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With the school year winding down and coming to a close, it gives everyone in a school community (administration, teachers, parents, and students) a chance to reflect and be thankful for all those working together to make our education system meaningful. There will be many gifts shared by students for their teachers. Some of my most treasured items would fit this category. I’ll never forget the many Donald Duck-themed gifts (he was my favorite character). Coming up with gift ideas teacher to teacher, teacher to staff member or administrator can sometimes be tough. Good news! I’ve got two super ways to really blow them away with a thank you gift they will never forget. Both ways use words to create stunning works of art.
THE WORD CLOUD THANK YOU
This can range from simple to the more complex. The basic idea is this. Create a running list of positive words and descriptors of the person you want to thank. It’s okay if you’d like some to be mentioned more than once. If the administrative assistant is a fun person, type fun down four or five times. Then after generating a nice long list of words, copy them and paste them into a word cloud generator website like WORDLE or TAGXEDO. Wordle is simple to use…copy, paste, and generate. Voila! Tagxedo is a little more challenging but you can actually shape the word clouds with that site. HERE is a little primer on how you can use Tagxedo. Whichever one you use, once you have your word cloud complete, print it out at the highest resolution your printer allows onto some nice cardstock or photo-quality paper. Go to your local craft store and purchase a picture frame. Mount the word art within the frame and your gift is complete! See an example of how easy it is to do this here the video!
PICTURES AS WORDS
Another great idea for using words as gifts is to create a series of picture frames (like 4×6) with each picture frame having one letter of the person’s name. Now, instead of just boring ole typefaces found on word processors, use your camera to capture images around you that help to make the letters. Perhaps the frame on the window outside their class makes a perfect lower-case t when snapped. Maybe the positioning of a pen or pencil would make a suitable letter I or L. See the embedded video below (note: video was made in 2011) to see how easy and fun making this art can be. Don’t be too judgmental on my video capabilities, but look at the end result!
Whether its word art or some other type of gift, take the time to reflect on your year and thank the people around you. Be creative and sincere and like that Donald Duck piggy-bank of mine, it’s a gift sure to leave a long-lasting impression!