Well, here I am actually writing my post on "Talking, Drawing, Writing" on time! Yay!
First of all, my paper copy of the book arrived on Saturday and I love, love, love it! It is so nice to be able to go back and forth and re-read and highlight passages in the book that are important to me. I still have it on my Kindle, of course, so when I do not want to lug around a big book, I can pull out my Kindle!
The title of Chapter 3 is "Drawing." I have to say that I IMMEDIATELY wished that I could speak to the authors about this subject! I have always, always felt that kids and drawing have an instant connection. My daughter, who is an artist, said this to me once, "Mom, I wish I could draw like a child again. Kids are so uninhibited which makes their art joyous!" She told me that she wished that when she was creating her art that she could just enjoy the process of art and not always look at it with a critical eye. After she told me this, I started to watch my students draw and I agree with her. Once kids put their pencils to paper, they become joyous in their attempt and ready to describe exactly the meaning of their drawing; whether it looks like their description or not!
That said......... I truly believe that children yearn to be given instruction in how to create their drawings. One thing that I do at the beginning of every year is to take my kiddos out on a "shape" walk. We walk around the school yard looking for shapes in everyday items. We notice triangles in trees, squares in windows, and circles in the centers of flowers. We look for shapes in the faces of our classmates and search for shapes inside our classroom, too. We usually spend the first few weeks of kindergarten searching for shapes and then using those shapes to draw. Once my kiddos realize that they can draw anything at all just by using shapes, their drawing totally changes and they are so pleased with what they have created.
So.... when the authors in "Talking, Drawing, Writing" began Chapter 3 discussing how important it is to give instruction in how to draw, I was soooo happy to read that what I have been doing is on the right track! Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Giacobbe are incredible authors and when they write, you feel you are right there in the room with them. They give such wonderful instructions for how to encourage and TEACH kids how to draw and add detail to their drawings. They truly feel that kids need to learn to add detail to their drawing BEFORE they can start to add words. At the beginning of the chapter, the authors write that as teachers, we spend so much time teaching our little ones to listen for sounds in words, write letters that represent their sounds, and teach them to spell words. But we do not feel compelled to show our students how to draw and this is important, too.
The authors write how important it is to teach kids observation techniques. This can be done very well when drawing people. The drawing to the left is very well done. There are many details added; eyelashes, a triangle nose, a neck, a shirt, a skirt, shoes. I think that children could tell from this drawing that it was a Mom and this Mom had green eyes and black hair. This is called “representational” drawing which differs from symbolic drawing. Representational drawing shows people, places, or things as realistic. The authors say that research shows that this type of drawing does not interfere with their symbolic drawing. Children are capable of doing both kinds of drawing.The authors feel it is just as important to teach teachers to draw, too! Just as my daughter said, as adults we are afraid to draw; feeling that what we create isn't good enough. I found it interesting that Martha and Mary Ellen instruct TEACHERS in how to draw in their workshops and try to take the inhibition away from teachers so that they feel comfortable showing their students how to draw. I know when I am drawing with my students, I try hard to push the inhibition away and when my students say "That doesn't look right", I will throw the question back at them with something like "Hmm... What do you think is missing? or What do you think I should add?" This helps them look for details while at the same time understanding that drawing isn't always perfect!
I am so PUMPED to use the ideas from this book to help my students see the world in shapes and to understand that drawing is just putting shapes together. I also am super pumped to use detailed drawing as a bridge to writing words and sentences! This is just such a wonderful book!
Here is an activity that I use with my students that gives step by step directions as to how to draw a dog. This, of course, is NOT how we begin the year with drawing! We gradually work our way to this type of step by step drawing! If you would like to use this packet with your students, click on the image! It's free!
Link up with Jennifer at "Teaching With Grace" to read more teacher inspired comments about this book! Jennifer has some really cute ideas for beginning drawing!
And if you are interested, here are links to a few more of my How to Draw packets...
Until next time!