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I do a figure drawing unit every year with the first graders. I find that teaching them basic lines and shapes (elements) first helps out quite a bit. The first thing I teach them is how to draw a modified skeleton. It's a simple sketch that includes the head, neck, shoulders, arms (and elbows), spine, waist, legs, and knees and feet. Then after the skeleton is complete they draw their skeletons in various poses using a student to pose. I even draw some examples and have the kids try to pose like my drawings. They usually catch on pretty well. That of course takes up a whole 55 min. class. The next week we learn how to add skin and clothing over the skeleton and talk about how to press lightly on the paper so it's easy to cover the bones. We have a culminating project of a person in action that is painted and most of the time you can't see the skeletons. I'll attatch some pictures and send them to you on the next email.
I need some tips on teaching "drawing people" with first graders. I want to
teach them about using shapes to draw the people instead of making stick
people. I'm not sure I really want to draw examples myself in class-- I
end up either drawing something to hard for them to do, or I dumb down the
drawing to where it looks like a silly copy of a kid style drawing. I don't
want to give them the idea that there is a right/ wrong way to draw people, or
end up with a lot of stylized the drawings they tend to do- know what I mean?
Should the kids take turns posing as the model? Do you have any suggestions
on artist to look at- for east to understand drawings of people?