What's On Your Mind


The world needs hope & beauty. It’s time to make art and share it with others. I have used this motion graphic lesson multiple times, with students grade 5-12 for art and for SEL. It is easy to alter the content just by changing the prompt, making it relevant for any discipline. 

*share as .GIF

Learning Objective

There is a lot going on in our world,  a global pandemic, environmental challenges, violence and injustice. In addition, each of us have our personal ups and downs. It is important to check in and ask, “What’s on your Mind?” 

This challenge for students, is to create an image that VISUALLY communicates an idea, with the words being an extension of the image. You see the image first, then through animation, the words appear. Students will uses shapes, image fills, drawing and animated text to convey their message. With the vast shape library in Keynote students find support in creating imagery.  And, with the easy share step they can share their work with others.


  1. Research. Public Art, Street ArtBanksy, Basquiat, Fairey, Mural Arts, Amplifier; these are just a few links to artists and organizations who work in the public art domain. Be inspired. 
  2. Pick a quote or create a personal statement or mantra fo your message. Open Notes. Write and/or sketch images that support your idea. Listing is a really helpful way to brainstorm ideas for imagery.
  3. Launch a new blank document in Keynote. Go to document set up and choose square.
  4. Start by adding a background. Bring in a shape and fill with color or an image fill.
  5. Begin to add shapes. Fill you shapes with a variety of image fills.  TIP:Having photos of colors and textures in your camera roll is helpful for this. Have students arrange them in an album for easy access. 
  6. Use the drawing tools to add more imagery. Make it interesting while leaving space for your text. 
  7. Add in your text. Drawing makes it more personal but you could also add a text box and type. 
  8. Add animation. Tap the drawing animation>build in>line draw and export as a GIF


Art with a quote, "Life is like a bicycle to keep your balance you have to keep moving," Created with shapes in Keynote.
Share as .JPEG


This lesson was a smashing success. The shape library really supports students who are intimidated by drawing and give a high quality look that younger students, may not be developmentally, be able to achieve. Students are excited about their work and grow in confidence.


This is a lesson that can be used over and over. Just by changing the prompt you can tap into a variety of topics. I have used this for Let’s Connect, during remote learning where students shared messages with classmates. What’s On Your mind was a temperature check when returning to school and it has been used as a call for Equity.

Extension: Make it Public

Now that you have created your art work it is time to put it in a public place for all to see. Consider your message and what makes sense. Who is your audience? 

Get a photo of that place. You can take the photo yourself if it is someplace you can get to. You could search on the Maps app and screen shot the location. You may use an existing photo only if it does not have copyright restrictions. Search on Unsplash or use the Creative Commons.

Art placed on a brick wall as public art

Learn how, and explore more EveryoneCan Create Projects>


An image of an illustrated student with an iPad showing their work to their teacher.


All Replies

Posted on August 14, 2023

Love this message Lori - and so creative and beautiful for learners. And thanks for the extension ideas. Lots to take from your post!

Posted on August 21, 2023

Thank you Cheryl. I have used this for different topics and students have always responded with amazing, creative results.

Posted on August 27, 2023

Love it Lori! Great job, I will definitely be using this!

Posted on September 02, 2023

Thank you. Please use. And share across disciplines so Everyone Can Create. :D

Posted on August 30, 2023


The adaptability of this lesson is a standout feature. The ability to tailor the prompt to different topics allows for a dynamic and versatile learning experience. From fostering connection to addressing important issues like equity – the lesson's flexibility speaks volumes about its effectiveness and relevance.

The "What's on Your Mind?" activity isn't just a one-time project, but a powerful teaching tool that can tap into all students' interests and creativity while being adaptable to a multitude of learning situations.

Posted on April 30, 2024

I love this idea! I am using it as a reflection for my graduating seniors. I am going to miss them! They've helped grow my student tech team for the past three years! They are creating a "What's on your mind?" gif to leave a legacy for future team members. Thank you for sharing this idea!

Maximum file size: 400MB

Insert a video

Insert an image

Insert an image

125: 125
220: 220

This action can’t be undone.

Error Message

Are you sure you want to continue? Your changes will not be saved.

This post contains content from YouTube.

If you choose to view this content, YouTube may collect and process certain personal data. You can view YouTube’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/t/privacy" target="_blank">privacy policy here<span class="a11y">(opens in new window)</span>.</a>

This post contains content from YouTube.

You’ve rejected content from YouTube. Tap the button below to change your consent.