Remote Learning Activity – DiXit Game is more than just Vocabulary

Social-Emotional Learning through Language Skills and Higher-Order Thinking 

Dixit (Latin: dixit, Latin pronunciation: [ˈdiːksitə], “he/she/it said”), is a French card game created by Jean-Louis Roubira, illustrated by Marie Cardouat, and published by Libellud.
This is a fun family-friendly game that can be adapted to use with a variety of age groups, literacy levels and cultural differences.


  1. Whole Group or Small Group, Jamboard: Make a COPY:

I do this with the WHOLE GROUP together. I make the link so anyone can edit. In this Jamboard, I have students each pick a card and come up with a word, or words to describe the feeling or action. The trick is to think and share through symbols and metaphors.

2. Whole Group and Breakout Rooms: Make a COPY:


In this Slides activity, students will be put into small groups, be given a theme, serious of words or types of words or may create their own. Students will use symbols, ideas, feelings and thoughts to match themes to an abstract image. In LARGE GROUP,  small groups will present their word or phrase and others will guess what pictures they feel works with it (explaining why).

Dixit is a fantasy association game. The game contains large playing sized cards each with different images. The fantasy and story-telling images are extremely detailed and provide room for interpretation and abstract thinking.  Children and adults alike enjoy reading the cards and finding creative ways to interpret the meaning and symbols. 

At home, I play this with my family (ages 16, 17, 20 and adults). I also have an ELL student living with us who loves using this game to learn vocabulary. He uses a translater to help him express his ideas.

As an educator, I play this with my students as a guided language lesson. We dig into higher-order thinking skills, comprehension, symbolism and abstract thinking. We use the pictures to discuss elements of a story as well as point of view and perspective.  I dug through the curriculum (Ontario) for examples of higher-level language skills that can be practiced when using this tool. 

Picture Comprehension/Abstract Thinking and Skills to Practice and Learn: 

Understanding the content of the picture and being able to think abstractly about associations that may be made with that picture is a required skill for the game” 


  • Comprehension
  • Abstract Thinking
  • Expressive Language
  • Verbal Language
  • Interpersonal and social skills
  • Use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes. 
  • Communicating and conveying meaning through various forms
  • Transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts, strategies, processes) to new contexts
  • Real, purposeful talk
  • analyze texts and images in order to evaluate how effectively they communicate ideas, opinions, themes, or experiences
  • use appropriate words, phrases, and terminology from the full range of vocabulary, including inclusive and non-discriminatory language, and a range of stylistic devices, to communicate their meaning 
  • develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations
  • analyze a variety of text forms and explain how their particular characteristics help communicate meaning, 
  • identify various elements of style – including metaphor, and symbolism – and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness 
  • regularly use vivid and/or figurative language and innovative expressions
  • develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their interpretations 
  • use vivid and/or figurative language and innovative expressions in their writing 



Picture Comprehension/Abstract Thinking – Understanding the content of the picture and being able to think abstractly about associations that may be made with that picture is a required skill for the game. For some learners, I focus on the “clues” they give by narrowing the possible choices they can use. For example, if I have a student that loves movies, all clues must relate to movie titles.

Describing Pictures/Expressive Language/Intraverbal Conversation – After all, cards have been displayed, players discuss which card they believe is the correct choice for the clue. They must be able to provide their reasons for the choice they have made.


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140 Stories

140 Voices
The 140 Voices project was co-developed by Rodd Lucier and Zoe Branigan-Pipe, who are working to bring co-learners to life through a collaborative project called 140 Voices. The 7 Degrees of Connectedness was created in part to help explain the 140 Voices project.

Why 140 Voices?
It’s the number of seconds that anyone can spare for a quick video.
The number matches the maximum number of characters in a tweet.
Many of the folks who will appear in these short videos, are active on Twitter.
How long will it take to engage the voices of 140 educators-leaders-change agents?

Here, a short video interview with @Stephen_Hurley explains how the 140 Voices project came about and why we feel it fits so perfectly with the collaborative publishing taking place on

Do you have a story to share? Do you know someone else who has a story to tell?
While you could wait for us to record you in person or via Skype, with a little video-editing playfulness, you can create your own 140 Voices video. Following the steps below, you can share your own story or any story of interest. The video tutorial below shows how it works.

To Capture and Post a Story:
1. Film yourself or a colleague using any digital video camera or camera-equipped computer.External mics are helpful, but not necessary.
2. Answer (or ask) the following questions or respond to the prompts:
* What is your name, role and where are you from (city, organization)?
* What is your current project or initiative?
* How does this project impact student learning? Teacher learning?
* How can folks keep track of your online learning?
3. Upload video content to a video editor of your choice (imovie, youtube editor)
4. Add the 140 Voices intro and extro to your video using the tutorial provided or some other method.
5. Post your video to YouTube using the hashtag #140voices.
To do this part, you will need a Youtube account (or any Google account)
6. Share the link with either @stephen_hurley, @thecleversheep or @zbpipe via Twitter using the hashtag #140voices
7. Videos will be collected and shared at

Peter Skillen and Brenda Sherry, are two dynamic and innovative educators from Ontario. Their videos are the first of what we hope to be 140 short interviews to be hosted at

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Digital Storytelling – Not new, but new for some.

Last week, I started talking to my pre-service students about Digital Storytelling in the classroom. I was a little surprised that many of them had not heard these terms before. Teachers College is half over.
For me, digital storytelling, any storytelling actually is a KEY component in my instruction. It is the ‘Story’ that gives students the context, the imagination and the excitement. In my class, we made up stories everyday (my favourite was the time that I was to be sucked into the smartboard and visit my world-wide colleagues). Anyway, there is nothing new about telling stories in the classroom. In fact, storytelling is perhaps the earliest form of communication, before there were words, or tools to write with. Stories were always told.
But in today’s world, digital storytelling is what kids know. They play video games, watch TV (although not nearly as much as I did as a kid), create blogs, write in facebook, interact in real time adventures, collaborate in documents, share videos, pictures, music. They LOVE to create and the diversity of tools are endless. I know this because I watch my own two kids interact on World of Warcraft, and Spore and I see them create their own games using Scratch or edit pictures and mashup video using our Ipad or Itouch. I should mention, they’ve never accessed any of these tools at their school.

As new (or experienced) teachers, I encourage you to investigate and learn how to use these tools yourself. If YOU are the Movie Maker in the family, PASS THAT TORCH…teach someone else. It is such a wonderful feeling to create a digital story – It always feels like magic to me.

In digging around, I found my FIRST digital story. I was asked to REFLECT during a grad course I was taking and the professor said we can submit our reflection in “any medium”. Who knew that only a few years later I’d find my reflections here – on this blog. This video has  never been published until now (self published anyway). This was the “Zoe” before @zbpipe existed, before “Pipedreams” existed, before I knew any of you, before I had a Global learning environment, before my Mac, before my iPad, before Googledocs…when I still owned a PalmTreo. For you reading – it will be nothing special. For me, it is magic. I want my students to feel magic too.


Do you have a resource to share? How to you use Digital Stories in the classroom? Share your thoughts.
Summary of Responses


DIGITAL STORYTELLING WORKSHOP: How much better can it get – all these FREE resources and tutorials? Amazing.
My students will create a Digital Story this week. For most of them, there will be NO context because I simply want them to experiment with the tools and create a mashup..of something.
Part One:
These are the Digital Storytelling tools (PROGRAMS) that will be used during the Digital storytelling workshop:

1) Windows Movie Maker(sorry Mac users but it is important to be familiar with Windows programs that are used in the classroom)
Printable Classroom Guide

(All Brock Education students have a license for Discovery Streaming)

3) MS PAINT to Edit Images
(A quick simple program that exists in ALL Windows computer)

4)Screen shot -Take a screen shot by pressing the PrntScrn

(This might seem OBVIOUS, but I just learned this recently myself thanks to my PLN when I was in an IBM emergency!)
NOTE: The computer places a copy of what is currently displayed on your computer screen on its internal clipboard and will keep it there until it is replaced by another screen shot or until you turn off the computer.

5) Audacity:

Audacity in Education:

Part Two:


(I’ve picked only a few of my favourites)

Digital Storytelling resources:

Online Photo Editing:






Examples of Digital stories

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Search Stories in the Classroom – Digital Story Telling

Last spring, Youtube released a tool called: Youtube Search Story Creator. You may have seen this famous video called: Parisian Love that was shown on a television ad during Superbowl.

This tool is simple to use and could be a great digital story telling tool in the classroom or school.
A few ideas:

1) Have students use a main character in a story and decide what types of Google searches she/he would have done throughout the story. This would elicit discussions about events, character choices, point of view, critical thinking skills, sequencing and other strategies
2) Have student use themselves – pick 4 topics that they would have ‘Googled’ this past weekend. Other student must INFER what it was the student was doing or trying to do.
3) Have schools use this tool to demonstrate what topics are being taught (teachers can pool together what type of searches they are doing).
4) Teachers can use this tool to demonstrate what subjects or strands are being taught – as an overview
5) How to plan a trip? Have student go through the different stages of planning a trip. Partner up the students and they can narrate each others stories. Integrate this into a mapping or social studies lesson.
6) Have your students create a Search Story to tell you about their interests.
7) Create a search story as a way to discuss one’s digital footprints.
8) Teach students to go from very general to very specific when discussing a topic.
9) ?
10) ?

The tool is somewhat customizable, allowing you to search pictures, maps, blogs and choose your own music. You need to use your youtube account (google account) to upload the final product.

Example of one that I did – demonstrates “me”.

Here – Doug Peterson uses the tool to tell a story about his digital footprint, his interests and his current projects.

If you have any further suggestions or can share a digital story that you have tried with this tool, please consider adding it to my list.
Additional Resources:
@teachertracks lists some excellent ideas about how to use Google Search Stories in your classroom in her blog: Teacher Tracks

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Stop Motion – Olympics and the Four Host Nations

This week, students will be exploring a variety of story telling animation and art tools as part of our Olympics and Social Studies Connections Unit. I did a similar unit with a group of primary students last year, resulting in the following video:

For this project, students will have a choice to create a biography of a Canadian Athlete, a Time-Line of a winter sport, or a spotlight about the Vancouver 2010 Host Nations. Students have already had opportunities to conduct research and create an assortment of graphic and text based accounts of sport highlights, athlete highlights and highlights of the Host Nations.

In using Windows Media Maker, we ran into a variety of problems. First, students found it difficult to change the transition times after the picture import. Often, students found that the program crashed during import due to the size of the pictures. They had to use photoshop first to do a batch import and edit the file size. This two step process is unnecessarily and difficult for some students. The use of the chroma key for blue/green screen functionality was not clear for students and required additional downloads or add on’s. Ultimately, the final version of the show was downloaded into my MacBookPro and I used Imovie to create a final product.

For this group of learners, I will use Frames:

  • Ontario has recently purchased the license for Frames – More Info
  • Frames allows easy import of pictures as well as camara hook up
  • Frames has thousands of pictures ready to use
  • Frames allows easy voice integration

As well, I will re-introduce students to an already familiar site called Creative Commons, where they can access pictures, sounds and movie clips and import them directly to Frames.

  • By using creative commons pictures, my students will become familiar of copyright rules and regulations as well as using creative commons attributes for their own work.
  • Students can create Google Searches directly in Creative Commons and will begin to understand the variety of licensing levels and choices that an author can make when publishing work.

How will student upload and store pictures?

For this activity, I will introduce them to Dropbox.  As a student in our district, they receive an email account using First Class. With drop box, I will share a file easily using their email. See example here:

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