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Sketching: The Importance of Drawing to Activate Thinking

I have included the goals for this work from my white board in my classroom one fall. I learned about the importance of sketching and writing from my friend Linda Rief.

She has us do contour drawing and watercolor painting at the Boothbay Literacy Retreat in Maine each summer. I have used it in my classroom for years. It helps my students slow down to see and think and the writing comes much easier after.


Important things about this work:

I give students models to sketch from. These simple cards and calendars from Dana Heacock and other local artists help my students see what is possible. It is important, though, that we talk about how our drawing will be ours—an imitation of someone else’s work, but not an exact copy. We add rooflines or different backgrounds or combine images to create something that is ours from a model that makes the first steps easier. My dog is like the dog from Heacock’s work, but it is not as well. Student examples follow.

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