Monday, June 17, 2013

Chapter 3: Drawing

Who loved this chapter? Me too! For me, it validated something that I felt guilty about. At the beginning of every year, I have spent some time focusing on teaching my students to draw. But I always felt guilty like I had to rush through it to get to the "real writing". After reading this chapter, I am reminded of two things:
1)- Drawing is writing for young children. It's how they express themselves and how they express what they see around them.
2) Focus on what they CAN do at the beginning of the year.

One other thing it makes me remember: don't reinvent the wheel! The best tips for really focusing on drawing are these:

-Think of something (containing drawing) that you already do at the beginning of the year.
-Take more time to focus on the drawing within that activity.
-Lead the students through modeling. ( This chapter was AWESOME for showing you the dialogue in a lesson!)

One activity that I use, that you might be interested in, is Star Name. Star Name is a beginning of the year activity that is perfect for emphasizing drawing and thinking through it. You select one child each day, play with their name (unscramble letters, build it, clap it, snap it, sing it, spell it, write it, etc) then you draw the child. Now, you can do this two different ways. The first way that Debbie Miller introduces this in her book Reading with Meaning is to have each child in the classroom draw the student on a half sheet of paper, writing the students name on the front, write their own name on the back, and then the teacher binds them together to form a book. The other way is to do it as a class while also including a short kind of interview of the child so the class can learn about each other.

Star Name Book Page

Another activity that I like is reading The Night Before Kindergarten and having them draw what they did to get ready for Kindergarten.

I also love the activity that has been floating around on Pinterest. You have the students make something with Playdough their first morning that they come in and then they can draw it. How cute?!

(This is not my image. It came from the website of Teaching Happily Ever After who originally shared this idea. Click the picture to travel to her page!)

So, how do you plan to better teacher drawing next year?


  1. I love the play dough activity and absolutely adore the book "The Night Before Kindergarten!" What great beginning of school ideas to use for our students!


  2. This chapter really blew me away! I am known as a rebel with research to my principal because I do things differently. But I always have research to back up my ideas. This chapter was packed full of research...but not in a boring way! I'm still working on my blog post for this chapter.

    1. I loved this chapter too! I can't wait to read yours!