Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Illustration Study

I'm reading a new book, which means my "teacher mind" is spinning. It means I'm not sleeping, because I'm thinking about our newest unit of study in kindergarten. My laundry is not getting done, because I'm reading and planning.

Here's the book I'm reading. Katie Wood Ray is a fabulous author. She writes about Writer's Workshop and writing in early childhood. In my opinion, she's brilliant. She honors the work of young children and has a deep understanding of their needs.

In her book, she discusses the value of illustration as part of the writing process. In kindergarten, we make books. We make cards, write letters, and just make "stuff" out of our writing. I love this quote from Katie Wood Ray's book, "Making books is developmentally appropriate because, when supported to do so, children bring to book making the same exploratory spirit they bring to all sorts of other play." We provide blocks and they become architects. We give them a home center and they become just like their moms and dads. We give them blank books and they become authors and illustrators.

Take a look at Jan Brett's illustrations. We all look at these books and see gorgeous illustrations. What makes them so beautiful? Today, one of the kindergartners responded to this question by saying, "She does not scribble when she draws."



Here are a few things we love about Jan Brett's books.
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Does your child like to draw? Is it something they would choose to do each day? What art materials does your child like best? Crayons, Twistables, oil pastels, colored pencils, watercolor paints... the possibilities are endless.

Next time your child is excited about a family activity, have them draw it! Talk about the details that can be added to the picture. Ask questions and dig deeper. The more your child talks about an experience, the more they will remember to include in their drawing.

Happy illustrating!

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