Wednesday, April 13, 2011

License Plate Generator

Kids are into cars and often intrigued by license plates from various states, and I have used this interest in various iterations to do a "license plate" activity with pragmatic groups. Kids can make or use "vanity" plates with their own names, add decorations that relate to them personally, and discuss their creations with the group. These plates can later serve as name placards in future sessions to reinforce using and remembering names and keeping information in "friend files" (term used in Michelle Garcia Winner's books).

I recently found a great way to make license plates for a group, rather than just providing a frame in which kids often write their name in tiny script. The ACME License Maker lets you pick a state (and year), enter a name, and print out your plate. I could do without the "pretend you're in prison" line on the site, but can live with it. I made all my plates in advance anyway.

This site could also be a great way to link language to curriculum around US Geography, with students creating license plates from different states and decorating them with key descriptive features after researching the state.

Technical Note: You will want to click on the thumbnail image of your plate to see it larger, than save it (right-click/Save Image As, control-click/Save Image As on a Mac). I found printing worked best in landscape mode at about 200%, but you'll want to experiment.


  1. Awesome! Can't wait to try this. Laughing at the "prison line." What did you do today in speech class? LOL.

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