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Re: [teacherartexchange] Teaching to Observe


From: Sharon (sharon_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Sep 11 2008 - 03:13:10 PDT

The second day of school I put the words "Observation", "Imagination"
and "Memory" on the board and had the kids give me definitions and
tell me the differences between them. They concluded that memory and
imagination are related because if you can't remember all the details
of something, imagination takes over.

Then I had them divide a piece of sketchbook paper in half. On the
top half, I had them draw a piece of popcorn from memory. On the
bottom half, I asked them to draw a circle and then turn it into an
M&M. (Some kids' memories were pretty good and they got the font
correct.) For good measure, I then had them draw, from memory, the
M&M cartoon characters.

I had them flip their papers over as I passed out napkins, gave them
popcorn and small snack size packages of M&Ms and had them draw from
observation. Of course their observational drawings were much more

Might not be practical with large classes, but whenever I can involve
food (I've also used popcorn and Oreos or other familiar candy like
Hershey Kisses) I can usually get their attention. :-)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 1:47 AM, Chantal Pinnow <> wrote:
> Does anyone have a good example to teach kids to draw what they ACTUALLY
> see, not just what they think they know it looks like? My class was doing an
> observation painting of their open lockers. I got very frustrated with kids
> who after a couple of days, didn't even have their locker open or wouldn't
> rearrange their books the same way as they drew it on the first day. Their
> answer was always "I know what it looks like." My question is "How do you do
> an observation drawing if you aren't observing anything?" I understand that
> some artwork is from memory or imagination, but we are doing observation
> paintings.
> I would like a way to show them that you may THINK you know what something
> looks like, but when you actually take time to observe you may notice things
> are quite different. Sorry for the rant. That class just left and I was a
> bit frustrated with them.
> Chantal

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