Many young children have vivid imaginations, but when it comes to drawing, they tend to draw the same things over and over. I have discussed the ages of stages of drawing and writing in the past. Children develop through stages and the more the participate in drawing and writing the more proficient they become in the various stages.
So, lets get the creative juices flowing! Grab a magazine and cut out parts of pictures for your child to use as a jumping off spot for their own illustrations. (Whenever my children are drawing anything for writing purposes I use the word illustration… like in a book) I suggest that you, the parent/caregiver find and cut the magazine photos. The reason for this is that if your child see the the original photo, they struggle to go outside the box.
Here are two ways your child can use the photos… but do not tell them how to do it… see what they choose to do.
I cut out the photo of the shirt. I then made the alien around the shirt… why not? I would then encourage your child to write on the picture. Notice that I labeled the shirt, skirt and alien (in phonetic spelling). I also wrote on the top full sentences that a child may dictate to go with the illustration.
In this example, I cut hikers out of a larger photo. Providing pictures like this encourages child to work on the background of the illustration. This is a stage in drawing. Children often draw pictures of items on a blank page. I ask them if their person/object is floating in front of a white wall? Learning to see the whole picture and including the background adds depth and details to the illustration. Notice on this one, I labeled the illustration and wrote sentences in phonetic spelling as well as wrote a dictation.
If your child is writing, please, please, please…do NOT write the dictation on the front of the illustration. Often this makes children feel they do not have to write, or that their writing is wrong because it is not in “book spelling”. When I write dictations, I either write it on the back (I tell them it is to help their parents read their thoughts), or I write it on another sheet of paper and attach it to the child’s work.