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I use Dabbler almost on a daily basis with 6th, 7th and 8th graders. All
of my assignments could be taught with traditional tools, which Dabbler
mimics so nicely, without the need for clean-up!... So, you could
confidently use ANY "regular" drawing or painting project you already
use from your curriculum and simply produce it using Dabbler's
First, some questions: Do your students already know how to use the
program? Some lessons obviously require more time than others, and if
you also need 1-2 days to teach them the bells and whistles, that will
affect what kinds of assignments you choose. (Do you know how to use it
comfortably? There are terrific built in tutorials--you could teach it
to yourself in a half hour, or more, depending on your comfort level
Also, are there state standards where you are? If so, you'll want to
conform any lesson suggestions herein to meet your particular state
requirements. For instance, one of our standards is to provide "real
world" art job assignments... in this vein, the kids could create
posters (stay in school, eat a healthy breakfast, or some other "public
service" announcement); they could create a magazine ad for their
favorite toy, or for a favorite sport (roller blade, snowboard, hockey,
etc. "on sale")....Dabbler's text features are poor, but this one week
chance may be used well in creating an assignment where text and imagery
are combined to communicate a message.
Can the imagery created be printed? In color or B/W? If only in B/W...
you could teach the concept of value if you limit them to a B/W color
palette. (Sort of basic and not taking full advantage of the program.)
If you REALLY want to razzle-dazzle AND challenge them, take advantage
of Dabbler's flipbook animation feature. My sixth graders handle the
technicalities well, as follows:
Day one: I demonstrate how to use it (does the lab have an overhead
monitor or an LCD panel and projector for the whole class to watch the
demo?) and 10-15 minutes later, they have to create an 8 frame animation
where 2 objects interact with each other by the end of the class. (this
is quite possible!)--(BTW, Are the students sharing computers or are
there enough for them to each have their own?)
Day two through four: the students have the rest of the week to create a
minimum of a 24 frame animation where an ORIGINAL character of their own
making experiences 2 events during the "movie." The character has to
end so that he/she/it is about to enter frame 1--this makes for a
seamless loop. (Caveat: make sure they work from the background to the
foreground AND have them copy and paste the background onto succeeding
frames when the background doesn't change, before they put their
character in the foreground.)
Day five: finish in the first half of the lab time, then have the
students set their animations to "play" and tour around. If time,
conduct a critique.
If you're in a lab where the students are able to print each frame, they
can finish this project by stapling the printouts in order into a real
"flipbook." I am unable to do any printing thus far, so we've never
taken it this far. (All of my classes work is shown electronically)
Since I don't know your level of proficiency with Dabbler, let me know
if this is jibberish or understandable or if you have any other
> Does anyone have a good basic lesson for 5th , 6th graders for Dabbler. I do
> not want to spend more then a week in the computer lab....but need a basic
> lesson or lessons or suggestions for what can be done.
> Any suggestions...or books for Dabbler?
> Thank you.