5-Day: Who Knows How to Draw a Penguin?
This week, our classroom was transformed into a winter wonderland. The snow melted outside, but it was icy and cold inside 5-Day. Our dramatic play center was covered with snow and icicles. We finally used our new market stand and turned it into a hot cocoa stand. The children loved taking turns running the stand and, then, being the customer. Our customers had the options of taking their hot cocoa to go or grabbing a treat to stay and sitting on a big comfy blanket by the fire place. They were busy taking orders, choosing toppings, and counting money.
We began the week by reading the story Little Penguin’s Tale. After the story, I asked the children, “Who knows how to draw a penguin?” Not many hands went up. I told them that I would be teaching them how to draw a penguin through a process called "directed drawing". This is something we do in extended day sometimes and the children love it. Often, we hear phrases like, “But I can’t draw” or “I don’t know how to draw!” As teachers, we don’t want to hear negative self-talk from our students. This frustration can lead to a lack of interest and effort. Kids need to feel empowered to accomplish the tasks presented to them. We are huge supporters of process art, free drawing, painting at the easel, and sensory play, however, we don’t want our students to ever feel that they “can’t” do something. So, I spent a little time at morning meeting modeling and teaching them how to draw a penguin, using simple shapes and lines that work together to make a picture.
Through "directed drawing", the skills they learn will eventually translate into their own drawings. They can begin to use what they’ve learned to create artwork of their own. It makes my teacher heart happy when I see my students use a skill or drawing trick on their own. Classroom drawing also helps build important skills. Directed drawings provide children with a ton of practice in following directions and paying attention to detail. Children need to listen and follow instructions closely. Directed drawings are also huge self-esteem boosters. It was such a wonderful surprise for them to see their finished drawings!
Have a great weekend!
Caroline and Cathy