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Doodle-ing for a Cause: How Google Uses Art to Raise Awareness for Social Issues

In this digital age, Google has become an integral part of our lives. It is our go-to search engine, helping us find answers to our queries within seconds. But did you know that Google also uses its platform to raise awareness for social issues? Through their innovative Doodles, Google showcases art that not only celebrates important events and individuals but also aims to educate and inspire people on various social causes.

The Evolution of Google Doodles

Google Doodles first appeared in 1998 when Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the co-founders of Google, decided to place a stick figure behind the second “o” in their logo to indicate their attendance at the Burning Man festival. This small creative addition sparked an idea that would eventually lead to the birth of the iconic Google Doodles we see today.

Initially, these doodles were simple drawings or animations meant to commemorate holidays or significant events. However, over time they evolved into interactive experiences that engage users and raise awareness about important social causes. Today, Google collaborates with artists from all over the world to create thought-provoking pieces that shed light on critical issues.

Using Art as a Catalyst for Change

Art has always been a powerful medium for expressing emotions and raising awareness. By incorporating art into their search engine homepage through Doodles, Google effectively reaches millions of people daily and exposes them to different social issues. Each Doodle is carefully designed with elements that convey messages related to a particular cause.

For example, during Pride Month, Google often includes rainbow-themed Doodles celebrating LGBTQ+ rights and diversity. These colorful illustrations serve as reminders of equality and inclusivity while encouraging users to support the cause. Similarly, during environmental campaigns like Earth Day or World Wildlife Day, Google showcases nature-inspired artwork that promotes sustainability and conservation efforts.

Educating Through Doodles

Google Doodles not only raise awareness but also educate users about lesser-known historical events, influential figures, and cultural traditions. By featuring important milestones and achievements of individuals from diverse backgrounds, Google aims to foster inclusivity and promote cultural understanding.

For instance, on International Women’s Day, Google often features Doodles that highlight the accomplishments of remarkable women throughout history. These Doodles serve as educational tools that inspire both men and women to challenge gender stereotypes and work towards gender equality.

Inspiring Creativity and Social Responsibility

Google’s Doodles not only serve as a means to raise awareness but also inspire creativity among users. By showcasing art that tackles social issues head-on, Google encourages individuals to think critically about these topics and find their own unique ways to contribute positively.

Moreover, Google actively involves the global community in its Doodle initiatives through contests like “Doodle for Google.” This annual competition invites students from different age groups to design their own Doodle based on a given theme. By engaging young minds in creative thinking and social responsibility, Google nurtures a generation of individuals who are aware of the world’s challenges and empowered to make a difference.


Through its innovative use of art on its search engine homepage, Google has successfully raised awareness for various social causes while educating and inspiring millions worldwide. The evolution of Google Doodles demonstrates how a small creative addition can grow into an influential platform for positive change. So next time you see a doodle in Google’s logo, take a moment to appreciate the artwork behind it and reflect on the important message it conveys.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


google drawing assignment

google drawing assignment

Cool Tools for School

Never stop learning, thing 24: google drawings.

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Google Drawings is such a fun and useful tool, it deserves it’s very own lesson. It’s an oft overlooked tool within the Google Drive suite of tools. This easy to use tool will help you & your students create posters, graphic organizers , infographics , blog post graphics, NASA planet posters , sticky notes and so much more.

If you’ve used any of the drawing tools in Google Slides (insert line, shapes, text boxes, etc.), you’ve already touched on some of the Google Drawing features. Google Drawings takes it up a notch with more graphics features. Anything you create in Drawings can be used in other Google apps and many other places as well.

Tony Vincent created a handy image comparing the Drawings and Slides.

venn diagram of google slides versus google drawings

Start with these examples of educational uses of Google Drawings to get an idea of what is possible.

  • Get Creative with Google Drawings – This post by Tony Vincent is the place to start. He includes a ton of ideas and examples. ( I took Tony’s Classy Graphics workshop in Fall 2017. Highly recommended if you really want to dig into Drawings.)
  • Google Drawing Resources – Eric Curts maintains a page chock full of ideas and templates for anyone to use.

A short video by  Jocelynn Buckentin covering some of the basics.

  • Getting Started with Google Drawings – Alice Keeler’s introduction to all the basics.
  • Introduction
  • Day 1: Background & Working with Shapes
  • Day 2: Adding a Text Box or Word Art
  • Day 3: Drawing Lines
  • Final post with links to all 7 tutorials
  • Step-By-Step Google Drawings Vector Portraits Lesson – Nice demo of techniques for drawing cartoonish portraits.
  • The Noun Project – Thousands of icons available for free, be sure to follow their rules for attribution. Buy a membership and you don’t have to include attribution.


  • Do More with Google Drawings – Tutorials, templates, tips and tricks.
  • Visual Thinking with Google Drawings – Podcast on Google Drawings, resources listed on show notes page.
  • Google Drawings Cheat Sheet for Teachers and Students – Kasey Bell’s cheat sheet. A PDF of the file is available here .
  • Tons more Google Drawing ideas, tips and tutorials from:
  • Matt Miller
  • Alice Keeler


  • NASA planet posters  – Follow along as a teacher steps her students through creating planet posters with Google Drawings.  Good introduction to Google Drawings.
  • Recovering the classics – Whether you participate in the official project or not, this is a fun idea for students. Create a modern cover for a classic title. Something that will spark interest.
  • Create Your Own Story Cubes with Google Drawings – Use Eric Curts’ cube templates for creating a customized cube with your own photos, clip art graphics, text.
  • #BookSnaps with Google Drawings – YouTube video by Tara Martin explaining how to create this fun way to capture reactions to a book or other text that students are reading.
  • Halloween Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings! – Use this template to create your own magnetic poetry fun. Build A Snowman – Take a look at this fun winter project for kids. What else could you create that would give your students a fun interactive experience? Note that this was done with Google Slides.
  • Sticky Notes – Try your hand at this and make some customized sticky notes. I did this activity when I took Tony Vincent’s Classy Graphics class. I used bitmojis for some of my notes .  Noemi Reyes made a fabulous set for the workshop .
  • Create an Interactive Image – You can create interactive images by adding links within a Google Drawing. Very much like a ThingLink image. This post from Eric Curts explains the details.
  • Create Eye Popping Infographics with Google Drawings – Matt Miller’s post includes a short video with tips and techniques.


  • Try out Google Drawings
  • Play with the editing options – don’t worry about creating a masterpiece!
  • Try one of the project ideas above, modify a template created by someone else. or something else you want to test out.
  • Download and save the image to embed in your blog post.


  • Embed your graphic.
  • How did you like using Google Drawings? Do you have other favorite tools?
  • Discuss how you might use Google Drawings in school.


  • Write & publish your blog post.
  • Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
  • Return to your  Google Classroom , find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.

*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.

4 thoughts on “ Thing 24: Google Drawings ”

[…] This is just a super, awesome resource that I’d like to remember for future use, so I’m linking it here.  I had so much fun with AutoDraw.  As a person who claims that even her stick figure drawings look bad, this was confirmed when AutoDraw had no idea what I was intending to draw on my third image!  (Though it did get my first image correct!)  I cannot wait to share what I have learned in this lesson on Google Drawings with my teachers and students.  I have so many new ideas of how I will use this in place of how I have been using Google Slides.  I will definitely be going back to this lesson in the future! […]

Some handy tips in these posts: https://meredithakers.com/2018/03/04/virtually-duplicate-yourself/

Cool Cat Teacher episode: travel poster 11 x 17 – teacher template and printed students decorated a rectangle of x by y pixels. Teacher used them as the header for google classroom. Timelines http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e345/

transparent backgrounds with Lunapic https://www.controlaltachieve.com/2018/04/transparent-images.html

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  • Open a new drawing in Google Drawings.


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Activities with Google Drawings

Janet corder and joan gore.

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Tony Vincent - Learning in Hand

Tony Vincent from Learning in Hand frequently shares tutorials and ideas for using Google Drawings.

  • Get Creative with Google Drawings
  • Creating an Infographic in Google Drawings
  • Fantastic Learning Activities with Google Drawings

Tony also offers an online course, Classy Graphics , where he teaches how to use Google's drawing tools to make graphic organizers, custom sticky notes, social media graphics, flyers, and interactive activities. Follow #ClassyGraphics on Twitter to find out more!

Shapegrams - Tony created Shapegrams to introduce his students to the drawing tools in Google Drawings. He offers 4 of the Shapegrams for free. The tutorials on these 4 Shapegrams are excellent. For $35 per year, you can subscribe to Tony's Shappegrams site, which gives you access to all of the Shapegrams and a license to distribute them to students. Follow #Shapegrams on Twitter for more ideas and student examples!

Google Drawings

Google Drawing is a part of Google that you might not use often, but once you start experimenting with it, the classroom possibilities are endless! Google Drawings gives you and your students the ability to manipulate, add images and text, shapes and more.

The teacher can create and share fill in the blank activities (templates).

The teacher can create and share drag-and-drop activities (templates).


Big picture

Eric Curts - Control Alt Achieve

  • 30 Free Google Drawings Graphic Organizers
  • Motivational Posters with Google Drawings
  • Creating Fractions in Google Slides and Drawings
  • Create Your Own Story Cubes with Google Drawings
  • Springtime Magnetic Poetry with Google Drawings
  • 8 Ways to Supercharge Google Docs with Drawings
  • 3 Tools for Making Memes in School (includes a template)
  • Making Posters with Google Drawings
  • Google Drawings Chess and Checkers for Students
  • Exploring Tangrams with Google Drawings
  • Teaching Math with Google Drawings
  • 11 Ways to Teach Math with Google Drawings
  • Pattern Block Templates and Activities with Google Drawings

These are just a few of Eric's Google Drawings Resources. Click here for everything!

Matt Miller - Ditch That Textbook

  • 25 Free Google Drawings Graphic Organizers and How to Create Them
  • 35 Creative Google Drawings Activities for Classes
  • Use Google Drawings for brain-friendly visual notetaking
  • 10 engaging Google Drawings activities for classes
  • Caption This! A fun, deep-thinking Google Drawings activity

Tutorials, Templates, Blogs and More

Create a Book Character Map from Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum

Lessons from Google's Applied Digital Skills Curriculum

What is Google Drawings and 10 Creative Ways You Can Use It by Ryan Dube

A Guide To Google Drawings For Teachers, Students, And Bloggers by Kathleen Morris

How to Create Interactive Google Drawings by Ed Tech Teacher

Google Drawings in the Classroom by Jocelynn Buckentin: lots of examples, templates, and videos

Templates for Google Drawing by Jocelynn Buckentin

Google Drawings CHEAT SHEET for Teachers and Students! by Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning)

Math Examples by Kelly Cross

Google Drawings Templates by Larissa Aradj

20 Ways to Use Google Drawings in the Classroom by Kasey Bell (Shake Up Learning)

Big picture

Drag and Drop Examples

On most of these, you will need to Make a Copy in order to use them.

Who Are You by Jocelynn Buckentin

Timeline by John Sowash

Sight Words Activity by Jocelyn Bucatin

Energy Flow in Ecosystems Activity

Classifying and Organizing Life on Planet Earth

Types of Conflict

Transparent, Opaque, Translucent Sorting by Laura Wringe, Black Gold Regional Schools

Coin Sorting

Classifying Rocks

Season Sorter by Meg Coover

Triple Beam Balance Practice by Meg Coover

Phases of the Moon

Bones by MrAdamPE

Who Are You?

Drag & Drop Minnesota Map

Tons of Shared Resources from Black Gold Regional School Division (not all are Google Drawings)

Map created by a student from a tweet by @wasd20Nate

Landscapes Using Shapes by 7th-grade students from a tweet by @theroar_bhes

Fill in the Blank/Typing Information Examples

Earth's Crust

Fact vs Fiction by Kathryn Greene

Book Character Trading Card Template by Darren Maltais

Book Character Trading Card by Darren Maltais

Animal Trading Card by Darren Maltais

Frayer Model

Story Elements Butterfly Chart by John Sowash

Prediction Chart by John Sowash

Nonfiction Text Features by Amy Hermon

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Timeline

Lines of Symmetry by Eric Curts

Choice Boards

Choice Boards are the ultimate tool for differentiating learning in the classroom! Students are given a variety of activities to choose from in order to demonstrate understanding of a topic or unit of study. Choice Boards can easily be created in Google Drawings.

Chemical Reactions (File, Make a Copy) by Ashley Jackson (@techcoachashley)

Create a Self Portrait

GEG Virtual Paint Nite in Google Slides presented by Emma Cottier (@EmmaCottier)

GEG Virtual Paint NIte Video by presented by Emma Cottier (@EmmaCottier)

Tutorial by Jessica Garrity

Anne Frank @EmmaCottier

Stephanie Rothstein @StephRothEDU

Kerrie Shelden @kez1133

Dr. Mandi Tolen, Ed.D @MandiTolenEDU

laisunghsi @laisunghsi

EmmaCottier @EmmaCottier

Digital Portraits Using the Curve Tool @LisaAddison1

Big picture

Create a Google Drawing

Open Google Drive

Use the dropdown menu to select Google Drawings

Start from Scratch

Start from Scratch

Google Drawings has so many classroom applications and this is one idea that can be used in any subject area and grade level.

The following directions are for creating a picture of yourself with 3 different callouts containing a fact about yourself.

  • Create a New Google Drawing
  • Go to Insert → Image and find the picture you want to use.
  • Select Insert → Shape → Callouts.
  • Choose one of the callouts.
  • Drag the callout to desired location and type in your first fact.
  • Drag the yellow dot (located at the tip of the point) to move the point of the callout.
  • While the callout is selected, click on the Fill tool and change the color.
  • Create 2 more callouts for the other facts.
  • You can change the alignment, font, font size and color, etc. of the text, if desired.
  • Click Insert →Text Box to add your name to your picture. Drag your text box to the desired location. Change the font and the font size and color so that it is clearly visible.
  • Go to File and select Download As → JPEG.

3 Branches of Government

Point of View

Describe yourself at the beginning of the year.

What was Washington thinking when he crossed the Delaware?

How would you describe a parallelogram?

What are five important facts about an animal cell?

Change the Layout of Your Google Drawing

Select one of the options or Custom

If you choose Custom, you will probably use Inches or Pixels

Resize the Canvas

Resize the Canvas

Resize the canvas by dragging the bottom right corner.

Tips and Tricks

  • Insert a Google Drawing into a Google Doc: Select Drawing from the Insert menu in a Doc. Choose New or From Drive.
  • Ctrl D (PC) Command D (Mac) duplicates an object
  • Shapes: yellow diamonds allow you to alter the shape, blue boxes are used to adjust the shape and the blue circle is used to rotate the shape.
  • To change the background from the dotted grid to any color right-click, select Background and choose your color.
  • To change the order of the objects on your canvas, right-click on the object and select Order.
  • To align objects on your canvas, select the objects you want to align, right-click and choose Align Horizontally or Align Vertically.
  • To select multiple objects, drag across them with your cursor or use Shift and click or Control and click.
  • When sharing activities (templates) with others, make them View Only,
  • Replace Edit with Copy in the URL of the shared template to force the user to Make a Copy.
  • Text can be added inside of a shape without having to create a text box.
  • After you have completed a Google Drawing, go to File and select Download to access saving options.
  • Use the File menu to download your Drawing as a PNG because it will maintain transparency. Tip: PNG files (not JPEG) maintain transparency if you have that.

Most of the time you will want to use PNG images. These images do not have a background. When searching Google Images or any other site for images, add PNG to your search and it should filter out all of the pictures that have backgrounds.

Pixabay - free images that do not require a citation

Pexels - free images that do not require a citation

Unsplash - free images that do not require a citation

FavPNG - transparent PNG images; 2 downloads per day for free account, unlimited downloads on premium account

Noun Project - icons; free and paid accounts; click here for educator pricing; must cite sources on free account

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Google Drawings 101 Assignment

google drawing assignment

Adapted from Google Drawings using Shapes to make a Minion by Gavin Middleton

Student Examples

About the google drawings 101 assignment, for this assignment, students were given a blank google drawings with a link to the assignment instructions in the top right corner of it..

google drawing assignment

Link to Google Drawing Assignment

Students navigate between their Google Drawing, assignment instruction slides and screencast tabs as draw a Minion and learn Google Drawing skills.

Google for Education logo

Getting Started with Google for Education

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Welcome to your seventh lesson.

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Today you'll learn:

  • What Google Drawings is
  • How to access Google Drawings
  • How to create a Google Drawing
  • How to add shapes, text, Word art, and images
  • What types of Google Drawings you can create
  • How to share and download a Google Drawing

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Online Tools for Teaching & Learning

Designed by students in educ 390d, 592a, & 692d at the university of massachusetts amherst, google drawings.

Google Drawings   is a virtual board that allows users to create content by drawing, pasting images, linking videos and websites, and inserting text, shapes, tables, and other content onto a page in Google Drive.  Users can create flow charts, diagrams, concept maps, visual storyboards, original art and more.  This app is available free of charge to anyone with a Google account.  Users can collaboratively work on the same Drawing at the same time. This means students can collaborate on the same drawing from different computers at different locations. Drawings can be shared via a link or embedded into a webpage (by selecting “Publish to the web” in the file menu) .  Collaborators can edit and leave comments on the document.  If you are looking for a tool to help engage students and foster collaboration and creativity, this is a great tool for students to visually construct and demonstrate their knowledge.

Tool Snapshot

Impact on Student Learning:  Because of its design students are able to collaborate, create, communicate, and engage in learning.  What is particularly great about this app is that it allows students to work on the same document at the same time from different locations.  They can edit, add, remove, and comment on content simultaneously.  This app really has the ability to place students back at the center of their own learning.

Ease of Use:  This app is incredibly intuitive, I was able to navigate around it and produce the products that I wanted with no prior introduction to the app via tutorial or help desk. This app can be accessed through any browser and on any device with internet access, but it is much easier to edit the drawings on tablets and computers because of the larger screen.  It is free and easy to access for anyone with a google account, which is a major plus in my book.

Accessibility:  This is app is very accessible for screen readers and braille displays, Google provides several pages of step-by-step directions to enable these adaptations in Google drawings.

Class Size:  This app doesn’t have a set number of individuals who can use it, and it is free.  Honestly, depending on your particular project there really isn’t a size limit for this app, although I probably wouldn’t have 400 people editing one document.

Privacy:  This is really the only downside to Google drawings that I can find.  Google does not break down exactly what information they collect from which apps, but their overall privacy policy and terms of use is enough to give one pause when deciding whether or not to use this app.  They collect data from you once you have an account. Google also assures users the content in Google is their own, but later states that the content also belongs to Google which certainly makes for a bit of copyright confusion in my opinion. I will note that if you are using Google Drawings through Google Apps for Education the privacy policy is more protective for students.

Google Drawings Overview Video

***See video transcript here ***

Google Drawings & the SAMR Model

  • Substitution: Students use Google Drawings to produce a digital poster (instead of drawing a poster).
  • Augmentation:  Students collaborate on the same digital poster at the same time in class or in their individual homes. Each individual’s work is visible to the teacher through the revision history.
  • Modification:  Students can collaboratively create interactive visual displays with pictures, moveable objects, and clickable links that bring you straight to a video or web resource on which students can provide real-time comments and feedback.
  • Redefinition:  Students and teachers can provide critiques to other groups from anywhere in the world.

Learning Activities

Math:  Have students present statistical information in graphical displays and link outside sources to their page.  Or use Drawings for geometry lessons, have students manipulate the shapes to determine what characteristics remain constant for each shape and which ones can change (e.g. a rectangle vs. a parallelogram vs. a trapezoid).

Science :  Have a group of students research and compile information on a particular topic, including images, graphs, videos, websites, and text and present it to the class.  Ask the audience, community members, or parents to leave questions on the page for the student presenters to answer.

English/Language Arts: Have your whole class deconstruct a character, scene, or book together by producing a visual storyboard or comic strip with images, and linked videos, text, and other resources explaining historical relevance, imagery, character development, etc… that can be shared with the class at the end of the lesson.

Social Studies: Have students create an interactive timeline compiling images, videos, text and other resources explaining how events contributed to one another and progressed over time. Students could also annotate an image deconstructing how different aspects of the image illustrate different themes in that time period.

Other:  Create a visual board about a field trip or vacation.  Have students prepare a drawing to introduce themselves to the class at the beginning of the year.  Create a visual organizer before writing a paper and have other students provide comments and feedback.  Google drawings is a great tool to create and alter graphic art.  

  • Getting Started
  • Edit Drawings with Screen Reader
  • Accessibility Product Add-Ons
  • Braille Display Reader
  • Template Gallery
  • 8 Creative Uses for Google Drawings
  • Wondrous Ways to Use Google Drawing
  • 10 Creative Google Drawing Assignments

How to Use Google Drawings

If you DO NOT have a Google Account

  • Go to www.google.com

Google Sign In Bar

  • Create your account

If you already HAVE a Google Account

  • Login to Google

Google Drive Icon

  • Click on the drive icon

Select Google Drive

  • Click on “New” in the top left corner

Google Drive Menu

  • Mouse over “More” and select “Google Drawings”
  • Start creating content!

Watch some tutorials:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN_TNPDUEI8
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QiiB8E8GsA
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LjVHorFaQ4


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  6. More drawing from google♡(づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ


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