Respectfully, I see nothing wrong with copying at this age occasionally. And
parent-pleasing is never the first goal of any art teacher that I have ever
known. It is a wonderful by product, however, and a compliment to the
I do the same thing with following placement of shapes to make an object in
the early grades. It assesses their fine motor capabilities, direction
following, visual perception skills, etc. You are breaking the object (cat)
into shapes which teaches the kids how to 'see' and decode a complicated
object, and allow them to be successful and enjoy the experience. It breaks
them out of formula drawing that kids continue to do anyway. They may
continue to draw their cats their own way on their own, but you have planted
the seed for them to draw what they see and become better observers. When I
do a cat project with 1st, I play the 'Simon sez' game. I do it, then they
do it. I have boxes of 24 colors and we learn the color families at the same
time with the Simon sez instruction. I tell them we are doing a shape and
line project. It is obvious they are drawing a cat face after the first
couple of shapes. I insist there is no cat on the paper, that they are all
seeing things, yada yada, its a lot of fun for their first art class. After
they are finished I finally admit it does sort of look like a cat, They
'jazz up' their cat with things like a background and hats and hair
bows.Then I show them the lithograph of "The Favorite Cat" by N. Currier.
We find the shapes they just drew and put together in the game. I tell them
that this is the first step to becoming real artists-learning how to see.
Isn't this our job in essence?
I will do other drawings like that occasionally during the year, and they
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts
can be counted. - Einstein"