Saturday, April 9, 2011

Directed Drawings

Another activity I did this past week while waiting for the ceramic firings to get done was a directed drawing with my second graders. I have many step-by-step drawing books so it's easy to find something the kids will enjoy...

For this drawing, I chose a clown from this book:

Here are the steps-

I always draw the steps on the whiteboard or ActivBoard, followed by drawing the same step on a sheet of paper the same size as the student's - so hopefully they can get the placement and proportion more easily.

As I'm drawing, I simplify every direction to straight line or curve line or angle line or a specific shape. I let the drawing reveal itself as we go along...

I keep each step limited to just a few lines and do a 10 sec. countdown to keep them focused...everybody has to start & stop at the same time - no erasers allowed until we're finished.

Some might think this stifles their creativity but I've found that it eliminates the fear of that blank white sheet of paper. My goal is to have them 'put the pencil to the paper' (my take on 'putting the pedal to the metal'). They are focused and - best of all - they are DRAWING!

The finishing touch is always the groundline...

To finish off, we have a discussion & demo of possible changes to clothing, hair, etc. We also talk about where we usually see clowns - they offer "the circus" "the mall" "a birthday party" "a parade" which gets them off & running for drawing details in the background and foreground. Erasers are then passed out with the caution that erasers are for little changes - starting over can be done by simply turning the paper over. This helps prevent the complete erasure of all work & no time left to begin again.

While the majority of students move on eagerly, some now need individual help. During the drawing process, I keep my eye on those who are struggling. I bring these kids over and draw side by side the same steps. Usually they are much more successful & still have time to add their own details.

For a very few kids, I have to do the steps by drawing a dotted line for them to trace. The examples below are drawn by the same 2nd grader. On the left is her first attempt and on the right after one-on-one help. Her smile could have lit up the room as she headed back to her table to finish!

My goal is to have EVERY student successful.

Here are some of the drawings after details were added:

Check out the back of the chairs of the audience in the foreground...

Balloon in one hand & pie in the other...

A true 3-ring circus!

They can hardly wait to get them back to take home...

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