art · topic

Let’s Draw Fall

Today is a good day for some drawing fun. Want to follow along with a direct drawing?

Draw a fall tree with Art for Kids Hub

Draw a fall folding surprise with Art for Kids Hub— this one is a bit for challenging

Draw an acorn with Draw so Cute

Or… here are some of my own thoughts and inspirations for drawing… my biggest suggestion… say “Let’s draw a fall picture. What do you think you want to draw?” “Ok, what materials should we get out?

art · teachers pay teacher · writing

September Self-Portrait

If you have been following my blog for a while, you have seen that I have my students draw… a… lot! Yes, draw pictures. The developmental range of drawing is very diverse in this age group. You can read about the development of drawing here.

The drawing of a self-portrait is often used to show developmental levels in children. As a teacher, I work hard with my students to help them progress through these stages. I have my pre-K and kindergarten classes draw a self-portrait every month and then send them home as a book at the end of the year. Parents are usually shocked with the progress from Mr. Potato Head to a fully recognizable person.

So… I encourage you to have your child draw a monthly self-portrait. You can use a sheet such as the ones I have in my teachers pay teachers store that provides a place for your child to write his/her name, the month and draw their picture in a frame or just draw it on a white sheet of paper. The most important thing is for your child to draw him/herself!

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Mr Potato Head — young self-portrait

Children who are young 4s often draw a head with arms and legs. At this age, it is totally developmentally appropriate for this level of drawing. But, I encourage you to point out things that he/she might be missing. Simple additions at this age: hair, hands, feet, ears.

Image may contain: drawing
lots of body parts, I cheat on the hands and put my arms behind my back (:

As your child progresses you will start seeing the addition of more body parts. One of the big things I push with my students is the addition of a torso. I’ll say do your arms and legs come out of your head? Nope! What are you missing? You are missing your torso the middle section of your body. How can we draw a picture including your torso?

Have your child look at him/herself in a mirror to see what else they can add to the picture.

I drew mine on a whiteboard, but I would have your child draw with crayons on paper. If you have multicultural crayons, that’s even better as you can get better representation of skin tones. You want the picture to be as realistic as your child can make it!

art · story · teaching thoughts

The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do Book

Yesterday we started our topic of “I Can Try New Things” based on the book by David Parker. Today I have another book for you to share with your kiddo about trying new things. The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do by Ashley Spires. Lou thinks she can do anything until her friends want to climb a tree, but she has never climbed a tree before. Finally Lou decided to give it a try, but… well things don’t always work out the first time. But, Lou realizes she can’t climb… well not YET anyway.

The concept of not yet is very empowering for children. It helps them see that even if they struggle doesn’t mean they will NEVER do it. So here is today’s project. We will draw three sets of illustrations. I would not have your child write, but focus more on the conversation that goes with the illustrations.

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  • In the top row, have your child think about something they could not do when they were younger, but then can do now.
  • In the middle row, draw about something that they couldn’t do before but they are getting better at doing now.
  • In the bottom row, illustrate something that you are still working on learning and show what it will look like when you succeed!
art · family activity · story

Let’s draw Pete the Cat and Name Art

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Children love to draw characters they read about in books. Check out Arts for Kids Hub for their video on drawing Pete the Cat, and hear another Pete story! When I used Arts for Kids Hub in my classroom (or any type of direct drawing), I always have my students draw the illustration with pencil first, then go over it with black crayon or maker and finally color in the picture. I do this to show them that they can go back and erase the pencil to fix the pictures. This is important to show them as well as to erase yourself while doing it with them. Children need to know it is ok to make mistakes and they aren’t something to get upset about, but instead they need to just fix it and move on!

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The second drawing activity today focuses on your child’s name. Children need to master writing their name correctly, not all in uppercase letters. Children in pre-k should work on recognizing and writing their first name. Children in who have mastered their first name should begin working on writing their last name.

Have your child write his/her name in the middle of a sheet of paper. (You can show them how to use block lettering if you want, but it isn’t necessary) Now create an illustration around your name, or use your name as part of the illustration. In my sample, I used the letters of my name as buildings.

Drawing projects are fun to do at the same time as your child. Children pick up on details to add to their illustrations when they draw at the same time as adults. You do not have to be great at drawing (I certainly am not!), your child won’t care. They see that you are doing the same thing as them and they become more invested in the project. So… draw!

art · teaching thoughts · topic · writing

Stages of writing and drawing

I often mention these stages in my posts and wanted to have one post that I could link to to share the stages. I am also including some thoughts for you to consider when working with your child on writing and drawing.

In the world of pre-K and kindergarten children’s writing ability can be all over the map. I encourage you to tell your child to write. Even if they write scribbles or goobly-goop, they are writing! Then ask your child: “Read to me what you wrote.” Often times, they will say, I don’t know what it says. My answer to this always is “You wrote it, you can read it… tell me what it says.”

Pencil scribbling | Free SVG
  • Squiggle lines to represent words
  • Random letters that have no connection the word they are writing (JmtIop=flower)
  • Writing just the beginning sound (f=flower)
  • Moving into hearing more sounds in words – teach your child to slowly stretch out the word to hear all the sounds (flr=flower)
  • Moving more into conventional spelling (flwer= flower)
  • conventional spelling (flower=flower)

Each of these steps is an important part of learning to write. I promise you… your child will not memorize flr as the spelling of the word flower, but giving them the freedom to write phonetically WILL give them the confidence to write. When children are dependent on adults to spell all the words they are afraid to write and won’t write. When they are given the freedom to write on their level, they will want to write!

There are typically 4 stages of drawing development .

  • Scribble-(18 months to 3 years)–random exploration of art materials. This helps develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor dexterity, independence and much more
Brown Colored Pencils on White Printer Paper · Free Stock Photo
  • Pre-Schematic Stage – (2 to 4 years)– drawing are simple, but are begin to look more like objects. Color plays a more important roll. Most drawing is outlines. People are heads with arms and legs (Mr. Potato Head people). This continues to work on the previous skills, but adds in observation, problem solving and pencil grip work
  • Schematic Stage (5-8 years)– more details are added including background and correct coloring. Learn to draw things in a specific way and use it over and over (always draw a house the same way etc). There are typically stories to go with the illustrations. They now work on trial and error, patterns, and interpreting illustrations
  • Pre-Teen Stage (9-11 years) –Drawings are more detailed, realism and spacial perspective. This is that point where children typically feel they can or CAN’T draw.

Children often need permission to be creative. When children draw we need to recognize that it may not look like what adults expect it to look like, but it is perfect to the child. Do not try to guess what your child drew, ask! Your child will love to share lots of details about the picture. Children need to feel pride and acceptance in the drawing stage they are already in!

We need to ask children questions about what they write and draw. Conversations is so important. Showing interest and excitement in what your child draws and write will spur him/her on to write and draw more!

writing

Magazine picture starters

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.

art · letter of the day · teaching thoughts

Letter of the Day– Uu

I hope you are still enjoying the letter of the day activities. I need to start thinking about what we will do next as after today we only have Vv, Ww, Xx, Yy and Zz… that’s it! Any suggestions on where to go from here? My goal is to continue with some review and then take time off in August so I can switch gears and then begin again in early Sept to match what I’m teaching in school.

So here we go… Uu

Jack Hartmann’s Uu song

Printing the letter Uu

Capital U- start at the to go straight down almost to the bottom, curve in a smile line, go straight back up to the top

lowercase u– down, curve, up, down on the same line to leave a tail

Activities today— Unicorns!

Unicorn Day by Diane Murray– the most important part of unicorn day is to have fun! When they discover an impostor in their mist… what will they do?

How would you celebrate unicorn day? Have a day for rainbow, glitter, and all things fun.

Never Let a Unicorn Scribble by Diane Alber (read by Diane Alber!) The little girl gets a unicorn and wants to teach it to scribble, but others say she should not… will the unicorn scribble?

Children often need permission to be creative. When children draw we need to recognize that it may not look like what adults expect it to look like, but it is perfect to the child. Children need to feel pride and acceptance in the drawing stage they are already in!

There are typically 4 stages of drawing development .

  • Scribble-(18 months to 3 years)–random exploration of art materials. This helps develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor dexterity, independence and much more
  • Pre-Schematic Stage – (2 to 4 years)– drawing are simple, but are begin to look more like objects. Color plays a more important roll. Most drawing is outlines. People are heads with arms and legs (Mr. Potato Head people). This continues to work on the previous skills, but adds in observation, problem solving and pencil grip work
  • Schematic Stage (5-8 years)– more details are added including background and correct coloring. Learn to draw things in a specific way and use it over and over (always draw a house the same way etc). There are typically stories to go with the illustrations. They now work on trial and error, patterns, and interpreting illustrations
  • Pre-Teen Stage (9-11 years) –Drawings are more detailed, realism and spacial perspective. This is that point where children typically feel they can or CAN’T draw.
art · family activity · STEAM · topic

Friday Fun- Spider webs!

I was trying to decide what to do with my kiddos in zoom this week. I wanted to do something on spiders since they were learning about arachnids this week. I had already told them we were going to do a direct drawing.

I came across two options. Here is the one I am not doing on zoom, so those who watch on zoom have another fun spider direct drawing project.

Materials: paper, pencil, black marker, things to color with

cross lines

Hold the paper vertically (tall and skinny)

Draw a line down the middle of the paper (this divides the paper in half making 2 rectangles)

Draw a line across the middle of the paper forming a “t” (this divides the paper in quarters making 4 squares)

From the middle of the page, draw lines out to the corners, this is a tough skill, but even if the lines aren’t straight it will work. (this divides each quarter in half making two triangles each. when done your paper is now in 8ths and 8 triangles)

Now the fun… ummm tough… no fun part.

completed pencil web

Pick one section. Draw smile lines connecting the two sides of the section together. I did about 4/5 smiles in each section. As you go around, try to connect the smiles in one section to the one in the next section. — again if this doesn’t work exactly it is fine!

After you complete drawing the web with a pencil, I then have my students go over all lines with a marker. This provides the “coloring book lines” and makes the coloring pop as well as makes it easier for them to see the illustration.

Next, we color! I think I have colored more in this quarantine then I have in years past. One the right side of this web I colored in a randomly. This looks really cool, but the teacher in me then switched to doing patterns on the left side! You can do either, both or something else in your imagination. I used crayons because I have those at home. Water color paints would be really cool for this project.

if you want to see the project I am doing with my students on zoom… check out my Instagram account (@mydayinpre_k)… I posted it there.

art · family activity

Friday Fun- Name flower pot

Colby and I were discussing what to do for our fun Friday activity. I considered giving you a spring scavenger hunt, but there are so many of those out there I know it is easy to Google that and find a ton. I thought about doing a craft, but then realized that I don’t have any construction paper here, and there is a good chance you don’t either. We considered doing another direct drawing, but could not decide what to do that was spring and not a flower like last week.

Ms Lori’s name flowers

Colby said he always thinks of flowers when he thinks of spring. So we decided to create a drawing project. Have your child draw a flower pot or bouquet of flowers. Draw one flower for each letter in his/her name.

We started off by drawing everything in pencil. We both drew the pots first. Then drew the plants. I outlined in marker and Colby just used marker to color his.

Colby’s name plants

I took the project very literal…. Colby well not so much. Just to give you an idea, he is 11, almost 12, and very, very creative. So the fact that he has a grape vine, apple tree, family tree, aliens and more in his drawing does not surprise me. Part of the reason I’m showing this is to remind you that there is no wrong to this project. Let your little one be creative.

I would encourage you to have your child write their name correctly. Yes, I know many preK teachers have children write their names all in capital letters, but I will tell you that the first thing a kindergarten teacher will do is correct this so that the name is written with only a capital for the first letter. So, I encourage you to help your child learn to write it correctly.