Using the Clipping Tool in the Classroom

By Julie Smith

One of my all time favorite PicCollage tools I like to use when working with teachers and students is the clipping tool. You can take any picture and cut out parts of the picture or crop to shape.

1To do this, tap the plus (+) at the bottom of your screen, tap the green mountain photo icon, find an image to insert and then tap the checkmark. Your image will be sent to your PicCollage canvas. Simply double tap the image and the following menu will pop up.

Press the blue scissors icon that says Clip.

Without picking up your finger or stylus, trace your body. You need to meet the point where you started drawing. If you mess up, simply start tracing again. It might take several tries and that is O-K-A-Y!2

With two fingers on your image pinch out or pinch in to make it bigger/smaller. Place it where you would like. If you would like to add other images, go for it!

How can this be used in the classroom?

Here are a few lesson ideas that involve the use of the clipping tool:

Author’s Purpose Lesson: You can read about this lesson in detail HERE. Basically, students visit the library and take pictures of all kinds of different book covers.3

They use the clipping tool to cut out the book cover and place it on a PIE image that is set as the background. PIE=persuade, inform and entertain.4

Setting Goals: You can read about this lesson in detail HERE. Students choose a background, write a goal or resolution and add a picture of themselves to make a decorative poster or animated gif. They use the clipping tool to cut themselves out of the picture background to layer on top of their resolution image. See example below:


Science/Social Studies: Students can make themselves appear as a part of a historical or science themed scene. They can do this by searching for a picture of a historical place or science concept (ie. habitat) to set as the background. To do this, tap the plus (+) at the bottom of the screen. Tap the purple background icon and then select the magnifying glass. Students can use the built-in image search to find a background image. 6

Afterwards, students can add themselves to their scene by getting a friend to take a picture of their entire body and use the clipping tool to cut themselves out. In the example below this 1st grade student was learning about habitats. She saved her entire image from PicCollage and imported it into Chatterkid to make the frog talk:

If you haven’t seen Technology Erintegration’s PicCollage ideas, then head over to her blog to check them out: Erintegration’s PicCollage Posts. Many of her lessons include the use of the clipping tool too!

Get creative! How else could we use the clipping tool at school?

Julie Smith is an elementary Instructional Technology Specialist from Saline, Michigan. She works with teachers and students in PreK-5th. Julie is the author of the blog, The Techie Teacher and is a PicCollage Ambassador. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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