I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use digital photos. Recently I’ve been experimenting with making them into jigsaw puzzles.
The results are several different puzzle making options:
- A 6 piece cause and effect puzzle template in IntelliTools Classroom Suite® format.
- A HyperStudio 5® stack that lets you create puzzles with draggable pieces.
- Web sites that make puzzles from photos you upload.
- PDF printable patterns to turn any photo you can print into a puzzle you can use off-computer.
- A second Classroom Suite template to make printable off-computer puzzles.
- A way to use the HS 5 stack to make puzzles to print and use off-computer.
Let’s look at each of these possibilities more closely, examine finished examples of each, and (the best part!) link to downloadable templates and online sites to make some puzzles.
Finished Puzzles Examples
To see finished examples of all these puzzle types, click here and go to a Parade of Puzzles. From this page you can link to seven online puzzles and download seven puzzles each in Classroom Suite, HyperStudio 5, and PDF formats. Then link back here to download templates to make similar puzzles with your own digital images.
Overview Of The Templates
Classroom Suite Cause And Effect Puzzle
The Classroom Suite 6 Piece template is the easiest to use. You open the template, control-click a button to add your photo in its Properties window, click a Clean Up button to remove the construction equipment, and save the finished puzzle. Five minutes, tops, for the basic puzzle!
Choose Pieces In Any Order
This template is similar to one I created for IntelliPics Studio, the ancestor to Classroom Suite. Like the new template, it was a reverse puzzle. Users removed pieces to reveal the image. Unlike the original, this new template lets students choose pieces in any order. It’s an errorless cause and effect activity, yet lets students make choices.
Optional Extras and Ideas
Use photos from any of the photo collections you can download from the Materials category of the Resources links in the right sidebar of this page. Plan to use your own photos as well.
Here’s an idea: Photograph each student, and make a puzzle from each one. Trade them around, and let students have fun assembling them while learning each other’s faces.
To dress up the basic puzzle, you could add more sound effects, a movie, or an animation to the final page. Look at the Little Toot puzzle made from this template to see how to have two sounds overlap.
Another option is to use scanned art instead of a photo. You could make a greeting card, for example, and record a “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Father’s Day” message on the final page.
There’s a second Classroom Suite template you can download from this page for making puzzles to print out. I’ll talk about it under off-computer options.
Annie’s Puzzles Online
My online puzzles are embedded in a part of my web page, but the puzzle construction machinery and the actual puzzles reside on another website, jigsawplanet.com . You can make puzzles just like mine quite easily on this site.
To make an online puzzle, choose the difficulty level and the puzzle cut, then upload a photo from your computer. Bingo! It’s ready to use. You can store your original puzzles online, email them to a friend, or embed either the entire puzzle or a text or picture link in your web page to share your puzzles.
Online Puzzle Ideas
You can also use any of the many images from the Jigsaw Planet library, thus skipping the upload step. How about using student art to make a puzzle, and emailing it to a family member? Kids might get a kick out of making a puzzle and sending it to friends. Or set up a simple web page with links to showcase puzzles you or your students have made. Several apps (Classroom Suite, Clicker 5, HyperStudio 5) let you link to a web page, so you could set up student access to specific puzzles through any of them.
HyperStudio 5 Puzzle Maker Stack
I like the HyperStudio 5 puzzle template I developed both because it makes nice puzzles and because it helps you to learn some powerful HyperStudio options. These are: expanding lasso, Cookie Cutter, and Make Object From Selection, and using Gradients to fill a selection with a single color. This might be a good template to use as part of a workshop.
Get Your Image Into The Background
The stack has a page for the puzzle and a page with the puzzle layout graphic, which has each piece filled with a different color. You start on the puzzle page, bringing in your photo as a graphic object and fitting it into a black rectangular area on the card. You start with a graphic object instead of adding a background so that you can fit the picture exactly into the black rectangle, which is the same size as the complete set of pieces. If you bring in an 800 X 600 an use the Center On Page option, it will automatically fill the black rectangle. Flatten your photo to the background.
Copy Pieces Using The Expanding Lasso
Go to the Pieces card and use the expanding lasso to select a piece from the inside. You can get the expanding lasso by choosing lasso, opening the tools drawer, and picking the middle crossed arrows lasso. Click in a puzzle piece to select, then copy.
Use Cookie Cutter And Make Object
Go back to the Puzzle card and paste. While it’s selected, use the Cookie Cutter from Edit/Effects. You’ll see the part of the image below the selected piece appear in it. Immediately go to the Objects menu, and choose Make Object From Selection. Then set the new object for draggable. Repeat for all the pieces.
Use A Gradients Trick
Now select the rectangle that encloses your puzzle image in the background. Go to Edit/Effects again, but this time choose Gradients. Usually, you create a gradient between two different colors, but this time choose the same color for both to fill the rectangle. Move the pieces around to set things up, save, and you’re done!
A Quick Tip From Roger
A detailed copy of these instructions is included in the stack. Here’s a good hint from Roger Wagner: Open the Puzzle Maker stack in the HyperStudio 5 Player, and open the instructions. Leave that open, but also open the stack in HyperStudio 5 to create the puzzle. That way you can have the instructions visible and can refer to them the entire time you are working.
Off Computer puzzles
Because I know that not everyone has Classroom Suite or HyperStudio 5, I wanted to provide a way to make puzzles with just a printer and/or a copier. Download the Print Puzzle Patterns PDF. There are six different puzzle layouts, drawn as black lines on white.
Using The Print Puzzle Patterns
Print out a photo, then run the paper back through the printer. This time print one of the layouts. Only the lines print, so the result is puzzle lines on your photo image, ready to cut out!
For multiple puzzles, you could print all your photos and one pattern. Put the pattern in a copier, then run the printed photos through. When you’re ready for a different layout, print the photos again, plus another of the patterns, and repeat the process.
More Off-Computer Options
Look on the Credits page of the HyperStudio 5 puzzle maker stack for how to use it to make printed puzzles. Basically, you make a puzzle, add a new card with a solid background, paste copies of the pieces there and move them around so they don’t overlap, and print the card.
There is also a second Classroom Suite template that puts puzzle lines onto a picture you load. Print the page, and you’re ready to load another photo to make another puzzle. This template enables you to make off-computer puzzles with the same layout as the 6 piece template.
With all these options, I expect a plethora of puzzles. (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence!) I’ve started the onslaught with the examples on the Parade of Puzzles page. Now it’s your turn! If you come up with clever puzzle ideas, share them with all of us by leaving your comments here.
Application needed: Classroom Suite, HyperStudio 5, Acrobat Reader.
Subject area: Varied.
Planet Jigsaw link: CLICK HERE Description: Web site for making online jigsaw puzzles from photos you upload.
PrintedPuzzlePatterns.zip (2.3 MB) Puzzle patterns for 6 different puzzles to print on top of a printed photo or other image. Acrobat Reader.
PuzzleTemplatesSuite.zip (6.4 MB) Zip file with two puzzle making templates, the 6 piece cause and effect puzzle and printable puzzles, for Classroom Suite v.3 or later. Custom IntelliKeys overlay is attached to the 6 Piece Puzzle Template.
6Piece Puzzle.dpkg (73.1 KMB) 6 Piece Puzzle overlay saved as a Dynavox package file to distribute with puzzles made from this template.
Puzzle Maker.stack.zip (1.5 MB) Puzzle Maker stack to build puzzles with draggable pieces in HyperStudio 5.