Using Spark in the Classroom with Students of Every Age

by Monica Burns

posted on 04-23-2018

Adobe Spark is my go-to classroom creation tool and I’m super excited it is now open and available for students of all ages! Over the past year I’ve had the chance to work with lots educators who are empowering their students as creators. The Spark tools are perfect for turning students into moviemakers, website creators, and designers who capture and share their learning with the world.

Are you ready to use Spark across grade levels? The list below includes a handful of examples and ideas for using Spark with students of all ages. You can tailor these examples to the specific learning goals in your classroom. Whether there is a device for every student in your classroom, or students take turns in small group or stations, you can encourage students to share a screen and work together as collaborators and creators.

Kindergarten through second grade

In an early elementary classroom, students can use their voice and growing vocabulary to create products that showcase their learning. Spark Video gives students the power to record narration to make a movie. As a math activity, students might take pictures of shapes in their classroom, and then create a Spark Video where they record their voice as they talk about each shape they have found.

If you are helping students build their vocabulary during a social studies unit on landforms, students can use Spark Post to create graphics. Using a word wall you’ve created as a class, students can use the search feature in Spark Post to look for images of a landform. When they find the perfect picture of a mountain, shoreline, or plain, students can add the vocabulary word and their own definition to the page.

Third through fifth grades

Persuasive writing can take many forms and one of my favorites is a book trailer. A book trailer created with Spark Video lets students combine images, icons, text, music, and their voice to capture the attention of a viewer and convince them to read a new book. When I visit schools or present to groups of educators, I often share an example from Mr. Buetow’s amazing Twitter feed. He spotlights student creations that can offer inspiration for your own students.

In addition to movies and graphics, students in elementary school can use Spark Page to combine text and multimedia to create a website. If your students are writing a research report in a space like Google Docs, they can use Spark Page to showcase and share their writing. This post shows some of the steps students can take to transform a traditional piece of writing into a beautiful website with Spark Page.

Sixth through eighth grades

Students of any age can combine the Spark creation tools to make a multimedia product that captures and celebrates their learning. In this activity featured on Adobe Education Exchange, you’ll find steps for transforming a traditional science lab report. Perfect for middle school students, this activity asks them to document the steps they took to complete a science experiment using their voice and a variety of media.

Readers across the content areas can capture quotes that offer inspiration, connect to other reading experiences, or illustrate a literary concept they are exploring as a class. I’ve shared ideas for capturing book quotes on my blog and I love how Spark Post makes this process simple for students. Spark Post lets students create graphics in the perfect size for any social network so they can share their learning with their peers or the whole world!

Ninth through 12th grades

At the high school level, students can use Spark in any subject area. These open-ended creation tools can be used to share learning and connect with an authentic audience. Students can combine all three of the Spark tools to create biographies like the one described in this EdEx lesson. Giving students the option to learn more about a compelling person in history or in their community can tie learning goals to student interests.

As students finish out the school year, Adobe Spark Page is the perfect tool for them to showcase and celebrate their learning. These Spark pages can capture work from across the school year no matter what platform it is created on. If students have made their own movies with Spark Video, published multiple Spark pages, or snapped pictures of other projects during the year, they can showcase them all on a single website created with Spark Page.

How are you using Spark with students of all ages? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Dr. Monica Burns is an EdTech and curriculum consultant and founder of ClassTechTips.com. She is the author of Tasks Before Apps and works with educators across the world to support creation, collaboration, and curiosity in the classroom.

Topics: Creativity, Art

Products: Spark