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Teaching Art with "Drawing for Children"

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 7/12/2012

Mona Brookes' book "Drawing with Children" has received much attention for its ability to break art down in a way so that children are very successful at learning to draw and to appreciate art. Read on to find out how you can incorporate this book into your classroom art program.

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    What is Drawing with Children?

    Drawing with Children is a book by Mona Brookes. This book explains to teachers ways to break art down to children so that they are able to create beautiful drawings. The book is visually based, teaching children to observe with their eyes. Lessons include warming up, still lifes, figure drawings, landscapes, and design. The book operates on three levels, so that all students can be accommodated. Drawing with Children is intended to be used for children up to 9 years old, but it can be used with older children. Mona Brookes has created another book, aimed at older children and teenagers titled Drawing for Older Children and Teens.

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    What Materials do I Need?

    To implement Drawing with Children in the classroom, you will want to have enough of the following materials on hand for each child:

    • Fine and broad-tipped colored markers
    • A black drawing marker
    • Scratch paper
    • Drawing paper (the thickest available)
    • Photocopies of the figures that accompany the exercises your students are to complete

    It may also be helpful to have your students collect photographs from magazines and newspapers of scenes they would like to draw during the art period. Because of this, each student should also have an inspiration envelope that contains her personal clippings.

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    How to Plan the Lessons

    Before delving into any specific lesson, it might be helpful for students to take the assessment at the start of the book. This way, you can tailor your lessons to students in each of three levels so that no one is frustrated (If you have children working at all three levels you can group them by level.). Once you know what levels your students are working on, you can piece together the lessons.

    Begin each lesson with the relaxation techniques Brookes' suggests. This will help students get mentally prepared for their drawing lesson. Next, you may want students to work on a warm-up exercise for only a few moments before launching into the lesson. I would suggest having students work on a lesson for more than one week as is suggested by this instructor's lesson plan for Drawing with Children.

    When planning the lesson, make sure you have enough photocopies for each student in the class of any reference material they will need. For example, when teaching the 5 Basic Elements of Shape to your students, make sure they have a copy of the page covering that topic in visual form.

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    Student Portfolios

    Because your students will be creating lots of artwork over the course of the school year, a fun project for them is to have them create a portfolio. This portfolio would showcase the development of their talent from the beginning of the school year through the end of the school year. There are a few ways of going about this. The best way is to have students bring a binder and clear page-protectors to class. Each project they complete can be slid into one of the page-protectors. This way, their work is preserved. Another way to create a portfolio is to have students create a cover. Once the cover page is created, you can staple the cover page to their work.