*8: Fifth Grade Cloning in Photoshop

clone3Adobe Photoshop is kind of like KidPix for grown-ups, as well as the default photo-editing program for anyone serious about graphics. This series of projects (available in the first volume of the book, 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom) introduces students to a traditionally-challenging program in an easy to understand way, each project scaffolding to the next, thus avoiding the frustration and confusion inherent in most Photoshop training.

We’ve already completed Word image editing basics here and Photoshop autofixes here. This one on cloning is going to be a favorite of your children.

The clone tool duplicates a hard to crop-and-copy image (like the flowers below) or deletes part of a background—a sign or a post in a nature scene—you don’t want there. You can clone within a picture (as with the flowers),


or from one picture to another (adding polar bears to the sea cave).


  • To duplicate part of a picture, select the clone tool in the left hand tool bar and create an anchor point on a flower or the polar bears with Ctrl+Click. Now paint (click and drag) with the mouse where you want to clone it. That can be within the picture that’s already open or in a second picture (like cloning polar bears to the sea cave)
  • To delete part of a picture (such as the flowers), set the anchor point on the green field. Click on a flower and paint over it with the green field until the flowers melt into the background. Be sure to pay attention to shadows, obstructions, etc., so the deletion appears seamless.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • It doesn’t look right. (check your starting point. Does it match the color and shade of the end point? Have you picked up any extras in the clone process?)
  • I’m trying to drag the picture but I get an error message (Check your layers. Do the have the correct layer

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.