Google+ bakers and astronauts: Sketchbooks Mid-Year

28 January 2010

Sketchbooks Mid-Year

We are mid-way through the year, and I sat with the sketchbooks this afternoon to reflect.  What are the children doing?  Is it worth it to have the children working in their sketchbooks every day?  What are they doing?  Has it changed?

In my opinion, it has been very positive.  Some children draw for one minute, some prefer to draw for five.  Five minutes is the maximum time we have - but children are welcome to revisit their sketchbooks anytime they want to during the day.  I think it is an especially positive activity for the children who do not choose to draw during the day.  I am thinking of one boy in particular who does not choose to draw, and typically avoids fine motor activity.  This is a time for him to show us something in this drawing medium - no matter how small it is, or what it is.

Some children have filled four books, some are still on their first.  I have not been as good recently about giving them different mediums.  They have many different drawing tools, but I think we should be including more photography, more collage, more paint, and other mediums for expression.  This does take planning ahead.  I realize that more now that I looked at 13 sketchbooks that only have drawing.  I did find one little surprise -  one girl had taped in a drawing that she had made on a long strip of purple construction paper.  It was piece that she independently chose to add to her cumulative work, and I found that refreshing.

Now, I am thinking about next steps for sketchbooks...another thing to add to the list!

Before :
Our Sketchbook Adventure
Sketchbooks and Leaves
Sketchbooks, Six Weeks In...


  1. You might think that these sketch books need a little something more but I think they are amazing and given a bit more time, they will show so much development:) If I were to add anything at all, I would just have the children dictate to you something about their drawing and write it exactly as they say in the book going forward. That will spice it up a bit and still preserve the drawings. This is wonderful - truly wonderful.

  2. I love these. Beautiful. Wonderful how much space they are using on the page.

  3. Thank you - there are a few pages with dictations on post its, stuck onto the drawing the child did.

    And as for the space on the page, some children do one page per day, and when the book is full, they ask for a new one. Others have been working in the same book since the start of they year, adding setails to old drawings and sketching in any available space they can find.

  4. I'm really blown away by your use of sketchbooks. From the outside looking in, it looks remarkably productive.

  5. Thanks, Tom - it is nice to hear that. Just reflecting on it here has bad it feel much more successful, and worth the daily time!

  6. Like Tom said, from the outside looking in they look to be amazingly successful, and what a wonderful record of the children's development - and a wonderful book for the children to be able to share with their families and friends as well. I also think that kids appreciate having a book that is their very own, and that when they look back over their work they too feel a sense of accomplishment.


Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

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