Reading Activity: “Draw A…”

Last summer, I created a simple drawing activity to encourage my students to practice some literacy skills. I offered a variety of pages with the words “Draw a…” followed by another word or a combination of words. It got my students clamoring for a turn in my reading center, so I decided to expand upon it this year. Again, it was a hit.

The first pages that I made available contained a few simple words, but I soon offered bigger challenges. I selected the words somewhat carefully, incorporating various literacy skills we had previously addressed, such as silent ‘e’ words, digraphs, and sight words. I included some humor, as well. I find that silliness is one of the best ways to engage children with literacy activities.

To kick things off, I briefly introduced the word ‘draw’ as a sight word. Students then did their best to read the remaining words. It wasn’t always easy. Most students required support with at least a few words. However, after struggling to get through each sentence, they were rewarded with a chance to draw. I think this balance between a challenging activity and a fun, relaxing creative activity is in part what has made this lesson successful. Often, when children begin to read sentences, they are overwhelmed by the length of content they encounter, in books and elsewhere. They labor and succeed in reading a whole sentence and the reward is… the subsequent challenging sentence. This drawing activity helps by breaking it up a bit.

Another useful characteristic of this activity: it served as a simple but useful assessment of my students’ literacy skills. I saved what they drew, looked at them after class, and reflected upon which words they needed support to read. I was able to record some rich information.

You can view and download the 11 pages I used for this activity by following this link (pdf).
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Tip: ask a child to draw a sad sheep and you’ll probably end up with something adorable.

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