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November Math Centers for 1st grade and 2nd grade
Home » Blog » Literacy » How to Use Directed Drawings in the Classroom

How to Use Directed Drawings in the Classroom

Literacy, Routines & Procedures, Writing & Language, Writing Instruction, Writing Projects

Written by: Krys Warstillo

Have you tried directed drawings with your students yet? They are a really fun way to work on following directions, fine motor skills, stamina, and focus. Additionally, most kids love drawing! 

directed drawings in the 1st or 2nd grade classroom

Despite our best efforts, there are always students in our class who simply don’t enjoy writing. Adding directed drawings into the mix can be a game-changer for these students! Each drawing includes versions with and without writing lines. An opportunity to draw may be all your reluctant writer needs to get them excited about writing! 

directed drawing draw and write sheet

Read on for 9 ways to use directed drawings to boost engagement in a classroom setting!

9 Ways to Use Directed Drawings

#1 – Centers & Writing Prompts

Directed drawings can be added to your ELA block as engaging centers for your learners. The pages with writing lines can be used with your existing writing prompts or as open-ended free writes!

With our younger learners, it can be a good idea to separate writing and drawing into two distinct tasks and then set time limits for each one. This way, students can engage more mindfully in each portion. Plus, I know we all have students who would much rather color every inch of their paper than writing. Keeping them separate and allotting time to each task can help keep your students moving. 

directed drawings with writing prompts for a literacy center activity

#2 – Friday Fun, Free Choice, Indoor Recess

If your class uses Friday Fun, has Free Choice time, or needs a fun indoor recess activity these directed drawing pages are a fantastic option. How many times have you had students who love creating artwork but complain, “I don’t have anything to draw!!” Directed drawings can be done independently and students can add in their own creative flair. 

directed drawings as an indoor recess activity

#3 – Directed Drawings as Art Lessons

Creating art can be stressful for some of our students. As adults, directed drawings can seem too constraining but the truth is, some of our students need the structure they provide to feel confident. Our learners are old enough to start feeling nervous or self-conscious about their abilities. Providing them an opportunity to practice their drawings skills with the structure that directed drawings provide can be an incredible confidence boost. The step-by-step instructions make it so much easier for your students to feel like successful artists. 

seahorse directed drawing

#4 – Science & Social Studies Lessons

Add a little art into your science and social studies lessons! Studies have shown that drawing can have powerful effects on learning. Our directed drawings bundle includes 15 life cycles to draw in addition to animals, plants, and historical symbols. 

apple life cycle directed drawing

#5 – Seasonal Directed Drawings

There are 16 holiday and seasonal options in the directed drawings bundle. Use these as a fun whole class activity to add a little festivity to your classroom walls! The seasonal drawings are perfect for seasonal displays on classroom or hallway bulletin boards. 

holiday draw a penguin

#6 – Review

This idea comes from a Lucky Little Learners teacher and it’s so creative. Try it out in your classroom!

“I love using the step-by-step when I need to review a concept. For example, I put math problems on the board and my students solve them at their desks with dry-erase markers. After going over each problem, I give them the next step to their directed drawing. They LOVE IT! It’s a quick 10-minute review. It’s fun, engaging, and meaningful!”

Taylor S.

#7 – Whole Group Work

If you’d like to use our directed drawings for group work there are full-page directions sheets that can be read out loud to students for some additional work on those listening skills! 

draw a rainbow sheet

#8 – Digital Assignments

Finally, if you’d like to give your students a more visual option or you have remote learners, there are videos for students to watch that move step-by-step through each image. Students can pause and play the videos to move at their own pace through the directions.

step by step videos for directed drawings

#9 – Independent Work

Each page has step-by-step clipart-supported directions that your students can use to independently complete each drawing. Our directed drawing pages include a space for your students to draw and lines for writing. 

Try Directed Drawings in your classroom this year! You’ll be thrilled with the improvements you notice in your students abilities to follow directions, their fine motor skills, stamina, and focus. Also, you will see your reluctant writers blossom when they can write about a drawing they are proud of.

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directed drawings in 1st or 2nd grade


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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