Lesson plan

Adobe Spark: Parts, Purposes & Complexities

Discover a new tool for creative assessments and lessons! In this lesson, students will investigate Adobe Spark using Agency by Design thinking routines to help them understand how they can use technology to communicate ideas.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will understand how to use Adobe Spark to communicate ideas.

(7 minutes)
  • Project the Adobe Spark Features website and ask students to share their first impressions (e.g. simple format, lots of buttons with links, plus sign front and center, etc.). Ask students to say aloud who might visit the site and why.
  • Distribute three sticky notes to each student and ask them to write their answers to the following questions you'll write on the board:
    • What do you notice about the program?
    • How do you think people use the program?
    • What do you wonder about the program?
  • Have students share their sticky notes with their partners and then place them on the board next to the written questions.
  • Take a quick poll and ask, "How comfortable would you feel using Adobe Spark?" Have students give a thumbs up for "very comfortable," thumb sideways for "somewhat comfortable" or thumbs down for "not comfortable."
  • Tell students Adobe Spark is a tool they can use to create visual and auditory products like graphics, webpages, and videos. Today they'll figure out how to use it.
(10 minutes)
  • Project the Thinking Routines: Parts, Purposes, and Complexities worksheet and use a familiar example to explain the different columns (e.g. team sports, classrooms, etc.). Explain that the parts of a tool are the pieces that makes up the tool and the purposes are why each of the parts are important to the whole. Then, define the complexities of a tool as how the parts and purposes are complicated or interact with each other to create the whole tool.
  • Relate the Thinking Routines: Parts, Purposes, and Complexities worksheet to Adobe Spark. Say aloud, “What are the parts (or pieces) that make up Adobe Spark?” For example, photos, video clips, voice overs, text, and transitions are some parts of Adobe Spark, while creation tools, like Spark Video and Spark Pages, are also parts of Adobe Spark. Pick one part to focus on as you model how to complete the worksheet.
  • Remind them that the purposes are why each of the parts are important to Adobe Spark, or how a creator uses the parts in the program. Say aloud, "What is the purpose, or job, of all the parts in Adobe Spark?" Think aloud about the purpose of the part you chose. Write your conclusions in the Purposes Column.
  • Explain that complexities are how the parts and purposes interact. Think aloud about the complexities of the part and purpose you chose.
(12 minutes)
  • Draw three columns on the board and label them "Parts," "Purpose," and "Complexities." Have students sort the relevant sticky notes from the introduction into these columns.
  • Assign student partnerships to investigate Adobe Spark further. Provide the username and password for the website to access the Adobe Spark Gallery website. Distribute packs of sticky notes for students to add additional parts, purposes, and complexities to the table.
  • Ask one person from each partnership to share the name of a part they added to the table and then share the purpose that it serves in Adobe Spark. Allow other students to provide feedback.
  • Remind students they can determine the complexities of Adobe Spark by noticing how the parts and purposes work together to make the tool.
  • Present the following questions to the students and allow them to brainstorm answers in partners:
    • What is the complexity of Adobe Spark?
    • How do the parts and purposes interact with each other to help us create something new?
  • Ask partners to share their ideas, write them on new sticky notes, and add them to the Complexities column. For example, one complexity is that the parts (i.e. plus button, Spark Video, hyperlinks, etc.) combine with the purpose (i.e. an online tool to create videos, graphics, and web pages to spread electronically) to help the user easily create a visual and auditory product like graphics, videos, and webpages.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute the Thinking Routines: Parts, Purposes, and Complexities worksheet and ask them to write down all the parts, purposes, and complexities for a creation tool of their choice (i.e Spark Page, Spark Post, Spark Video). Make sure they know how to access and navigate their chosen tool.
  • Ask students to interact with the tool and complete the worksheet on their own, then share their worksheet with a partner who chose the same creation tool. Allow them to adjust or add to their answers based on their partner's feedback and model for their partner the steps to start a new project.
  • Have students think about how they could use one of the creation tools to express their ideas. What type of ideas or purpose could these tools help express?


  • Provide a visual representation of the meanings of the key terms along with a familiar example of parts, purposes, and complexities (e.g. bus ride to school, sports team, family tree, etc.).
  • Allow students to work with peers in the Independent Practice Section to brainstorm the parts, purposes, and complexities of one of the tools of Adobe Spark and give them additional time to complete their worksheet.
  • Ask another student to provide a tutorial on how to use a program if the student needs help with the functionality of Adobe Spark.


  • Allow students to examine another tool and compare and contrast the ease of use of both tools.
  • Have students categorize Adobe Spark’s parts and determine which programs would be best for specific classroom activities.
  • Ask these students to serve as student-teachers and assist the students who need additional explanation or support with using the online tool.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out one index card to each student to use for their exit ticket.
  • Ask students to write about the part(s) they think makes Adobe Spark easy to use. Then, ask them to determine the most challenging aspect of using Adobe Spark.
  • Ask students how they could imagine using Adobe Spark in the future. What types of ideas could they express? What kinds of products would they like to make?
  • Use these responses to guide future lessons with Adobe Spark and to assess students' understanding of Adobe Spark's purpose.
(6 minutes)
  • Ask students to refer to their sticky notes from the Introduction section regarding what they wondered about Adobe Spark and how they thought people used it. Have them share the answers to their sticky note ponderings in partners. As a class, group the sticky notes that have questions unanswered to address at a later time.
  • Ask students to create a definition for Adobe Spark. For example, “Adobe Spark is an online tool that allows users to create videos, graphics, and web pages to communicate information in a creative way.” Then, have students brainstorm aloud some of the uses of Adobe Spark in the classroom and in their own assignments (e.g. narrative, persuasive, and informative writing, visual products, etc.).
  • Take a quick poll asking students to raise a thumbs up for "very comfortable", thumb sideways for "somewhat comfortable" or thumbs down for "not comfortable" to the following question: "How comfortable do you feel using Adobe Spark?"

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