Drawing as a Form of Writing
Drawing pictures is one of the most common ways for children to entertain themselves. It begins as scribbles on paper and over time develops into more organized shapes that tell a story. Through drawing, children learn that words match pictures and the ideas in their pictures can be expressed through words. Drawing also helps children develop the following skills needed for writing development:
- Learning how to plan, brainstorm, develop and express new ideas
- Develop fine motor skills needed for letter formation
- How to follow directions and listen
- Become more detail-oriented
- Increase spatial and visual-perceptual awareness
- Encourage self-confidence and independence
- Promote the development of cognitive skills such as decision making and problem solving
- Introduce new vocabulary
- Have fun drawing and writing
While some children enjoy drawing, others dislike it because they feel that they aren’t any good at it. Guided drawing can help! Guided drawing (also known as directed drawing) is a step-by-step process through which a teacher directs students on how to draw something by showing them exactly where and how to make the next line, shape or mark on their drawing.
For example, let’s say a teacher is trying to help a student draw a cat face, the directions could be as follows:
- Draw a medium size circle in the middle of your paper.
- Draw two slanted lines to make a mountain top on each side of the top of the circle for ears.
- Draw two small circles at the top of the circle for eyes.
- Fill in the eyes.
- Draw an upside down triangle for the nose.
- Make an upside down rainbow on each side of the bottom of the triangle for the mouth.
The result would be similar to this:
Of course, each student’s finished product may look a bit different from the model and that is ok. You want to leave some room for creativity and individuality so it is important to let them color it or add on to it as they like.
Guided drawing encourages students to feel more confident about their drawing skills. Being able to draw a picture that is recognizable, realistic and includes detail will enhance a student’s writing development.
Any questions? Please email us at Janice@Neighborhoodlit.com. Taylor Burke is a teacher and Director of Communications at Neighborhood Lit. and works closely with Janice Migliazza, a Reading Specialist and owner of Neighborhood Lit, Route 34, Colts Neck to bring you this information.