Teach them to Draw : Follow Up (2nd – 4th)

My first lesson today started off with my Second to fourth graders. As apart of the Rainey Program I can see the students once they finish their homework. They get sent up to me and these students are always the one who are done first. I have met them and gotten to know them. I know my one students who is a challenge, doesn’t like to be in the class and feels insecure about his drawing skills. Students like him require more one on one attention, and lucky for me today I met my new assistant Josh. Josh was able to help me give my students one one one instruction. They all came in at once and I handed them the file folders and told them they would be using them as their portfolios from now on. I had them write their names in the top tab and then collected them.

I then started my discussion about positive and negative space. “Has anyone ever heard of positive and negative space?”
“Yes! Positive space has and object inside of it.”
“Great! so if positive space has objects inside of it than what do you think negative space is?”
“It doesn’t have anything in it?”
“Yes but we can still see shape that the positive space makes.”

Then I pulled out the sailboat. “Woah! Did you make that? Can that really float?”
I expected then reaction, but I was excited that they were so into the sailboat. And I had their attention.
“I’m going to teach you how to draw this.”
“No way, that’s too hard!”
“No it’s not, that’s why you’re hear and I am going to teach you how to draw this sailboat!”

I then passed out the paper and had them fold the paper in half and in half again, so they had 4 squares. I then asked them to draw 2 shapes they saw in the positive space. So they drew triangles, cylinders, rectangles. It was going ok. I noticed my one students wasn’t eager to even draw a triangle. So i took out a peace of paper and showed him how to draw the triangle, one side at a time. I was impressed how quickly he picked up the rest of my instruction from there. I went around and engaged a few more students doing the same thing. I then asked them to fill the other 2 spaces with shapes they saw int he negative space. So I got shapes such as trapezoids, triangles and ovals. After this exercise I knew what to expect with our first drawings. So I went through an instructional drawing lesson. I explained to them height, width, shape, space. I spoke about sketching, and we went one shape after the other and all of them followed very well. Even my student who didn’t want to draw a triangle had a very impressive sailboat at the end. “I am very impressed with this, you really did a great job today” I said to him. A huge smile opened across his face as he write his name on it and put it away in his portfolio. They all followed suit and I excused them.

Overall I am so happy with how well this lesson went. I know they are in my class because they are craving to learn how to do something then can be proud of. And by integrating my lessons with other subjects they are making the connections they need to make to better understand the lesson.

I left the school today with a glowing feeling of pride. I know I was able to give my students that intrinsic motivation they need to want to exceed in my class and I am so happy I can be that person to bring that out in them, at least for today.

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