Teach Drawing the Fun Way
As an art teacher who does this often, I have this down to a science. I use my SmartBoard (or whiteboard), and as I draw something on the board, I say what I am doing in a bit of a “singing” voice. Then students repeat after me. While they are saying it, they are doing it. Then they wait while I show (and sing) the next step, then they do the next step. They draw and sing just like me.
We go very slowly, step by step until the entire image is drawn. I usually only give the basic shapes of a drawing and let the students work on the details and background at the end. You will need to remind them that you’ll be giving them plenty of time to work on details so they don’t take over the lesson and slow down the group.
Let me demonstrate what I say and do with my students for these Thanksgiving sheets:
- Teacher: “For step #1, we are going to draw the hat of the turkey. Starting in the middle of your page, draw a square.” (Show students on the board how to draw the square part of the hat and say “draw a square,” (in a funny or singing voice). I’m a terrible singer, so don’t let that scare you. Just make it fun (or funny) for the kids, and they will LOVE it!
- Students: “Draw a square” (singing voice-kids are excellent at mimicking how you sang the instructions…and they don’t talk and disrupt because they are too busy singing and drawing)
- Teacher: “Draw the bottom of a triangle” (singing voice)
- Students: “Draw the bottom of the triangle” (singing voice)
Repeat this pattern until you get to the end of the drawing. Tell students if they make a mistake to keep going (no erasing yet) and that at the end, they will have time to fix any mistakes that they make. The more fun you have with this (singing silly), the more fun they will have!
In the free download, you will find a sheet that tells you exactly what to say. You can print it and put it next to you while you are teaching (above left).
Step 1: Print out the handouts from the free download here. Then have your students follow along as you show them, step-by-step, how to create their pictures. Or make copies of the handouts and let your students use them to figure out how to draw the Thanksgiving images all by themselves (I like to laminate my drawing sheets to preserve them). You can choose whatever size of paper you’d like. The student should use pencils so that making corrections is easier.
For each design, I have included a full sheet (8.5” x 11”) of 6 easy steps showing how to draw 5 different designs. I have also included a full sheet example of each design (on 8.5” x 11” paper), which you could use as a coloring sheet if you didn’t want to do the “6 Easy Steps” lesson. These full-page sheets also make great coloring pages when kids finish early or at other times.
Step 2: After students have drawn their pictures, have them go over their pencil lines with black markers. Make sure to use a permanent marker if you are going to use watercolor paints.
Step 3: Then they can color them in many different ways using crayons, colored pencils, or different types of paint. Here is an example of the scarecrow colored with watercolor paint.
In the full resources, I have also included one of the turkey designs colored with crayons. You can use whatever materials you are comfortable with (or have on hand)–colored pencils, markers, crayons, paint, etc.
Encourage your students to use their imaginations–the turkey doesn’t “have” to be real colors, does it? Students should use their imaginations to create a background and fill the entire paper with color, so the finished product should have no white paper showing. In the resource, I included an example I made that you can project on your whiteboard or print. This way, you don’t have to make your own example (although I highly encourage you to have some fun as well!).
Want more freebies?? When you join my email list, I will send you my free “finish the plate” placemat design (the template and all the instructions).
I love to spoil my email list subscribers by sending exclusive freebies, tips, and tricks, as well as special announcements of sales—not to mention that after you join, you’ll get invited to my Subscribers-only Library, which provides direct access to all my freebies like this free Thanksgiving placemat activity!
Thanks for reading and making art with your students!