5 Steps to Making an Interactive Seesaw Activity

Kindergarten Cafe

Welcome to Kindergarten Cafe - your home for teaching ideas, activities, and strategies across all content areas! I am Zeba McGibbon and I love creating resources for teachers and sharing my teaching experience with others. Kindergarten Cafe is aimed for kindergarten, but teachers of Preschool-First grade can find resources here for their students! I love to connect with other teachers so please reach out and say hello!

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Are you using Seesaw this year or considering it for any hybrid or remote learning? It is a wonderful website and app for supporting learning at home, but it is also awesome to use in the classroom. There are many benefits to using Seesaw for communicating with families, but today I want to show you how you can easily make an interactive activity in just 5 steps!

If you like the Seesaw backgrounds I include here, you can get them at my TPT store. They will make it much easier to create these interactive activities! If you like the literacy activities in the following examples, you can also purchase them from my TPT store.

Step 1: Create a New Activity

In your Seesaw class’s home screen you will see a giant green add button. Click on this to create a new activity. After you click the add button, you click on “Assign Activity”. This will bring you to your Activity Library. You will be able to see all of your activities you have created or saved. You can also see the activities that have been shared on the Seesaw community and can search by grade level and topics. If you see an activity you like, but want to change a little, you can click on the activity, then the three dots in the bottom right, and finally click copy and edit. You can edit the directions and sometimes the student templates. If your school has a Seesaw account, then you can see what your School & District activities are.

From the Activity Library page, you click on My Library to add a new activity. From this screen you click on “Create New Activity”.

Step 2: Directions for the Interactive Seesaw Activity

When you create a new activity, you want to come up with a title for both you and the students. I try to choose a title that describes the task and the content. Then you want to give directions to the students. (Tip: I usually like to create the activity first and then come back to this step, so I know exactly what I’m asking of them. You can always edit the directions.)

When writing directions, visuals are very helpful. Seesaw provides a list of icons and their shortcuts to use in your directions. I definitely recommend bookmarking this page or saving their PDF so that you can refer to it again and again!

If you have younger students that are early readers, I also recommend recording all of your directions. Seesaw makes it so easy to add voice instructions to all your directions. This also helps students to be more independent with the activities, since they won’t need an adult to read the directions to them. You can also provide an example for students. What I like about this option is it doesn’t have to be the same file that you upload for students to complete. You can upload a separate photo or example if you want!

Step 3: Choosing your Background for the Interactive Seesaw Activity

To finish creating your interactive activity, you need to “Add Template for Student Responses”. This is the document that Seesaw will share with students to complete. You have many options for creating your own activity. If you want the students to respond to the activity, I recommend choosing “Upload” or “Drawing”. Other activity options could be posting a photo, video, note, or link, but you might not have students responding to these.

One way to have students respond to a website, could be with the link option where you can add in text boxes, moveable objects, or students could record themselves. You can also add links to any of your activities.

If you choose “Drawing,” you will be making the activity fully on Seesaw. You can choose a white background and draw on it or you can choose from a color or background they provide. This could be helpful if you want students to write, graph, draw shapes/areas, or even make music sheets. You can add in text boxes, shapes/symbols, or drawings. Personally, I find the drawing option a little limited. I like to make my backgrounds in Google Slides where I have more options. (Looking for more Google Slide help? Check this out!)

If you choose “Upload,” you can select a file from your computer or select from Google Drive. Keep in mind, if you upload a PDF or import a Google Slide, Seesaw will only import the first 20 pages/slides. You can easily duplicate or delete slides/pages that you don’t need.

Step 4: Making the Seesaw Activity Interactive

Once you choose your background or file to use, you then need to make the activity interactive. There are some activities where students are tracing, drawing, reading, adding a photo or typing. These don’t require much work on your end to make them interactive. Just make sure the directions are clear and the students have a clear and organized space.

However, you may want students to manipulate text or images. This can be a very engaging way to assess students on different topics. If you want students to move around text, just add the text boxes for what you want included and keep them in a space to start with. I like to leave space on the bottom of my slides so that students know where to find the objects for sorting and moving. This is the same for images.  

You cannot just drag an image from Google or another website. However, I have a few simple ways to add images to your activity. You can either copy and paste the image into Seesaw. You can also save the image to your computer and then drag it in from your desktop, or wherever it is saved. For example, I have a folder of commonly used icons for Seesaw. The images must be in the .png format.

If you have images on your Google Slides that are interactive, they will not be interactive on Seesaw. They will be a part of the background. This is why I like to start with more basic backgrounds on Google Slides and then add the images myself. There are sometimes when you may want some images or text to stay put on an activity so that students can’t move or change them. You can lock down any image or text so that students can’t move it or change it easily. They do have the option to unlock the image, but at least this way they couldn’t move or change the image or text accidentally. You can also duplicate the images or texts and change the order they appear or the font and style of the text.

Step 5: Assigning, Saving, or Sharing your Interactive Activity

Once you are done creating the activity for your students, you can check it over and then assign it to all or some of your students. If you aren’t ready to assign it yet, it will just stay in your Activity Library. If you want to share what you made with other educators, you can click on the three dots on the bottom right of the activity and click on “Share Activity”. From there, you can choose to share it within your district library, email teachers, copy the link or embed code, or share on social media.

You can also organize your activities into collections so that they are easy to find and assign later (also for the following year!). You can click on “Add to Collection” or scroll down and see the activities that are not in a collection. When you click on “Add to Collection”, you always have the option to create a new collection.

If you want to change the collection or add it to another collection, you simply click on those three dots in the bottom right of the activity, and then click on “Add to Collection”. From there, you can unclick the collection it was in and change it to a different collection, add to a new collection, or put it in more than one collection.

Conclusion

Creating an interactive Seesaw activity is easy with these 5 simple steps! These activities can be used year after year for an engaging way to assess student’s knowledge and share student learning with families!

If you like these backgrounds, you can get them at my TPT store. They will make it much easier to create these interactive activities! If you liked the literacy activities in these images, you can also purchase them from my TPT store.

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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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