Directed Drawings: More Than Just Art

Directed drawings....have you tried it? In my opinion, it's a MUST in every classroom! I have witnessed so many of my quiet, introverted, students who never raise their hand for anything, flourish during our directed drawing lessons. Let me tell you why directed drawing are so much more than just an art project.

 Improve Listening Skills
During a directed drawing lesson, students are forced to listen and watch each step of the drawing process. This skill can be very tough for many students to master. I breakdown each step so that the entire process is manageable for all the students. I model the first step in front of the whole class. Then, it is the students' turn to try it. I walk around the room and monitor their progress, make adjustments where needed, then I introduce the next step. I try to encourage my students to limit their erasing. Their picture needs to be unique just like they are. It does not need to be a carbon copy of my sample. 

Connect To Other Learning
I always connect our drawing lessons to something we are studying and learning in language arts, science, or social studies. Currently, we are studying the life cycle of plants. This directed drawing lesson was a great connection to that learning. We used our new vocabulary words to describe the parts we were drawing. We discussed how each part functions and its importance. 

Improved Self Esteem
So many students struggle to meet academic benchmarks on a daily basis.  Our directed drawing lessons always seem to boost the self esteem of all my students, but especially my struggling students. These lessons give them a time to shine! There are no right or wrong answers. They can just be themselves and with a little guidance, they flourish! 

Evidence for Portfolios
I keep all our directed drawings from the year and create a "photo album" for the students to take home at the end of the year. They can see their growth from August to June. It also is a wonderful keepsake for their families. Sometimes we connect a writing assignment to our drawings, which is also a wonderful way to document all they have learned.

I hope you will give directed drawings a try in your classroom. Use the picture above to model the steps and get started today. Your students will love it!


  1. Hi there! Did your students paint these?

  2. I agree completely! Directed drawing does wonders for students' listening skills among other things. I have used it for several years now and can always see the difference when I guest teach an art project in another class. Beautiful flowers btw.

  3. Did you paint or pastels with your students? These are beautiful!