This morning we started our day with a drawing/listening/comprehension/reading activity which we called “Draw What You Hear”.
This worked so well! However, I confess that trying to settle down two active boys proved to be the hardest part of the activity.
The idea behind “Draw What You Hear” is for children to listen to a story, or part of a story, without seeing the illustrations in the book. They need to create a drawing in their mind of what is happening.
Once they’ve created a picture in their mind, then it’s time to actually draw it using art materials.
We began by collecting pillows and finding a comfortable place to sit or lie down so we could listen carefully. As I said, this was the hardest part. After numerous expeditions in search of more pillows, and countless reshuffles, we were ready to start.
The book we focused on was entitled “Bump In the Night” by Edward Hemingway. While this is a great book, you could do this activity with any book.
I read aloud part of the book to the boys, stopping to add in extra descriptions as needed.
Next it was time to bring the pictures in our imaginations into reality with the help of some drawing materials and paper.
I loved the way the boys created drawings which were truly individualized. While they’d been listening to the same story, the drawings were unique.
One added a bed with a boy and a teddy while another included a wardrobe in which a monster had been hiding.
Once the drawings were complete, we all piled back into one lounge chair and snuggled in to explore the rest of the book. Along the way, we stopped to ask a million questions and explore all the little details the illustrator had cleverly woven into the story.
Drawing What You Hear allows children to:
- Exercise listening and comprehension skills
- Focus on the language/vocabulary used in the book
- Gain a greater understanding of the text
- Use creativity and imagination
- Refine fine motor skills when physically drawing.
- Choose a book that is rich in descriptive language.
- Alternatively, add your own descriptive language to help explain what is going on in the illustration.
- Reassure children that there are no right or wrong pictures. The drawings they create are uniquely theirs and valuable because of their individuality.
Encourage children to:
- Dictate or write the main ideas of the story beneath their drawings.
- Talk about the story. What was the most important part of the story or who were the main characters?
I really enjoyed participating in this activity with the boys. It’s one we hope to use much more frequently.
The only problem is that we’re rapidly running out of wall space for all these creative works of art. What a great problem to have!
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Return to the Articles List for other children’s learning activities or children’s book reviews.