Google Drawings – The Swiss Army Knife for assignments

Google Drawings is a flexible place to make assignments with embedded supports including videos. Below I share three tips that helped me convert Google Docs assignments into more interactive Google Drawings.

Tip #1: Google Drawings are not just for Google Docs

You can create stand-alone and Google classroom assignable Google Drawings by going to

But why?  Tip #2: You can add a video to a Google Drawing!

This was the game-changer for me.  Adding videos in the margin of the Google Drawing can help students access supports without leaving the activity.  Adding a video to a Google Drawing requires a simple hack where you first insert the video into a Google Slide and then copy and paste it into the Google Drawing.  This takes all of 15 seconds or a minute and a half to watch this video showing the process.

But why?  Tip #3: You can add videos, images, links, and text supports in the margins of the Google Drawing and assign it through Google Classroom.

At this point, it is easier to show you with a few examples, so keep reading for Google Drawing templates you can start using today.

Tony Vincent’s Shapegrams

The main canvas has the picture and space to recreate it

Shapegrams are an excellent resource to help you and your students learn about Google Drawings. Each one is designed with a short video lesson, tips, and a drawing activity bundled together. He also has a detailed article called “Get Creative with Google Drawings.”   

Graphic Organizers

30 free Graphic Organizers

Google Drawings is a natural place to create graphic organizers, and Eric Curts shared 30 Free Google Drawing Graphic Organizers. These pair well with an embedded Youtube video where you want students to take notes, organize their thoughts, or respond to a prompt but also have lots of other uses. Eric’s website lets you get each file using “File -> Make a copy” or SharingTree has a group to get the whole set in one click.   

Matt Miller from Ditch That Textbook also shared 25 Free Google Drawing Graphic Organizers or SharingTee has the whole group as well.

Permissions for G Suite Add-ons

Google Drive Add-on Permissions

Add-ons from the G Suite Marketplace require different permissions based on their level of integration with Google Drive and other services. Google requires SharingTree to ask permission to see, edit, create and delete all of your Google Drive files. This permission request needs an explanation. We need to see and create files in your Google Drive, but we never use the ability to edit or delete any files. Unfortunately, Google bundles all these permissions, and so you have two options to use our service. The first is to click the “Allow” button. The second option is to use a secondary Gmail account that only connects to services like ours and then click the “Allow” button. Once the files are in your secondary account, you can easily share them with your primary.

Below we compare SharingTree’s permissions with other common Google Drive Add-ons.  We are working to reduce our permission level and will keep you updated here.


Sharingtree allows teachers to share and collaborate on G Suite lessons and activities.

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Kami allows you to take any existing document, including scanned PDFs, and write, draw, type, annotate, comment, augment, enhance, and otherwise bring it to life – all within your browser.

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formLimiter – Add in for Google Forms

formLimiter shuts off a Google Form after a max number of responses, at a date and time, or when a spreadsheet cell equals a value. makes it easy to remember all your personal and work tasks, anywhere you go.

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Zoho Creator

Create custom apps for all your business needs with very little code. Build once on web and use them across mobile platforms with targeted functionality.

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Smartsheet is a cloud-based platform for work execution, enabling teams and organizations to plan, capture, manage, automate, and report on work at scale, resulting in more efficient processes and better business outcomes. Smartsheet empowers better collaboration, accountability, innovation, and real-time visibility into what

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Lucid Charts

Lucidchart provides collaborative online diagramming to make it easy to draw flowcharts, org charts, wireframes, UML, mind maps and more. Work together in real time with your team and clients.

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Let us know if you have any questions at

Using Form Builder to turn a Google Sheet/Doc into a Form

Form Builder helps you to build a Google Form in a fast and straightforward way by importing fields/questions/answers from a Google Doc or Google Sheet. Google Forms are flexible and can include questions, text sections, images, or videos. You can always build a survey or quiz directly in Google Forms, and lots of videos show this process. The additional options I wanted to share are creating a Google Form from a Google Doc or Sheet. 

Part 1: Google Doc to Google Form

If you have a survey or quiz as a Google Doc, you can “import it” to Google Forms using the Form Builder add-on. I’ll show this process using a Google Doc with a student info section followed by four questions. 

Example Google Doc

Next, you navigate to Add-ons from the top toolbar and select ‘Get add-ons‘ or ‘Form Builder for Docs -> Start‘. 

Starting or Get Form Builder Add-on

From here, I made two videos showing the process of Getting the Add-on and using it.

If you want to download and follow along with the videos, I made a group in SharingTree with the Google Doc, Google Form, and video links. Just click “Open” to have everything added to your Google Drive so you can follow along and modify to make your own Google Form from a Google Doc.

Group in SharingTree with Google Doc, Google Form and Links to Videos

Once you click ‘Open‘, a folder is added in your Google Drive with the Google Doc used in the video, the matching Google Form, and a Google Sheet with links to the How-to videos

Files in your Google Drive after ‘Open’

If you have any issues or suggestions, the developers of Form Builder can be reached here and are very responsive. 

Part 2: Google Sheet to Google Form

Using a Google Sheet provides the ability to set many Google Form options like the question type, point value, required options. This ability makes writing questions in Google Sheets much quicker than entering each one in Google Forms directly. I made a Group with templates and videos for this section as well if you want to try them out. We start with the Google Sheet shown below.

Google Sheet Template

When you use a Google Sheet Form Builder uses a feature called ‘Automatic Mapping‘ to identify the type of field/question/answer based on the column heading. The Google Sheet template I used has a number of these options set, and clicking the link above shows you all the possible options. The complete list of question types Form Builder supports is below. 

From Builder for Sheets – Supported Question Types

The magic happens in Form Builder when you check the ‘Range includes header‘ option, and your fields/questions are automatically recognized. I again made two videos showing the process of Getting the Add-on and using it.

Selecting options in Form Builder for Question/Field Import

If you make a Google Form from a Google Doc or Sheet and Form Builder, it would be helpful to share both as a Group in SharingTree so users can easily edit and then submit their version as a Collaboration. Our goal at SharingTree is always to help you share and collaborate with others. Let us know at if you have any questions or suggestions.

What is G Suite?

G Suite is based around five core web applications:

  1. Drive (
  2. Docs (docs.
  3. Slides (
  4. Sheets (
  5. Forms (
Google Drive

Google Drive is where all your G Suite files are stored. In addition to storing G Suite files, you can store any file in your Google Drive. SharingTree allows you to publish any content in your Google Drive or device in under a minute! No more uploading, downloading or ZIP files!

Google Docs

Google Docs is the equivalent to Microsoft Word in G Suite. It is the perfect application to use to make primarily text based document.

G Suite also recently added Office editing, so you can now edit, comment, and collaborate on Microsoft Office files using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This feature brings the collaboration benefits of G Suite to Office files. This eliminates the need to convert from Office to G suite file types. See for more information on the handy new feature.

Google Slides

Google Slides replaces Microsoft PowerPoint and it provides excellent presentation capabilities from any modern browser. Users are also able to add YouTube videos to their presentations.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets replaces Microsoft Excel and can meet all your spreadsheets calculation needs in a web-friendly format.

Google Forms

Google Forms is a great survey, assessment (Quiz) and data collection tool. Information entered can easily be transferred to a Google Sheet or scored if the Quiz option is selected. Since this application does not have a Microsoft equivalent you may want to check out the video below for more information.

Google Drawing

Google Drawing (see ) allows you to edit and create images. This tool pairs well with Google Docs when you want to add text to an image or combine multiple images into one.

For more on G suite head on over to Google’s G suite training at .

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