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Tutorial: Magic Revealer

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by MARK WEST 11/04/10

Mac Tips

Special Keys

The Mac Command Key

You probably call this the "Apple Key", but it's officially called the Command Key and it is located near your spacebar. It is used on a Mac much like the control key is used on Microsoft Windows®; example: control-c on Windows copies and on a Mac we use command-c; control-v pastes on Windows and command-v pastes on Mac OS.

The Option Key

The Option Key is located near the Command Key and is sometimes called the ALT key. This key can frustrate a Windows user, as it doesn't work as a Windows ALT key does (you'll often use the Command Key on Mac where ALT is used in Windows), such as when tabbing through open applications: on Windows it's ALT-Tab, on a Mac it's Command-Tab.

The Control Key

The Control Key is located near the Command Key and has special funtions on a Mac (see "Right Clicking" below).

Exiting A Bad Program

On Windows, Alt+F4 will quickly terminate a program.

On Mac OS, Command+Q will quickly terminate a program.

The "3-Finger Salute"

On Windows, when a program stops behaving properly, you can press Control+Alt+Delete to invoke the Task Manager to make an application stop.

On Mac OS, you can accomplish the same thing by pressing Command+Option+Escape; this invokes the Force Quit menu and you can make applications stop.

"Right Clicking"

Sometimes you need to right click. On most computers it's easy, as they come with a two-button mouse. On Mac OS, you typically find a single-button mouse.

You can plug a two-button mouse in to a Mac and it will work. The reason is because two-button mice work on Unix and Mac OS is a Unix variant that uses parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix.

You can also "right click" on a Mac with a single button mouse. To do so, you can do either of the following:

  1. Press and hold the Control Key while clicking.
  2. (This one only works if you have a Mac with a touchpad - usually a laptop) place two fingers on the touchpad while clicking.

Tutorial: Magic Revealer

I was showing off Kevin Crawford's 9 ways to reveal answers in a professional development session and demonstrated how to duplicate the effects Mr. Crawford achieved. Crawford's basis for that flipchart appears to have been inspired by Nine Instructional Strategies from Classroom Instruction That Works by Marzano R., Pickering D. and Pollock J. (arguably, it could have been other research). Revealing answers corresponds well with strategy 1 of the 9 strategies (Identifying Similarities And Differences specifically in Classifying). See also Marzano, Robert J.; Gaddy, Barbara B. and Dean, Ceri. What Works In Classroom Instruction. © 2000 McREL. Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

If you are referring to Crawford's flipchart, this was his way #3.

Crawford's Flipchart Tutorials


For this tutorial you will need a picture of a computer mouse (yes, the picture below is the one I'm using), a window frame and, of course, your trusty copy of ActivInspire. To download a copy of these images, "Right Click" -- Mac Users may need to press the control key as you click and choose "Save Image As..." or perhaps "Download Image" (alternately if you have a little desktop showing, you can click the image and drag it to your desktop).

a picture of a compuer mouse
a picture of a mirror frame


  1. Open ActivInspire and work on a new flipchart.
  2. Using the Text Tool type "A Mouse" (without the quotation marks) and center that text in the page.
  3. Either using the "Insert Media From File" toolbox icon or click and drag, but get the picture of the mouse (Mouse.JPG) in your flipchart. Place the picture of a mouse over the text so that the text is completely hidden.
  4. Use the Object Browser and drag the image to the Top Layer.
  5. Either using the "Insert Media From File" toolbox icon or click and drag, but get the frame (MagicMirror.png) in your flipchart. Place the picture of a mouse over the text so that the text is completely hidden.
  6. Use the Object Browser to rename the image on the Middle Layer to "Frame" (without the quotes).
  7. Use the Object Browser and drag "Frame" to the Top Layer and above the mouse photo.
  8. Using Magic Ink (Tools Menu, Magic Ink), color in the center of the frame filling it completely. (This is easier if you do so over the mouse picture, as you can see what you missed). Don't worry if part of the frame erases, too (we'll fix that next).
  9. Use the Object Browser to place "Frame" on top of your Magic Ink; the Magic Ink is probably called pen1.
  10. Use the Object Browser to select Frame and the Magic Ink. If you hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click those two items, you will select both.
  11. Use the group tool to group the Frame and the Magic Ink.

Now move the frame around and see your magic revealer!

Great, What Next?

I doubt you need to have students identify a computer mouse, so at this point you can replace the picture of the mouse with a picture of something in your standards (such as geometric shapes for math, or a picture of a half-note for music, a painting by a painter for art, a map for social studies, etc.) and then change the text to be appropriate to the picture.

Below I have attached "Revealer3.flipchart" so you can see the example in action

Mark West,
Nov 4, 2010, 8:56 AM