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Lesson Plans for Building Avatars/Icons

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Building Avatars/IconsEdit

Introduce yourself by putting an avatar/icon in your user posts. Have your avatar/icon appear next to your posts in Personal Learning Space or Youth Voices. You can then make different avatars/icons for different kinds of posts. An avatar is a representation of the essence of you.

Essential QuestionsEdit

  • What is special to you and about you?
  • What is important to you?
  • How can these things come together as a visual representation of you?
  • How will creating and using a visual representation of yourself help a young person at another school relate to your life and get to know you?

Gather your thoughts and create an avatar/iconEdit

  1. On paper, map and draw what is essential about you.
    • In the center of a piece of paper, draw a large outline of your favorite shape.
    • Around the outside of the shape, write the answers to these questions:
    • What is your favorite color?
    • What is your favorite animal?
    • What is your strongest positive emotion?
    • What is your strongest negative emotion?
    • What is your favorite food?
    • What is your favorite place?
    • What is your favorite animal?
    • What is your favorite hobby?
    • What is your goal in life?
    • What is your favorite time of day?
    • What is your favorite thing to do?
    • What is the quality that you value the most in yourself?
  2. Create a visual representation of these ideas inside the shape.
    • Draw and/or color inside your shape a representation of the ideas on the outside of the shape.
  3. Now look at some avatars/icons that already exist. Divide into small groups and search online to find out about:
    • What was Neal Stephenson's 1992 book, Snow Crash and what does it have to do with avatars?
    • What did the game Ultima IV have to do with avatars and what was the goal of the game?
    • Who was the television star Max Headroom and why was he an avatar?
    • On April 19, 2000, Ananova said hello to the world. Who was Ananova and why was she an avatar?
    • Visit SPEAK2Me.net and find the avatar.
    • What are examples of avatars/icons in computer games?
    • Find examples of avatars which are buddy icons?
  4. Share some Avatar History since you are becoming part of the network of people who create and use avatars
    • Using a projector or gathering around a computer, come back together and go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avatar
    • Read the first paragraph and look at the images
    • Now continue in time order to share the avatar investigations that you just researched with the whole class
  5. Look at the ideas you have gathered for your avatar/icon.
  6. Make your avatar/icon.
    • Open Photoshop or GIMP or any image editing program.
    • Create a new document 100x100 pixels. Make the resolution 72 dpi and use RGB color mode. Make the background either white or transparent.
      • Use different layers to represent the ideas that you put in your drawing, around your shape.
      • Build each layer and when you are done, flatten the image and save it as a jpeg.
    If you are using Photoshop, use a Save for the Web command to get the best compression.
    1. Upload your new avatar/icon
    • Log into Youth Voices
    • Go to Account Settings>Your site picture
    • Click on Upload a new picture and name your new icon.

ExamplesEdit

A First AvatarEdit

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