Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Drawing and Writing

I believe that drawing is such an important part of early writing. Since drawing is writing for young children,we want to give them opportunities and guidance in drawing to help them learn to use eyes to more closely examine their work, adding more detail in their drawings and gradually, over time, in their writing. The more students reflect on what to put in their picture and how to show their story without even having to use any words, the more they will think about this when they write and the more they will have to write about.

This week I did a lesson in a kindergarten classroom only focusing on drawing. We started with a very simple non-fiction text about penguins.
I set the purpose for reaching by asking students to pay close attention to the details in the photographs. I explained to them that we would be drawing a picture about penguins afterward and that we wanted to be able to tell people as much as we could about what we learned through our picture.

As I read the book and after I was finished, I led students in a discussion about what details they were noticing and which ones we wanted to be sure and put in our drawings. We decided on ice because that helps show where they live, fish because that is what they eat, and eggs on their feet because that is how the daddy penguin keeps the egg safe and warm.

I have found that smaller sheets of paper work best when first starting to teach students how to draw and add detail to their drawings. We drew our pictures one step at a time. I asked the students questions about what we needed to start with, what to add next, etc. I wanted the students to help me recall the details. I gave them direction on how to draw everything.

They did a great job! This drawing lesson could easily be followed up with a shared, interactive, or indepedent writing activity.
After working with your students on drawing for awhile, they will be able to make some of their own decisions about their pictures and work more independently. They need lots of modeling and guidance to get them to this point though.


Barbara said...

I agree with you on the importance of drawing.
Your kids did a great job on their penguins!

Grade ONEderful

Tarra Mackelson said...

Hi April,

I completely agree about the importance of drawing detailed pictures for emergent writers. The pictures often tell as much of the story as the words or letters do. I utilize a Writing and Picture Criteria in my classroom, that I teach explicitly, so my firsties know exactly what is expected of them when they are writing. I keep laminated copies of the criteria at each table group to eliminate the need for excessive photocopying. Perhaps you will find my criteria helpful. You can find it here:

Sorry about the long comment!


Mrs. Larremore said...


I love it. Thanks for sharing!

Destiny said...

I'm so proud of my kids! Thanks for putting their work up, they will be so excited to see their drawings be shown off!

Anonymous said...

What the image says is very eye catching and it made me remember the movie Happy Feet 2. There's a bird there that pretends to be a penguin, the other penguin is so amazed that the pretentious penguin is flying. I think Allan Fowler is right that "These Birds Can't Fly". Writers from been writing essays about "Birds" might want to check it out.

iris said...

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