Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A DIBUJAR: Draw-Write-Now Books

If you are new to I Teach Dual Language, you may have missed this post from March about Writing Workshop in the primary bilingual classroom.  The video examples from that post are of an AMAZING Kindergarten teacher in a one-way 50/50 classroom.

The third step in her "Cinco pasos para la escritura" is DIBUJAR and it is such a crucial step.  With primary grade students, the drawing step is really the prewriting/drafting stage of the writing process.  I have been guilty of rushing kids through this step on to the  "more important" writing stage.  Sometimes I think we treat drawing as if kids should already know how to do that when it really has to be taught just as much as the letter formation and writing.

While the written word is as important in today's culture as ever, I believe the ability to create visual images is just as important and often neglected in our daily school routines.  Any teacher training worth your time will tell you that English language learners (and pretty much ALL learners) need us to provide them nonlinguistic images  and they need to create their own images.  BUT drawing and creating a visual presentation of something can be really hard and intimidating!

Enter some of my new favorite books!  Have you seen this Draw-Write-Now series?

The author of these books was a second grade teacher who wanted to improve her students' handwriting, pencil control, drawing ability, and observational skills.  The books focus on all sorts of different themes and scenes and they simplify drawing into simple steps and shapes like in the example below.

I checked one of these books out from the library and have been working through it with my four year old.  She is loving it and we are both learning how to draw better!

These books have been around for awhile so you can probably find them on eBay or at Half-Price Books (if you live in Dallas, you had better leave some at the store for me!!!).  As teachers of ELLs, I think these could be a really helpful tool for explicitly teaching our students how to draw/sketch images before writing.

Have any of you used these before or do you have another tool for helping your students become better at conveying meaning through their drawings?

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