One of the more subtle features in Pixie 4 is the addition of a Backgrounds folder to the Library. Unlike clip art stickers, which float above the paint layer, backgrounds exist behind the paint layer. In essence, that means you can paint over a background without destroying it!
To access the Backgrounds, select the Library button on the toolbar.
You will see folders for habitats, locations, story scenes, writing, and more.
Find a background you want to use and drag it onto the page just like you would a sticker. The image will fill the entire background. Now you can easily use the paint tools to illustrate characters and events on the scene.
For example, have students design or illustrate themselves as narrators or tour guides at famous locations around the world or in different periods in history.
In the Classroom
Yes it may be quicker to add clip art, than use the Paint tools, but creating original illustrations with the paint tools makes project work unique to the creator. While the process of adding clip art to the page is quicker, sometime searching for unique or specific clip art images or photos eats up valuable time. Original illustrations and diagrams can also help you gain insight into students understanding and comprehension.
The backgrounds in the media library are great for projects where students:
- Paint plants and animals in a biome
- Show a complete food chain in the context of a habitat
- Draw themselves exploring sites around the world
- Send themselves back in time
- Trace the routes of explorers or animal migrations
- Write and illustrate a story
Create your own story starters
Staring at a blank page, whether it is a sheet of paper or screen on the computer, is not the easiest way to trigger imagination or get students writing. To spark ideas, add the background to different pages in a Pixie project and save it as a template.
For example, in this story starter, available from the Trading Post, there are 4 pages with a uper hero theme to help students begin writing their own story.
All images are backgrounds so it is easy to add text and paint to each page. Use the storyboard view to duplicate and rearrange.
The Pixie 4 media library is added to on a regular basis (I added 4 more backgrounds today), so new additions will continue to inspire your students.