This week in our classroom we continue to give our students opportunity to engage in reading and writing. Every day as teachers we realize the students are learning what it means to be a writer. As we observe them making decisions about what they are going to write about, we see them becoming more intentional about their writing selection. By encouraging them to write their own sentences, we see their growth as a writer daily. They will line up at my desk to ask questions about their choice of sentences. Some of them just automatically get started with their drawings and once they are finished they will come and ask ” if their drawing looks like a fish.” Whether it does or not to me, I respond with “Is that what a fish looks like to you?” Some will say, “I don’t know how to draw a fish.” I keep it very simple for them and together we look at their book and observe how the fish looked. I say, “It is very simple, you have a great beginning with your circle, give it a mouth and a tail and any other details you like.”
In the above picture, you can see one of our students use the “space man”, that is used to help the student leave space between their words so that their work is readable. All the students use their “space man”.
As I continue my reading of Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lessons for Our Youngest Writers, by Martha Horn & Mary Ellen Giacobbe, I understand why Mrs. Wyatt models her drawing with the children and talks about what she is drawing and describes every detail of her drawing. This helps the young children become familiar and comfortable with sketching and also stems conversation and interaction with the students. They learn that drawing represents meaning and understanding. Drawing gives children a voice. “Drawing is a way for children to be heard. A student who has difficulty recognizing letters, perhaps even the letters in his or her name, can often draw what he knows, thinks, and feels.” p.61
I always support my young writers drawings because drawing is an essential part of writing for young children. Above, we have two students at a drawing center filled with interesting pencils and crayons, books and paper. More important is that we provide time to draw daily. At this table the two students can communicate and share about their drawings.