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How I Made the Captain Smile

How did you make the captain smile? This was a question I was asked this week while a colleague was looking through some materials for her class and found an activity for teaching the word ‘smile’ with Captain Smile in Activinspire. I will show you what this activity is and how I use it, and then I will show you how to build your own so you can use this idea for your classes.

"An animated gif of a superhero with a big smile. On his chest, a logo of a smile. From that logo, four smiles are appearing."
Drag smiles from the logo

Teaching the Word ‘Smile’

We used to use this page as a way to teach the word “smile”. This page contains an image of a superhero with a big smile logo on his chest. When you touch the smile logo on his chest, another smile appears, which you can drag around the screen.

The best way to use this was to show the students an image of Captain Smile and see if they could point to his smile. You can use TPR to show the students a smile and ask them to show you their smile. Each student is different and will respond best to different methods, try and find what works for the student in front of you. This activity was built to add another option to help the students.

Using the Activity in Activinspire

You can move up to the board after the students have said the word and shown you that they understand it. If you haven’t shown the students of Captain Smile before, you can introduce them to him. Show the students that when you say “smile”, you can touch his chest, and a smile appears. You can also show them that when you say another word like “Apple” or say nothing at all and touch the board, the smile doesn’t work. The trick to the second one is that some boards only work with one touch at a time. The ones we use at school work like this. Touch a different part of the board out of sight of the student, and when you try to touch the smile, it won’t work. This might not work with other boards, so you may have to devise another trick or skip that part.

How to build it

Building this should be quite straightforward. You only need to know how to import media and how to use drag and copy. This is a simple build for this activity. You only need to know how to import an image and use Drag and Copy.

Let’s build it together.

  1. Open Activinspire
  2. Add your main image. The image that you want the students to see. in my case, the Captain Smile image
  3. Add the image you want the students to create. Here I will add the Smile logo
  4. Positions both images where you want them to be. I needed to adjust the size of the smile logo to fit on top of the Captain Smiles image.
  5. Click on the image of the captain and lock him in place
  6. Click on the image of the smile logo and select “Drag and Copy.”
  7. Send the Smile Logo image to the back layer by clicking the “send to back” icon.
  8. You are done.
Two screenshots on a green background. The image on the left shows how to import and image in Activinspire and has white text that says "Import images and position". The second image on the right shows how to select the locked feature on an image in Activinspire, and it has white text beneath that says, "Lock the image in place"
Two screenshots on a green background. The image on the left shows how to select the Drag and Copy action with the words "Select Drag and Copy" underneath. The image on the right shows which button to click to send the picture to the back layer. The text under this image reads, "Send to the back."

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