Finding Yourself in Doodle 4 Google

During the transitional middle school years, it’s important for students to explore and express who they are as individuals and as part of the global community. Art teacher Ms. Yehee Shin finds creative ways for students to learn the basic elements and principles of art and design through the lens of that self-exploration. For their most recent project, Ms. Shin challenged her classes to look within themselves and create designs for a platform that many of us use every day, Google. One of many lessons that explore the concept of identity through art, the Doodle 4 Google project gives our students an opportunity to design collaboratively, individually and for a real audience.

What is Doodle 4 Google?

Doodle 4 Google is an annual contest inviting k-12 students to submit unique artwork for the chance to have it featured on Google’s homepage. The contest also offers a chance to win scholarship money. One national winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school/non-profit organization and a behind-the-scenes experience with the Doodle team to transform their Doodle into an interactive experience on This is the second year that Severn students are submitting their work to the contest.

When I Grow Up I Hope

This year’s prompt from Google is “When I Grow Up I Hope,” an invitation for students to show their hopes for the future. Ms. Shin takes the theme a step further and asks her classes to make their designs personal. They have to think about their own lives — their beliefs, their friends and families — and create a design that tells a story.

Ms. Shin introduces the project by helping the class analyze past Doodle 4 Google winners. They critique each piece, discussing how the artists use line, color, layout, shape, texture, balance, movement and more to create the designs. They also talk about how well each doodle matches the theme of that year’s contest.

To jumpstart her students' creativity, Ms. Shin provides topic prompts including the environment, the world, community, school and family. The class breaks into groups to brainstorm these general concepts together before beginning to develop their individual designs. They can use any 2D materials to create the work including colored pencils, watercolor, copic markers and even digital design. There is a small set of guidelines to follow, but the artwork is otherwise up to each student’s interpretation:
  • Each design must include Google written legibly
  • Each design must demonstrate the theme clearly and creatively
  • Each design must include at least three elements and one principle of art
Check out this video for a look at their designs and what inspired them!

When complete, every student will scan their artwork and submit it to Google. With a real audience for their work, students learn on a deeper, more connected level. They develop a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that their work is valued outside of the classroom setting. In addition to the national contest, Ms. Shin holds an in-school contest to feature three designs from each class.

About Middle School Arts at Severn

Art classes in our Middle School offer an introduction to the elements and principles of art in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats. Students have the opportunity to work in a variety of traditional and digital media while exploring artistic themes within diverse historical and cultural contexts. Every project includes a component of self-reflection as our students learn to communicate their unique ideas to each other and make broader connections to the world around them.

If you’d like to check out what our Middle School artists are up to throughout the year, Ms. Shin showcases their work just outside Ms. Limon’s office. She keeps the gallery wall and display case up-to-date with their latest creations. Middle School artists also show their work in the McCleary Gallery during our winter and spring art performances. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!


Lower School

Upper School