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Drawing Lessons

From the time they are old enough to pick up a writing implement, young children love to draw. When they are young, they are just encouraged to keep that pencil on the paper and create whatever inspires them. As they mature and their small motor coordination improves, young children can really benefit from specific drawing lessons. These drawing lessons are often called directed drawing, and they guide children, step by step, through the process of drawing one particular thing, such as a person or an animal, and might progress to an entire scene.

In the primary grades, a common focus of these drawing lessons is often full-body self-portraits. Children at this age are generally self-centered, and focusing their drawing on themselves helps to keep them on-task and interested. A wonderful way to show progress and growth over time is to have the children create a self-portrait once a month. Each month, a new drawing lesson is included to somehow enhance the childs portrait, so that by the end of the year, there is a record of learning.

It is a nice addition to have the month printed on the top of the paper, to help keep track of when the portrait was completed. The first month begins with no instruction at all, letting the children draw a portrait of themselves however they choose to. It might be just a pencil sketch. Each additional month brings a new drawing lesson, such as: how to make proper arms and legs, placement of facial details, adding color, or adding background details and filling in the whole paper.

The improvements the children show in their drawing never fail to impress. At the end of the year they have a bound book to show their efforts and a record of all of their drawing lessons for the year.

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