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Drawing with Children
By Mona Brookes
Lesson plans by Sherri

Home / Art Main Menu / Approach To Instruction / Art Appreciation / Drawing Curriculum / Chronological Art Lessons / American Art History

Before You Begin Teaching:
  • Read "How to Use This Book" p. xxvii, and "Preliminaries" p. 3 thru 39.
  • Look through the entire book for ideas, inspiration etc.
  • Fine and broad tipped markers
  • Black drawing marker (one for each child)
  • Scratch paper
  • Drawing paper
  • A drawing mat made from a large piece of white Bristol board
  • Large folders with pictures of different topics that interest you (birds, animals, landscapes, buildings, fairy tales etc.)
Photocopies Needed
  • Starting Level 1 exercise (page 44, Fig. P.5)
  • Starting Level 2 exercise (Page 44, Fig. P.6)
  • Starting Level 3 exercise (Page 45, Fig. P.7)
  • The Five Basic Elements Chart (Page 60, Fig. 1.2)
  • Mirror Imaging exercise (Page 69, Fig. 1.6)
  • Wow! I Can Draw! Exercise (Page 76, Fig. 2.5)
  • Overlapping exercise (Page 86, Fig. 2.5)
  • Leo the Lion, lesson sample (Page 94, Fig. 2.11)
  • Leo the Lion simplified (Page 94, Fig. 2.12)
  • Bird Montage, Lesson Sample (Page 100, Fig. 2.15)
  • Bird Montage, simplified (Page 100, Fig. 2.16)
  • Carousel Horse, lesson sample (Page 107, Fig. 2.18)
  • Carousel Horse, simplified (Page 107, Fig 2.19)
  • Teapot Still Life, lesson sample (Page 120, Fig. 3.4)
  • Teapot still life, simplified (Page 120, Fig 3.5)
  • Positive/negative exercises (Pages 145 and 146, Figs. 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5)
  • Shading Exercises (Page 149, Figs. 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9)
  • Tiger Lilies, lesson sample (Page 154, Fig. 4.14)
  • The Body: Circles and Tubes (Page 182, Fig. 5.26)
The Lessons
(30 to 45 minutes long)

Note: I try to have the art lessons at the end of our school time in the mornings so that my children can continue to draw, etc., or come back to their work after lunch if they choose to.

These lessons have been broken down to fit the entire book into one year of teaching, however, you may want to concentrate on certain portions of the book each year and then fill in your other art classes with crafts etc.

Lesson One, Choosing your Starting Level
Before starting any "formal" lessons within your homeschool, begin by taking some time and discussing the upcoming classes with your children. Talk about horizontal, vertical, diminishing perspective, profiles and contour lines. (See page 36). Point out their art space and discuss the materials that they will be using etc. Take some time to look through some books and magazines. Have your children choose some pictures and drawings of things that they are interested in. File these away in the appropriate file folders. At this point, do the exercises for " Choosing Your Starting Level" (page 40) to determine what levels your child is ready to begin working at.
Lesson Two: Learning the Basics
Make your own version of the chart on page 60
Familiarize yourself with the 5 basic elements of shape that are listed in the chart.
Scratch Paper

Exercise 1
Begin by taking a few minutes to work on some conductive relaxation exercises. Do some mind and body relaxation, then some eye relaxation (page 55-57)

Exercise 2
Set out all supplies so that they are all easily accessible. Give your child some scratch paper and allow them to experiment with their supplies. Make some suggestions (page 58-59) so that they can see how the materials work together etc. When you are done, take a look at what you have drawn. Make a mental note of the effects that you liked. Cap all markers. You are now ready for the basics.

Exercise 3
Discuss "Recognizing the Five Elements of Contour Shape" Using the chart that you made in preparation for this lesson. (See "The Dot Family" and "The Line Family" on page 62-63)

Exercise 4
In order to re-enforce the five elements of contour shape play "Playing Visual Games" on page 64-65.
Lesson Three: Learning the Basics continued...
Make yourself a master copy of the blank squares (photocopy several so that you have them on hand)
Devise warm up exercises to fit your child's learning level. (See pages 66 and 67, Figs. 1.4 and 1.5)
Briefly discuss the elements that were talked about during lesson one.

Exercise 1
Have your children randomly draw each of the five basic elements of shape in random locations on a piece of paper. (See page 65-66)

Exercise 2
"The Duplication Warm Up" (Page 66)

Exercise 3
"Matching Warm Up" (Page 66)

Exercise 4
"Mirror Image Warm Up" (Page 67)

Exercise 5:
"Abstract Design Warm Up" (Page 68)
Lesson Four: "Wow! I Can Draw!
Copy of figure 1.11 on Page 76
A copy of the book "Tico and the Golden Wings" By Leo Lionni

Exercise 1
Complete the Exercises in Fig. 1.11 and talk about each of the five elements that you are using.

Exercise 2:
Draw the birds in figure 1.12 (Page 77) using the step-by-step instructions.
Lesson Five and Six: More of Wow! I Can Draw!
At this point I would read "Tico and the Golden Birds" for inspiration and use it as a spine for a couple more drawing lessons in order to re-enforce drawing with the elements.
Lesson Seven: Drawing From Graphics
Read the introduction of "Drawing From Graphics" (Page 80-85)
A copy of "Overlapping Exercises" Page 86, Fig. 2.5

Exercise 1:
"Overlapping" (Page 85-92)
Lesson Eight: Drawing From Graphics Continued...
A copy of the appropriate pictures for your child's learning level found on pages 93-112) (Leo the Lion, Tropical Birds or Carousel Horse)

Exercise 1
Doing the Drawings. Choose the picture for the appropriate level (Page 93 - 111) and do the drawings.
Remember that you don't have to draw (especially in the higher levels) the picture exactly as it appears in the book. You can choose a specific part of the picture or do something similar.
Lessons Nine and Ten: More Drawing From Graphics
** Choose some of your own favorite graphics to use for at least two more lessons of drawing with graphics**
Lesson Eleven: Drawing From a Still Life
A photocopy of the still life (enlarged if you would like) (Page 118, Fig 3.4)

Exercise 1
Do some pencil sketches to determine how you want your composition to look like (see page 121 "Preliminary Sketches of your Ideas")

Exercise 2
Beginning. Draw the teapot. (Page 122-124)

Exercise 3
Draw the Vase of Flowers. (Page 124-127)
Lesson Twelve: Adding the Finishing Touches to your Still Life
Photocopy of the still life from lesson seven.
The drawing that was started by your children in lesson seven.

Exercise 1
Add the finish touches to your picture using the appropriate skill level (Pages 127 - 134)

Exercise 2
Finish the drawing by adding color to your picture.
Lessons Thirteen and Fourteen: More Still Life Drawing
** Use some different inanimate objects from your own home etc as the basis for some more still life drawings. **
Lesson Fifteen: Volume Drawing
Read about Volume Drawing on pages 141 - 144
A copy of Figs. 4.3, 4.4 and 4.5 that are found on pages 145 and 146
A copy of Figs. 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9 that are found on page 149

Exercise 1
"Warming Up to Positive and Negative" (Page 144)

Exercise 2
"Warming Up to Shades of Gray" (Page 148)
Lesson Sixteen: Light and Dark
Drawing Paper
Scratch Paper
Photocopy of "Tiger Lilies" Page 154

Exercise 1
"Warming Up to Light and Dark" (Page 150)

Exercise 2
"Tiger Lilies" (Page 155)
Lessons Seventeen and Eighteen: More Volume Drawing
** Choose other pictures and do some more of the same drawings as in lessons fifteen and sixteen**
Lesson Nineteen: Mixed Media
Go through "Widening Your Horizons" (pages 159 - 169)
Choose your preferred type of media
Something to draw (either still life objects or graphics)

Exercise 1
Practice with the new medium on a scratch piece of paper

Exercise 2
Using a still life or graphic, create your drawings.
Lesson Twenty: Design
Read "Design" found on page 170
Photocopies of Figs. 5.14 and 5.15 found on page 171
Templates (if you choose to use them) for drawing shapes

Exercise 1
"Free Flowing Designs" Page 172

Exercise 2
"Template Designs" Page 172 - 173
Lesson Twenty One: More Designs
A copy of fig. 5.18 found on page 175
Various Objects

Exercise 1
"Grids" Page 174

Exercise 2
"Objects" Page 174
Lesson Twenty-Two: Drawing People
Read "People" found on Page 176
Paper (large)
A live model
A black marker (regular tipped)
Conte Crayon/Drawing Pencils
A copy of Fig. 5.26 found on Page 182

Exercise 1
"Draw Without Looking at the Paper" (Page 178)

Exercise 2
"Using the Circle and Tube Formula" (Page 181 - 184)
Lesson Twenty-Three: More of Drawing People
Drawing pencils/Conte Crayons
A mirror
A Copy of Fig. 5.28 found on Page 186
A Copy of Fig. 5.29 found on Page 187 or, for very young children, a copy of Fig. 5.30 that is found on Page 188

Exercise 1
"Use Arrows to Capture Body Direction and Energy Flow" (Page 184)

Exercise 2
"Concentrate Specifically on Hands and Feet" (Page 185)

Exercise 3
"Using Yourself as a Model" (Page 185)
Lesson Twenty-Four: Faces
Read "Faces" (found on Page 190)
Drawing Pencils, Conte Crayons or Chalk Pastels
Picture of a persons face or a live model

Exercise 1
"A Sequence to Use When Drawing Faces" (Page 912)
Lesson Twenty-Five: Environment
Read "Environment" found on Page 196 - 203
Scratch Paper
Your Choice of Medium for Drawing
Photo of a house or other building (or go outside and draw the real thing)

Exercise 1
Create a drawing using a photo or actual place.
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