Come find fun, simple ways to include and teach directed drawing as part of your classroom lessons and instruction in a variety of subjects.
Creative Ways to Teach Directed Drawing to Kids in K-3
Is directed drawing part of your weekly lessons? Do your students enjoy participating in directed drawing activities? Do you want to start including them in your classroom lessons? Let me introduce you to this great teaching tool and how it can enrich your classroom lessons in a variety of subjects!
What is Directed Drawing?
Directed drawings are step-by-step drawing lessons that a teacher leads the class in. The teacher walks students through a series of steps, adding parts to a drawing until it is complete.
For example, maybe the directed drawing is of a frog. The teacher would walk through each step of drawing a frog, demonstrating as she goes, while the kids do the same on their own paper. The steps are short and simple and include easy lines, shapes, and details. In the end, each student has the same frog, though, of course, they each look unique.
Why Teach Directed Drawing?
- Directed drawing offers great opportunities to practice listening and following directions.
- They build confidence and pride in students who think they are not good at art and find drawing a challenge.
- By following a step-by-step guide, they experience success and accomplishment as they complete their drawing.
- By drawing things related to topics or themes you are studying, students become more familiar with the subject and their learning grows.
- It is a great tangible item to display or send home to share with families.
How to Teach Directed Drawing: A Weekly Plan
While not the main focus of our instruction, direct drawing is a way to enhance learning and bring fun into the classroom. Kids love directed drawing!
Use them to make learning enjoyable for the kids by adding them into your weekly routine. For example, this could be what your week looks like:
- Monday – Introduce a topic or theme.
- Tuesday – Integrate the topic or theme into Reading, Math, Science, or Social Studies core lessons.
- Wednesday – Have students write about the topic or theme.
- Thursday – Teach students how to draw what you are studying.
- Friday – Assess understanding, then display their writing and artwork in the classroom.
Directed Drawing Across the Curriculum
You can use directed drawing in many engaging ways! Let’s look at ways to use directed drawing across the curriculum.
- Inspiration for writing – Directed drawing can stimulate creative writing. Consider leading the class in a drawing of a character. This is especially fun near a holiday! For example, you could have them draw Santa Claus or another Christmas character. After, have kids write a story about the character. This is a great way to connect the different forms of creativity- artistic and literary!
- Journal illustrations – Journals might be a part of your daily writing practice. Directed drawing can be included into journal entries. You will also likely see kids replicating past lessons as they draw in their journal.
Literacy and Reading
- Book response – Lead the class to illustrate something from a book that you have read. Read the book, sketch a picture of the character for yourself, and then teach the directed drawing to students. Find a drawing inspired by The Cat in the Hat here.
- Alphabet Recognition – Another way to use directed drawings for younger learners is to complete an Alphabet directed drawing series. Kids complete a drawing of a picture for each letter of the alphabet. This is great activity to build letter-sound skills and to include in your “letter of the week” routine.
- Geometry (lines, shapes, angles, ordinal numbers) – Including drawing in math class offers a unique opportunity to discuss lines, shapes, angles, ordinal numbers, etc.
- Spacial awareness – Spacial awareness is developing, and directed drawing is an excellent opportunity to strengthen that awareness. Here are some tips for helping kids to learn to draw.
- Animals – Science offers many opportunities for directed drawing! When you are studying animals, lead your class to draw a studied animal. Afterward, discuss facts that they can remember about that animal or label the parts of the animal. This Art for Kids Hub has many animal directed drawings.
- Illustrating and Recording Data – You can also try directed drawing when creating diagrams or other representations in science.
- Topic reinforcement – Similarly to science, social studies lessons can also benefit from direct drawing to help reinforce topics covered.
- Seasonal themes, holidays, and celebrations – Use directed drawings to go along with monthly themes or celebrations.
- Videos – Directed drawing videos are helpful and fun for students to complete independently.
- Centers – Directed drawing worksheets that feature a step-by-step guide walks kids through drawing pictures. This helps them complete drawings on their own. Check out this bundle of a whole year of directed drawing activities.
- Calendar gift – This fun directed drawing calendar would make a great gift for parents (think: Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day).
FREE Directed Drawing Resources
Are you ready to try these fun activities? Check out our ultimate guide to directed drawing and find many FREE teacher-favorite drawing lessons to get you started.
Learn more about Teaching Directed Drawing
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