bible characters, and Bible story scenes
on your computer. You can find them on the internet, and in clip
art CDs. Then your kids can pull in an image to jumpstart their
project. This will speed up the "creation" process, and help
students focus on the story~meaning rather than the
drawing tools. See the image example below in the "typical 3 step
Bible clip art cd at www.sundaysoftware.com
If you like the "Talk
Aloud" text-to-speech capability of Kid Pix, then take a close look at Sunday Software’s
“Let’s Talk CD” at
www.sundaysoftware.com/lets-talk. Let’s Talk is the next
step beyond Kid Pix that will especially appeal to your older students. In
Let’s Talk, students and/or teachers can create an animated character
which speaks aloud whatever your students type into the screen.
typical 3 step lesson plan with Kid Pix:
this basic 3 step plan with all ages...
Step 1. Begin with a Bible
key points and ask questions. If you have a piece of software or video to
show the story, you can use it to teach the story before you get into Kid
Step 2. Open up Kid Pix and
have students create an illustration or slideshow (collection of
illustrations) that recaps or REFLECTS on what you've learned today.
Draw a key
scene and add new dialog. Depending on your age group and time available, you
may have them create just one, or several pages in
their presentation. As you can see in the example to the right>> we jumpstarted the illustrating process with
'stock' images we had in a Bible images folder which we created on our
computers. You can find these images on the internet. It's a great idea to
create a collection of them. You can also 'save' to a folder on your computer
some favorite Bible clipart images from one of our Bible clip art CD.
around to each workstation encouraging students to think about their
Step 3. Have all the
students go to each station and have the workstations show off
and explain their creation. Ask more questions. Follow-up.
See my detailed lesson plan for
using Kid Pix with Pre-K-1st graders in combination with the Play
& Learn Children's Bible CD. It’s linked on the Play and Learn CD
webpage at sundaysoftware.com
For more tips on Adapting our
software to your younger kids, look for our “Adapting Down”
in ARTICLES at www.sundaysoftware.com.
about Creating a Bible Images Folder:
to import some ready-made Bible graphics really helps younger students
develop their illustration. Their drawing capabilities may not be the best,
and they'll spend too much time on the tools instead of thinking about what
they want to say or depict. Over time, you will accumulate quite a nice
library of images to draw upon.
also save "screenshots" from software into that folder. So
let's say you have just shown your First Graders the story of "Jesus
Stops the Storm" in the Play & Learn Children's Bible CD. While you were
previewing the CD, you should have taken a "screen capture" or
"screenshot" of some key scenes, and saved them to your Bible
images folder (or whatever you call it). Label your image well so they're
easy to find during the Kid Pix image import process. Then you'll help your
children pull up that image as a background for their illustration. See
my notes below on this subject for more tips.
are the "Project Templates" in Kid Pix 4?
are in the "Idea Machine" folder. Click the bumblebee icon in the upper-left
corner of the KP menu to open the Idea Machine. You'll see a file
dialog box. Depending on which folder you last accessed, you may need to
click the 'up' arrow to navigate up to the Ideas Machine Folder. From there
you will see many different categories of templates. Each template can be
modified once you select it and place it on the page. For example, you can
use the eraser tool to erase text in the template, or add text, images and
color. Most of the templates probably won't be useful for Sunday School, but it's worthy clicking on some and looking at their thumbnail
to become familiar and file away for future reference.
Other Project Ideas and
Tips for Kid Pix...
- I wonder, what did the older
brother finally do in the Prodigal Son story? Jesus didn't
say --but your kids could write and illustrate it.
- How might the story have ended differently if Adam
and Eve had not hidden but confessed? Write the dialogue.
- Write a modern day version of the story, in pirate
- Create a Book Cover with a snazzy title using the KP
book cover template. Use it to wrap around two pieces of posterboard cut in the size of a book that include
the student's summary of the Bible passage, and illustration (which can
also be created in Kid Pix and printed out.
- Condense Deborah's story into 12 key words. Now
reduce it down to just 6 essential words. Discuss why you picked those
- Rewrite the story telling it from God's point of view,
....from ______'s point of view.
- Make a newsletter announcing the strange happenings
- Create a 3 frame "cartoon strip" project.
Use "thought bubbles" and "dialog bubbles." Print
sheets and tape together.
- Have older kids (who think the program is too young
for them) create storybooks/presentations to show or give to younger
- Students interview each other, each typing their
questions and responses about a subject, such as, what you would have
done if you had been David facing Goliath, or been by the fire with
Peter when the soldiers identified you.
- Have students 'write' onscreen with the stamp (icons,
which paint with pictures instead of a line of color). Make choosing the
stamp image part of the thought process. What 3 stamps would you use to
paint the word "Forgiveness" in this story?
- Create journals, prayer journals, etc. (there are
journal graphics built-in to the program)
- Design "Commercials" about the church
budget, a mission project, or "Elijah's miracle cures."
- Design an invitation to have John the Baptist come to
your church. Suggest what he will probably say.
- Import your own pictures, and bible graphics clip art.
(copy the graphics into the computer before the
- Using a digital camera, take a video of the students
explaining or telling the story and import it into Kid Pix and add
- Rotate kids to different computers each adding a thought
or answer to a question or comment posed by the teacher.
- Use a digital camera to take pictures of the kids
re-enacting parts of the story, import into KP and add "thought
bubbles" over their heads. (Many digital cameras can also take
- If your computer has a microphone, use the Kid Pix
recorder feature to include audio in any KP page. Kids can provide their
own reactions to verses, etc.
- Use Kid Pix's "poster
mode" when printing illustrations. Kid Pix will then print a
section of each illustration on individual sheets which can be taped
One of my favorite Kid
Pix lesson ideas:
my favorite approaches to using Kid Pix is to have the kids
"translate" scriptures into a "new language" using
the typing and read aloud features. "Surfer Dude" language is one
of my favorites. Pirate
language, Baby language. No, KP doesn't have those languages
built-in, the kids CREATE them. "Yo Disciple
Dudes, Surf's Up, time to ride with the Lord." "Avast ye scurvy Pharisees" --Rethinking the words
and their meanings in different ways creates some fun lesson moments and
great discussion fodder. My "Pentecost Pirates" lesson can be found
on the Pentecost Page at our website, and in the book, Teaching with Computers in Christian Education at www.sundaysoftware.com
There are 3 Ways to Add Text to an
Draw a text box and type the text. This is the kind of
text which Kid Pix can speak out-loud when you press the play
You can change the text box and font choices to make it appear more clearly
against the background.
In Small Kids Mode, add Rubber Stamp letters to the
picture. These can be moved around, but do not speak aloud.
- Use the ABC Text feature to paint wacky text onto
your picture. These become part of the background.
Box Tool will get a lot of work-out in your classroom. Experiment with
it! You can changed fonts, sizes, colors and
locations. The text box will always appear on top of whatever other graphics
you bring into the picture. To be sure the text is clearly visible,
you can paint a solid color or box behind it.
like the text-to-speech feature in Kid Pix, you'll also enjoy Sunday
Software's "Let's Talk" CD. Let's Talk let's student design an
animated person/creature who speaks their words onscreen. Let's Talk has
several modules, including a Lesson Builder form the students can use to
create a presentation -complete with a 3 question quiz that also reads aloud.
to IMPORT Bible graphics into the program
Import photos, graphics, Bible clip art and more. There's an excellent manual
on the CD if you're unfamiliar with importing graphics. Digital photos are
easy to import into Kid Pix. Kid Pix can import several different image
types, including jpeg, bmp and gif. Lesson Example: Take photos of your
kids acting out Bible scenes, import them into Kid Pix, add text captions
(which the computer will speak aloud), add illustrations, then
pull them all together in Kid Pix's slideshow
boat graphic we pulled into Kid Pix to begin several pages about Paul's
journeys. the kids painted it and added the text
below the graphic (which the program can read outoud).
To make sure the text was visible against the graphic, they painted a yellow
box over the graphic.
Editing and Pasting
pictures into Kid Pix is easy
just need to spend some time experimenting with the various cut/paste,
scissor tools. I suggest you first
edit your graphics outside of Kid Pix before bringing them in as backgrounds
and imported graphics. Use a photo editing program or Windows paint.
first ADD (import) a graphic into a Kid Pix illustration, you are importing
the entire graphic. But what if you only want to import PART of a graphic?
Kid Pix's editing tool doesn't work exactly like
Photoshop or other programs. Here's how you can EDIT that graphic
within Kid Pix to only paste the part of the graphic you want into your
paste that graphic and lock it into position, you can't move it or edit it
again. But you can reapply the background to cover up what you don't want,
then select PASTE from your Edit menu on the Kid Pix main toolbar (top of
screen). It will paste your cut/edited graphic again for you!
When you create or import a graphic, it will be saved in the "Users"
folder named after the person who signed-in when you first opened Kid Pix.
You can browse these other user's folders and snatch graphics from them when
you open the import dialog box. You can also select the option on the
Import menu to "save the image in the Kid Pix Library". This
is useful for finding it later, rather than having users look all over the
computer for the image.
Kid Pix Lesson Photo Idea:
students dramatize key Bible scenes in a "frozen tableau" and use
your digital camera to take a picture of it. Then plug your
camera into the computer and import the picture into Kid Pix using Kid Pix's ADD menu. In this way you can create some pretty
cool slideshows featuring the real stars of your lessons. Add some talking
text to the picture. When done showing the presentation, print it out.
Hot Tips for Teachers about Kid Pix:
- When you're in the Slideshow screen, click the icons
underneath each frame to access options. One allows you to select which file to play as that
slide. The other allows you to make changes to the SLIDE TRANSITIONS.
It's very useful for slowing down the presentation, allowing animations
to run smoothly before changing slides, etc.
- The default slideshow setting for each slide is 7
seconds. If your typed text takes
longer than 7 seconds to read, it will cut it off and switch to the next
slide. To MODIFY this setting, click the Movie Camera Icon in the
Slideshow screen. This will reveal the phrase "7 seconds"
below each slide you have put in the slideshow. Click on that phrase and
Options Box will appear. You can change the duration of each slide, or you
can select "Read Text Done" so that the slide won't change
until all the text is read on it. A graphic of this screen is provided
- Don't use the paintcan
tool with imported graphics. The paintcan
fills areas with color and often "breaks out" of the
boundaries of imported graphics.
In order for it to stay within a bounded area, the area must have an
unbroken circle of color around it. A lot of hand-drawn graphics have
broken lines/boundaries which allow the paintcan
to "leak" across the page.
- You can set
up multiple users at one time for classroom use, or if lots of kids
use the same computer. For example, you can set up 'users' named
"Grade 1" and "Grade 2". To do so, at the "Login" screen, type "KidPixAdmin" and then click "Go". Type the names of the new users and click "Add" after each one.
- Older students make excellent
Kid Pix assistants! They can help keep your younger students on
task, and help them with features.
- A class of older students may feel that Kid Pix is too elementary for them, so
instead, ask them to use Kid Pix to make presentations for the younger
- Younger students who can't read CAN type simple words
-if you show them the word. And remember, Kid Pix reads the words aloud.
- Teach students to make pages rather quickly and focus
- Hold a "training day" for your teachers to
learn how to use Kid Pix. Have some students there to help them ;-)
- If you press your printscreen
key on your keyboard in most programs you are using, Windows
saves that screenshot to the invisible Windows clipboard. Open up a new
page in Kid Pix and go to the EDIT menu (on top toolbar) and click
paste....and there's your screen. You can crop it from there and fuss
- Kid Pix 4 CD can install entirely on your harddrive
and you can put the CD away for safe keeping. Please remember, however,
that you cannot use the CD to create multiple copies of Kid Pix on other
computers. That is stealing.
- Access the File taskbar at the top of the screen and
change the voices and text appearance for Kid Pix.
- Access the File taskbar to teach Kid Pix how to say
words like "Gethsemane."
- PRINT in Economy or DRAFT MODE to save color ink. When you select Print in Kid Pix, a printer dialog
box should appear, open up it's
"properties" selection and look for the controls which change
color vs. b/w and full ink mode vs draft
mode. With many printers "draft mode" is all you need to
create projects good enough.
Budget your time and
printer expenses with KP. Tell your kids exactly how long they have to create.
Less time and shorter presentations will force them to think more concisely
and keep them from doodling. Doodling is exactly what they will do if you do
not give them specific time and content goals. Smaller projects will also
take less time to print out (color inkjet printers can be slow) and cost you
less color ink (which is expensive). Other time savers: Tell them which tools
they can and cannot use for a certain project. Have them draw quick stick figures.
Have older students there to help younger ones.
SlideShow Tip: If you type too
much text for an illustration, then you will need to make the slide display
time longer so all the text can be heard and not get cut off by the next
slide. This is a blip in the software we hope they'll correct in an updated
importing help, or cut and paste help? Go to our Kid Pix webpage for
links to our Kid Pix import/graphics tips.
Kid Pix has numerous "project templates" which can be
modified. they include cards and posters like the
one seen below.
This graphic is from Kid Pix 3, but in version 4 it's the same.
have link to a technical page for Kid Pix linked at www.sundaysoftware.com/support.
download the latest version of Quicktime, www.apple.com/quicktime, especially
if you have Windows 7. Always install Kid Pix while logged in as the Main
User with full admin rights. If you log in as limited privileges user and get
error messages, you may need to RIGHT click the KP startup icon and set the
option to "Run as Admin".
If you get
a "Can't find JPEG compressor" error message while trying to save
or print your Kid Pix picture, do this: Reinstall Quicktime
from the Kid Pix CD selecting the "Recommended" installation,
rather than "Minimum." Quicktime is
located on the Kid Pix CD. If your copy of Kid Pix is more than 2 years old
and your computer is rather new, download the latest version of Quicktime from quicktime.com
animated pictures or clipart appear as empty boxes, see our Tech Notes for
how to fix that.
technical help, we have provided some technical helps/troubleshooting are
linked on our KID PIX WEBPAGE at www.sundaysoftware.com.
Teaching Tips Copyright Sunday Software and Neil MacQueen. These may not be
distributed beyond local classroom/teacher use. Printed from www.sundaysoftware.com