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Google Teacher Tip: Blackline Master Search Tools

September 13, 2016

Earlier this year I attended the Hunterdon County EdTech Fest and had the chance to sit in a session led by New Jersey educator Bruce Reicher (follow him on Twitter here). He shared a handful of great Google tips for teachers and I absolutely loved this simple blackline master search tip.

A blackline master is the piece of paper you can easily copy for students sometimes called a reproducible. This could be something like a map of the world you want everyone in your class to color code. In a tech-friendly classroom you can even have students annotate blackline masters you save as a PDF and they open up on their tablet.

Blackline Master Search

First you have to know what you’re looking for. You might be a big fan of coloring books for adults but in this case you’re looking for a reproducible for your students. Maybe it’s a map of the world or a graphic organizer you’d like students to complete. Then, head to Google Image search and search using a keyword.

In the picture below you’ll see that I searched for the word world. The images pop up on the page and I have the chance to modify my search by pressing the Search tools button. google-teacher-tip-blackline-master-search-toolsWhen you click on the Type menu you have a few different options to choose from. The choice Line drawing will change your search results to blackline masters like you see below. Once you have the updated search results on your screen you can scroll through the page and see which ones fit your needs the best.


Once you’ve picked the image you want to use you can print it or save it as a PDF to distribute to your students digitally – just depends on your workflow. Remember that there are other options for customizing your search on the page including Usage rights and Size.

Have you tried a blackline master search in your classroom? Share your Google Search tips in the comments below!

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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