Learning How to Draw in Grade One

I have started a big drawing unit with my cute grade one students using the method outlined in this wonderful book by Mona Brookes titled “Drawing With Children“. If you are planning to teach your kids how to draw, I suggest you take a look at her easy drawing technique.

The method Mona Brookes developed is simple and it really helps kids improve their drawing skills tremendously. By learning the 5 basic elements of shape: dot, circle, straight line, curved and angle line families, the kids learn to recognize and use these elements when they draw. I love the whole method and think it’s a great resource to have in the classroom.

After a series of warm ups, I started with the first lesson which is a guided lesson that teaches kids how to draw a simple bird.  The students all drew very cute birds that they later colored in and added details.

For their next challenge I wanted the students to copy and draw a realistic looking bird.  I went online here and printed a variety of birds such as owls, parrots, penguins, hawks etc. for each student and glued these onto construction paper with the following question: “What shapes can you see?” This was to remind the students to look for the elements of shapes that we had been learning about before they began to actually draw.

Their task was to 1. analyze the shapes they could see  and then use these shapes to help them copy and draw their bird onto a 12×18 piece of paper. They then had to add other details such as branches, berries, leaves, etc. to make the picture their own.

Once all the birds were drawn, the students painted them using watercolors. This was another great opportunity to teach some watercolor painting techniques and learning to mix colors in the mixing palette.

Once the birdies were dry, these were outlined with markers.

I am posting the original image the kids copied so you can see what great little artists I have!  Aren’t these so beautiful? Next lesson will be wild animals and insects!

Photo source: ineedfile

Photo source: ineed file

Photo source: ineed file

Photo source: ineed file

Photo source: JKim is Yellow

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4 thoughts on “Learning How to Draw in Grade One

  1. Thank you for sharing this book. I am going to look for it and work with my daughter. She loves to draw and doodle. Last night she drew a hotel with flowers and really placed some detail into her drawing. It has been alot of fun watching her grow in her drawings. She is 6 years old and will be in first grade next year.

  2. I’ve been using Mona’s methods to teach drawing & recognition of shape and line for years so really appreciate your take on it – especially your follow-up lesson where the kids need to apply their newly developed skills to analyze photos of real life animals!
    At the start of every school year, I teach a basic drawing lesson. I analyze the drawings to determine each students’ basic 2D skills & rough idea of developmental stage comparable to others at that grade/age level. This information will help me to remember during the coming year to informally assess some students more frequently to check for understanding. The students who excel at this basic assignment are just as frequently challenged to expand on their ideas, taking a project further either through technical skills or creative design.
    I save their drawings and at the end of every school year, everyone redraws the same object. It’s amazing to me & to the students to ‘see’ the progress they’ve made – so much better than a number, don’t you think? You can see results on my blog at http://handsheadnheart.blogspot.com/2010/06/assessment-drawings.html
    Thanks again for sharing your take on this great resource!

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