Just Let Them Free Draw!
I found myself with a rare extra 10 minutes one day in a Kindergarten art class. I had many students finishing up their weavings (which can be tricky) and about half the class finished. I still needed to help the other kiddos (so reading a book to the group was out of the question). I needed something to keep the other kinders occupied. You see, I do have a system for students who finish early, but I don’t introduce it until 1st grade. I don’t feel Kindergarteners are ready for the “Imagination Cupboard” (come to think I don’t think I’ve written about this Imagination Cupboard… I’ll have to do that soon!). Anyhow.. back to the story…
I just handed out blank paper (we used the back since it was recycled paper) and told them to free draw. They just happened to have sharpies and markers near by, so those are the only supplies they got. I was amazed. The room got quiet. Kids were begging for that white sheet of paper. I just couldn’t believe it. Were my lessons not engaging? Did they really dislike other days in art so much? Why was this blank white paper so intriguing? Don’t they do this for hours at home? Isn’t white paper very plentiful everywhere? Did we have rain for 5 days straight and they could free draw all they wanted during indoor recess? I was puzzled. Whatever the cause, letting the students free draw for a megar 10-15 minutes was the best thing since sliced bread to these 6 year olds.
Then the drawings came. There is just something about them. They are free. They are happy. They are whimsical. They are KIDS ART. Not forced. Not planned. Just freedom of expression at its raw core. Why don’t I see this very often in my art room? Am I too focused on knocking out my curriculum objectives that I forget to let the students simply draw and express themselves? Is this technique of allowing some free-draw time healthy for the kids or is it just a “cop-out” for teachers to get students to shut up and color? I conclude there is a time and place for free draw in the art room……. Apparently that time and place was last week during the last 10 minutes of art. ha.
So now, for the creations that just make me smile… Enjoy…
What is your opnion on the time and place for free draw?
Why do kids love this so much?
Why am I not surprised they do?