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Take a moment to consider how much you’ve really thought about the U.S. Constitution—a document that informs and influences a surprisingly large aspect of our lives. I teach middle school social studies, so I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking about it. But many adults rarely ask themselves why we need three branches of government, what would happen if we rewrote the Constitution today, or even how the amendments impact their own lives.

When students enter middle school, these concepts are almost totally alien. Yet, I didn’t come up with the fascinating constitutional questions I just listed—which no doubt keep many lawyers busy—and I didn’t pluck them from a textbook either. My seventh-grade students wrote them after a foray into inquiry-based learning, a pedagogical process that prizes curiosity and critical thinking. Through it, these students have taught themselves more than any textbook could. 

Inquiry-Based Learning and the Civics Classroom

Inquiry-based learning doesn’t put much stock in teacher lectures or worksheets, but instead it uses exploration and student agency to drive classroom routines and activities. Covering material is emphasized to a lesser extent than honing student curiosity, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills.

This technique is particularly suited for the social studies classroom, since it teaches students how to interpret primary sources and engage in debate, rather than simply memorizing facts. Leading educational organizations, including the National Council for Social Studies and Educating for American Democracy, have placed inquiry at the heart of effective pedagogical approaches to teaching history and civics. Indeed, research shows that youth engagement in civics correlates with the depth and quality of the civic education that students receive. In short, when we equip our students with quality education in civics and history, we prepare them better to preserve and uphold the ideals of democracy. 

Curricular Inquiry as a Framework for Inquiry-Based Learning

As I brainstormed ways to revise my introductory unit to the U.S. Constitution, I decided to adopt Stephanie Harvey and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels’s Curricular Inquiry Framework, an approach they outline in their book, Comprehension and Collaboration. Specifically, I was looking for a way to emphasize student voice and choice in a unit that had been more teacher-led and, therefore, less engaging for students than I had hoped. 

The Curricular Inquiry Framework necessitates a slower pace, giving students ample time to devise questions, investigate, and eventually take action, while equipping them with the critical investigation skills needed to participate in our democratic process. 

Following Harvey and Daniels’s model, I broke the curricular inquiry down into four phases, which we called “immerse,” “investigate,” “coalesce,” and “go public.” Here’s a snapshot of how each phase looks.

Immerse: In this phase, students dive deep into the topic, reading and researching whatever they can. They are given time and space to explore and develop their curiosity about the subject.

I began by gathering resources related to the Constitution. I wanted students to walk away with a basic understanding of the values and ideals present in a constitutional democracy, so I found print and online resources that explored both the Constitution and how it’s shaped and reflected our government and society throughout the ages. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how excited my students were to be given the freedom to simply explore at their own pace. During the two class periods that students immersed themselves in this topic, I also tasked them with formulating at least 15 questions that arose as they read, listened, and watched. I took some time to coach students on the value of rich questions and how to transform a question from basic to researchable. 

Investigate: Here students work together to formulate an inquiry that will guide them through the research process—and start to find answers to their questions. 

After each student had their list of questions, it was time to let the collaboration begin. Divided into groups, students wrote their questions on individual sticky notes and placed them on a large shared piece of butcher paper. I saw students ask thoughtful, mature questions, such as “Did the Founding Fathers promise liberty for all, or just for some?” and “How have we made changes to the Constitution over time?”

With their wonderings pooled, each group began to narrow down their collective questions to the one that would become the subject of their respective research. Students quickly began to peel off the questions that were either too obvious and would therefore not lead to a worthwhile inquiry or too hypothetical, so that there was no clear path for investigation. Once each group had selected and tweaked a guiding inquiry, they began the research that would eventually become the subject of their presentation.

Coalesce: Team members collaborate to refine and share their findings. They formulate a plan to present their work. 

This third phase of the inquiry process called on students to establish group expectations, devise a timeline, and divvy up tasks. Their assignment was to create a poster that presented their inquiry question and the conclusions they’d reached in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. The idea was that students would be contributing to the wider community’s awareness of civics by displaying their posters throughout the school. It was up to the students to consider how to present their inquiry, the results, and any further questions that arose as they completed their work. My role in the classroom quickly transformed into that of a coach, helping groups overcome challenges, refine their questions, and brainstorm ways to engage their audience. 

Go public: Finally, students share their work with community members. This last phase can be framed as a pathway for student activism and contribution to a wider community. 

By the final phase, it was clear that my students had taken ownership of their learning. What stood out to me most was that they could reflect on the process of inquiry. They were not fed information to simply transmit. Rather, they were genuinely curious to find the answers to the questions they had generated. 

As a result, they confidently guided their school community through their complex inquiries, highlighting both the need-to-know facts and the nuances and tensions inherent in the study of the Constitution. Students recognized that while the framers of the Constitution strove to grant freedom to the citizens of their young nation, it would take decades for political rights to be extended to many living in the U.S. Realities such as this allowed students to grapple with the ideals and contradictions present in any study of our nation’s past. 

Reflecting on this process, I found that when I flipped my approach to teaching and allowed student curiosity to drive learning, not only did I cover roughly the same amount of curriculum, but my students were more in control of the knowledge they acquired and, therefore, more invested in it. I can’t think of a better civics—or life—lesson than that.

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The Right Of Children To Free And Compulsory Education Act: An Overview

On August 4, 2009, the Indian Parliament passed the Right to Education Act 2009, popularly known as the RTE Act 2009. According to Article 21(A) of the Indian Constitution, it explains the necessity of free and mandatory education for children aged 6 to 14 in India. With the implementation of this act on April 1, 2010, India joined the list of 135 nations that have made education a fundamental right for all children. It establishes basic standards for primary schools, outlaws the operation of unrecognized institutions, and opposes admissions fees and kid interviews.

Objective of the Act

The act has the following main objectives −

Every kid between the ages of six and fourteen has the legal right to a free, public education. This is expressed in accordance with Article 21A of the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act. The Right to Education Act aims to put this amendment into practice.

All students would get a free education at government schools, which will be run by School Management Committees (SMC). At least 25% of the students in private schools must be admitted for free.

To oversee all facets of primary education, including quality, the National Commission for Elementary Education must be established.

Provisions under the Act

The provisions are −

Provisions Chapters Content

Section 1− Section 2 I Preliminary

Section 3 − Section 5 II Right to free and compulsory education

Section 6 − Section 11 III Duties of appropriate government, local authority and parents

Section 12 − Section 28 IV Responsibilities of schools and teachers

Section 29 − Section 30 V Curriculum and completion of elementary education

Section 31 − Section 34 VI Protection of right of children

Section 35 − Section 39 VII Miscellaneous

Essentials under the Act

In India, there have long been significant educational issues at the national level as well as in the states. The Right to Education Act of 2009 outlines the tasks and obligations of the federal government, each state, and all local governments in order to close any gaps in the nation’s educational system. The following are the main essentials of the act− .

Free and Mandatory education for all− No child is required to pay any fees or other costs that would keep them from pursuing and finishing their elementary education. In order to lessen the financial burden of school expenses, free education also involves the distribution of textbooks, uniforms, stationery items, and special educational materials for students with disabilities.

The benchmark requirement− The Right to Education Act establishes guidelines and requirements for classrooms, boys’ and girls’ restrooms, drinking water facilities, the number of school days, and working hours for teachers, among other things. These rules must be followed by every elementary school in India (Primary + Middle School) in order to uphold the minimal standards required under the Right to Education Act.

Unusual rules for special circumstances− According to the Right to Education Act, a child who is not enrolled in school must be accepted into a class for their age and get additional instruction to help them catch up to age−appropriate learning levels.

There is no room for prejudice or harassment− The Right to Education Act of 2009 outlaws all forms of corporal punishment and psychological abuse, as well as discrimination based on gender, caste, class, and religion, as well as capitation fees, private tutoring facilities, and the operation of unrecognized schools.

Promoting children’s holistic development− The Right to Education Act of 2009 calls for the creation of curricula that will guarantee the complete development of every child. Development includes a child’s knowledge, abilities, and potential as a person.




Conclusion Frequently Asked Questions

Q. “Free and Compulsory Elementary Education” − what does that mean?

Every kid between the ages of 6 and 14 has the right to a free, public, neighborhood elementary school education.

Q. How will RTE be funded and put into practice in India?

Financial support for RTE shall be divided between the federal and state governments. Estimates of the costs must be prepared by the central government. A portion of these expenses will be given to state governments.

Q. What RTE rule means?

All children between the ages of 6 and 14 are entitled to free and compulsory education as a fundamental right under Article 21−A of the Indian Constitution. The Right Education Act and Article 21−A both went into force on April 1, 2010.

Education Research Highlights From 2024

A look at the research that made an impact in 2024, from the benefits of well-designed classroom spaces to the neuroscience behind exercise and math ability.

2024 was a great year for education research. fMRI technology gave us new insight into how exercise can improve math ability by changing the structure of children’s brains (#13 below). We saw how Sesame Street’s 40-year history has made an impact on preparing young children for school (#7). Several studies reinforced the importance of social and emotional learning for students (#2, 5, and 9). Two must-read publications were released to help educators understand how students learn (#4 and 11). Here are 15 studies published this year that every educator should know about.

1. Well-Designed Classrooms Boost Student Learning

A classroom’s physical learning space makes a difference in how well students learn. In this study of 27 schools in England, researchers found that improving a primary classroom’s physical design, including lighting, layout, and decorations, can improve academic performance by as much as 16 percent (although too many decorations can be a distraction).

Barrett, P. S., Zhang, Y., Davies, F., & Barrett, L. C. (2024). Clever Classrooms: Summary report of the HEAD project. University of Salford, Manchester.

2. The Benefits of Being Kind Last From Kindergarten to Adulthood

Kindness matters. Kindergarten students who share, help others, and show empathy are more likely to have personal, educational, and career success as adults, finds this study that tracked 753 children from 1991 to 2010.

Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M., Crowley, M. (2024). Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. American Journal of Public Health, e-View Ahead of Print.

3. Theatre Programs Help Students With Autism

Did you know that participating in theatre programs can help students with autism learn to play in groups, communicate with others, and recognize faces? These are the findings of a study by researchers from Vanderbilt University.

Corbett, B. A., Key, A. P., Qualls, L., Fecteau, S., Newsom, C., Coke, C., & Yoder, P. (2024). Improvement in Social Competence Using a Randomized Trial of a Theatre Intervention for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-15.

4. The Science of Learning

If you’re looking for an excellent review of research on how students learn, check out The Science of Learning. Drawing from cognitive science, this report breaks down the research into six principles with a full reference list and teaching tips.

Deans for Impact (2024). The Science of Learning. Austin, TX: Deans for Impact.

5. Investing $1 in Social and Emotional Learning Yields $11 in Long-Term Benefits

We know that SEL has tremendous benefits for student learning, but what are the long-term economic benefits? Researchers analyzed the economic impact of six widely-used SEL programs and found that on average, every dollar invested yields $11 in long-term benefits, ranging from reduced juvenile crime, higher lifetime earnings, and better mental and physical health.

Belfield, C., Bowden, B., Klapp, A., Levin, H., Shand, R., & Zander, S. (2024). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. New York, NY: Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education.

6. Low-Income Students Now a Majority

51 percent of the students across the nation’s public schools now come from low-income families.

A New Majority Research Bulletin: Low Income Students Now a Majority in the Nation’s Public Schools

7. Sesame Street Boosts Learning for Preschool Children

Sesame Street was introduced over 40 years ago an educational program to help prepare children for school. Examining census data, researchers discovered that preschool-aged children in areas with better reception did better in school. Children living in poorer neighborhoods experienced the largest gains in school performance.

Kearney, M. S., & Levine, P. B. (2024). Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons From Sesame Street (No. w21229). National Bureau of Economic Research.

8. Don’t Assign More Than 70 Minutes of Homework

For middle school students, assigning up to 70 minutes of daily math and science homework was beneficial, but assigning more than 90-100 minutes resulted in a decline in academic performance. Read more about the research on homework.

Fernández-Alonso, R., Suárez-Álvarez, J., & Muñiz, J. (2024). Adolescents’ Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science: Personal Factors and Teaching Practices. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(4), 1075–1085

9. Mindfulness Exercises Boost Math Scores

Mindfulness exercises help students feel more positive, and a new study found that it can also boost math performance. Elementary school students that participated in a mindfulness program had 15 percent better math scores, in addition to several emotional and psychological benefits.

10. Boys Get Higher Math Scores When Graded by Teachers Who Know Their Names

In this Israeli study, middle and high school students were randomly assigned to be graded anonymously or by teachers who knew their names. Despite performing worse than girls in math when graded anonymously, boys had better scores when teachers knew who they were.

Lavy, V., & Sand, E. (2024). On the Origins of Gender Human Capital Gaps: Short and Long Term Consequences of Teachers’ Stereotypical Biases (No. w20909). National Bureau of Economic Research.

11. Top Psychology Principles Every Teacher Should Know

How do students think and learn? The American Psychological Association sought to answer this question with the help of experts across a wide variety of psychological fields. The result: 20 science-backed principles that explain how social and behavioral factors influence learning.

American Psychological Association, Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. (2024). Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning.

12. To Help Students With ADHD Concentrate, Let Them Fidget

Since hyperactivity can be a natural state for students with ADHD, preventing them from fidgeting can hurt their ability to stay focused. For tips on how to let students fidget quietly, check out 17 Ways to Help Students With ADHD Concentrate.

Hartanto, T. A., Krafft, C. E., Iosif, A. M., & Schweitzer, J. B. (2024). A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Neuropsychology, (ahead of print), 1-9.

13. The Neuroscience Behind Exercise and Math Ability

Research shows that exercise has a positive effect on learning, but studies generally tend to be observational. With the use of fMRI technology, however, researchers have gained new insight into how people learn. A team of scientists examined the brain structures of children and found that when young children exercise, their brains produce a thinner layer of cortical gray matter, which can lead to stronger math skills.

Chaddock-Heyman, L., Erickson, K. I., Kienzler, C., King, M., Pontifex, M. B., Raine, L. B., Hillman, C. H., & Kramer, A. F. (2024). The Role of Aerobic Fitness in Cortical Thickness and Mathematics Achievement in Preadolescent Children. PLOS ONE, 10(8), e0134115.

14. The Benefits of a Positive Message Home

Getting parents more involved in their child’s education is a great way to boost student learning. When teachers sent short weekly messages to parents with tips on how their kids could improve, it led to higher-quality home discussions and cut course dropout rates by almost half.

Kraft, M. A., & Rogers, T. (2024). The underutilized potential of teacher-to-parent communication: Evidence from a field experiment. Economics of Education Review, 47, 49-63.

15. When Teachers Collaborate, Math and Reading Scores Go Up

Teaching can feel like an isolating profession, but this new study shows that working in groups — especially instructional teams — can boost student learning.

Ronfeldt, M., Farmer, S. O., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J. A. (2024). Teacher Collaboration in Instructional Teams and Student Achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 52(3), 475-514.

Pensacola With A Purpose: An Asb Diary

Part Three of a five-part series.

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Wednesday gets off to a bad, bad start.

The morning is typical — a frantic rush to get breakfast eaten, lunches made, and everybody out the door on time. We arrive at the site and the first two jobs are easy, thanks to our new expertise: we clear a patch of weeds from a telephone pole and we tear down a rotted porch at the back of a trailer.

Then the plywood arrives.

Our job, we learn, is to lay down new plywood walls and floors throughout the wrecked trailer, using four hammers, two crowbars, a circular saw and a gas generator, and moldy eight-by-four slabs that have been donated from an amusement park in Washington, D.C. It’s about 9:30, and we’re supposed to finish at noon. Unlikely, we think, and even more unlikely as we watch Daryl, our coordinator from Rebuilding Northwest Florida, get ready to leave. Katie flags him down and asks if we could maybe have a tape measure and a pencil.

Cursing isn’t allowed on site, because we are, after all, representing Boston University, but much of it is done internally. We don’t have any nails. We don’t know if we are supposed to remove the linoleum from the kitchen before laying the plywood floor. And only two people in our crew have used a circular saw before, and neither of them feels particularly expert.

But the good thing about RNF, we’ve discovered, is that when you have to, you get to make your own rules. And luckily, Vernon Doucette, a photographer for BU Photo Services, who arrived on Tuesday to shoot pictures for BU Today and Bostonia, has some ideas about rules to get us through the day. It so happens that Vernon is a serious kayaker and a former Outward Bound instructor. Also, we are pleased to learn, he’s a pretty good construction manager.

The orders begin: sweep up everything off the floor or the plywood won’t lie even. Bring two pieces inside and then measure how much you need to cut. Wear goggles when you use a circular saw. At first, he goes back and forth between shooting and sawing, but eventually, he hands the camera over to Karen and dives full-force into the project. We set down the living room floor — or Vernon, Dan, and Katie do, fitting the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle — and two-thirds of the bedroom. We don’t get to the walls or the living room, but Daryl doesn’t seem to mind. We are finished by 12:30.

Kendrick, a group leader, feels responsible for the morning’s confusion, and in the van on the way home, she apologizes. No big deal. At this point, everybody is thinking about lunch and our afternoon at the beach.

But the waves, which are enormous, feel amazing; Amy, Katie, Dan, Matt, and I spend nearly an hour diving through them. Vernon takes a well-deserved lunch break and comes back to snap pictures of us getting knocked around by six-foot swells. The images, I think, would make a good news headline: Boston University students drown — photographer captures it all.

We’re not sure what we’ll be doing tomorrow. It might be demolition, or it might be back to today’s trailer to finish the floors and walls. We’ve got our fingers collectively crossed for the former, but if we go back to today’s site at least we’ll be better off than where we started.

Read Part Four

Read more Alternative Spring Breaks stories.

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Create A Smoking Pumpkin With An E

Want to put your neighbors to shame this Halloween? Pimp your pumpkin with a miniature smoke machine. A modified e-cigarette can create a surprising amount of fog, giving your carving an extra eerie touch.

Start with a type of e-cig called a clearomizer, available online or at your local vape shop. It has a refillable chamber that you can load with the “fog juice” used in standard smoke machines. Inside, a wick draws the liquid past a wire coil heated by a battery, where it’s vaporized. Normally, a person sucks this vapor into his or her mouth, but the smoke machine needs a way to push the fog out. An aquarium air pump attached to the battery end will do the trick.

Unfortunately, a sealed connector between the battery and the chamber blocks airflow through the e-cigarette. Ditch the battery and put a hole through the connector by replacing its solid central pin with a hollow pin from an unsealed connector (sold on websites such as MadVapes). By attaching this to a new power supply-—a universal AC adapter is convenient—you can feed both air and electricity to your device. Then use its smoke for a spooky effect.

How to Make the Mini Smoke Machine

What You’ll Need Popular Science

Time: 3 Hours

Cost: $90

Difficulty: Moderate


• Clearomizer and battery

• Sharp pin or needle

• Fog juice (one part glycerin to three parts distilled water)

• Red and black wires

• E-cig battery connector with hole

• Universal AC adapter set to about 5V

• Aquarium air pump and tubing

• Tape


1. Unscrew the clearomizer‘s chamber and battery case from its metal base. Run a pin or needle through the center of the base, then remove it. Fill the chamber with fog juice and screw it back to the base.

2. Break the battery case to separate the metal connector. Taking care not to touch the wires and create a short circuit, cut away the battery. Then clean out the connector, removing and discarding the circuit board, any plastic pieces, the o-ring, and the central metal pin.

3. Solder the black wire, which will ground the device, to this connector.

4. Now take the unsealed connector and remove its o-ring and central pin. Solder the red wire to the pin, being careful not to block the hole. This will be the positive lead.

5. Insert the o-ring and the unsealed pin into the original battery connector. Screw the modified connector onto the base of the clearomizer.

6. Run the aquarium tubing up the red wire until it reaches the battery connector. Tape it securely in place so no air can escape. Snip a slit in the tubing and pull out the end of the red wire. Seal the slit with hot glue and secure with tape.

7. Attach the loose end of the tubing to the aquarium pump. Tape the free ends of the red and black wires into the positive and negative holes in the AC adapter. Turn on the power, then the air, and watch the smoke pour out!


If you don’t like e-cigs, go low-tech. Push several nails into the floor of your jack-o’-lantern and place a small foil pie tin on them, with a few tea candles beneath. When you pour a little fog juice into the tin, the candles will heat and vaporize the liquid. This setup can’t control the fog like the modified e-cigarette can, but the effect should be equally impressive.

This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Popular Science.

Pumpkin Elements Sam Kaplan

Place An Image In Text With Photoshop

Written by Steve Patterson.

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to place an image in text with Photoshop, a very popular effect to create and one that also happens to be very easy to do thanks to the power of Photoshop’s clipping masks, as we’re about to see!

This version of the tutorial is for Photoshop CS5 and earlier. If you’re using Photoshop CC or CS6, see the fully revised and updated version of this tutorial. Here’s the effect we’re going for:

The final “image in text” effect.

Let’s get started!

How To Place An Image In Text Step 1: Open A Photo To Place Inside Your Text

First, we need the image that we’re going to place inside of our text. I’ll use this panoramic photo of Hawaii:

An ocean view from Hawaii.

Watch the video tutorial on our YouTube channel!

Step 2: Duplicate The Background Layer

If we look in the Layers palette, we can see that we currently have one layer, named Background. This layer contains our image. We need to duplicate this layer, and the easiest way to do that is by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac). If we look once again in the Layers palette, we see that we now have two layers. The original Background layer is on the bottom, and a copy of the Background layer, which Photoshop automatically named “Layer 1”, is sitting above it:

Photoshop’s Layers palette.

Step 3: Add A New Blank Layer Between The Two Layers

We now have a new blank layer named “Layer 2” sitting directly between the Background layer and “Layer 1”:

The Layers palette showing the new blank layer between the Background layer and “Layer 1”.

Step 4: Fill The New Layer With White

Select White for the Contents option at the top of the Fill command’s dialog box.

Nothing will appear to have happened in the document window, since the image on “Layer 1” is blocking “Layer 2” from view, but if we look at the layer preview thumbnail for “Layer 2” in the Layers palette, we can see that sure enough, the layer is now filled with solid white:

The preview thumbnail for “Layer 2” shows that the layer is now filled with white.

Step 5: Select “Layer 1” In The Layers Palette Step 6: Select The Type Tool

To add the text, we’ll need Photoshop’s Type Tool, so select the Type Tool from the Tools palette. You can also quickly select the Type Tool by pressing the letter T on your keyboard:

Select the Type Tool.

Step 7: Choose A Font In The Options Bar

With the Type Tool selected, go up to the Options Bar at the top of the screen and choose whichever font you want to use for the effect. Generally, fonts with thick letters work best. I’m going to choose Arial Black. Don’t worry about the font size for now:

Select a font in the Options Bar.

Step 8: Set White As Your Foreground Color

This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but to help me see my text, I’m going to use white for my text color. The color you choose for your text doesn’t really matter since we’ll be filling the text with an image in a moment, but it still helps to be able to see the text when we’re adding it. To set the text color to white, all we need to do is set Photoshop’s Foreground color to white. First, press the letter D on your keyboard, which will reset the Foreground and Background colors to their defaults. Black is the default color for the Foreground color and white is the default color for the Background color. To swap them so white becomes the Foreground color, press the letter X on your keyboard. If you look at the Foreground and Background color swatches near the bottom of the Tools palette, you’ll see that white is now the Foreground color (the left swatch):

Setting the Foreground color to white sets the text color to white as well.

Step 9: Add Your Text Step 10: Resize and Reposition The Text With The Free Transform Command

Use Photoshop’s Free Transform command to resize and move the text.

Press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) when you’re done to accept the transformation and exit out of the Free Transform command.

Step 11: Drag The Text Layer Below “Layer 1”

Drag the type layer below “Layer 1”.

Release your mouse button when the black line appears to drop the type layer into place between “Layer 1” and “Layer 2”:

The type layer now appears between “Layer 1” and “Layer 2”.

Step 12: Select “Layer 1” Again

The type layer now appears between “Layer 1” and “Layer 2”.

The text will temporarily disappear inside the document window now that the image on “Layer 1” is blocking it from view.

Step 13: Create A Clipping Mask

To create the illusion that the photo is inside the text, we need to use a clipping mask. This will “clip” the photo on “Layer 1” to the text on the layer directly below it. Any areas of the photo that appear directly above the letters will remain visible in the document. The rest of the photo will disappear from view.

With “Layer 1” selected in the Layers palette, go up to the Layer menu at the top of the screen and choose Create Clipping Mask:

If we look in the document window, we can see that the photo now appears to be inside the text:

The photo now appears inside the letters.

Step 14: Add A Drop Shadow (Optional)

Select Drop Shadow from the list of layer styles that appears:

Select the Drop Shadow layer style.

This brings up Photoshop’s Layer Style dialog box set to the Drop Shadow options in the middle column. I’m going to leave most of the options alone, but I’ll lower the Opacity of the drop shadow down to about 60% so it’s not quite so intense, and I’ll set the Angle of the drop shadow to 120°:

The Layer Style dialog box displaying the options for the Drop Shadow.

The final “image in text” effect.

Next tutorial: How to place an image in multiple text layers at once!

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