Monday, February 15, 2010

K's Drawing Notebook

For both N and K, we have used (and enjoyed) the Explode the Code series as a component of our language arts curriculum. N has completed the series and moved on to other things, and K was following behind at a good pace. When she finished Book 4 a few months ago, however, we both agreed she was ready for a break.

Although her reading comprehension and fluency are phenomenal, I felt that she could use more practice with writing. She loves to draw, so I thought of a way to incorporate drawing and writing into one daily activity--the Drawing Notebook. This has definitely been a successful addition to K's workboxes!

I downloaded a printable file for "story paper", which has a blank area at the top for a drawing and ruled lines on the bottom for writing. (Although not the exact one I used, has some great customizable story paper. There are tons of other options out there, as well--just do a search for "story paper".) Each day, K spends time drawing a picture:

When she's finished, I ask her to tell me about what she has drawn. In the process of discussing it, we decide on one or two sentences for her to write about her drawing. (Although I didn't have this in mind to begin with, I have found that this is a great way to introduce the concepts of "main idea", "summary", and "details" to a young child.) I then write out the sentence(s) we have crafted on a ruled dry-erase board:

If necessary, I will briefly review things like capitalization and punctuation, explaining anything that might be new to her. Then, she copies the sentences onto the bottom of her paper:

One day, K asked, "Mom, is it okay if I keep doing my Drawing Notebook every day for a really long time?" Can't ask for better proof that she's enjoying this activity!


Alyssa said...

Great idea! I will try doing this with my 6 year old reluctant writer.

I found your blog via the latter-dayhomeschooling blog. Keep writing! I am also a homeschooling mom of 4 (ages 6,4,2, and 2 months); I love your ideas.

Could you write some more about how you use and organize workboxes? I have heard of the idea before but haven't tried it yet. Thanks!

Tarasine (pronounced Tara-seena, in case you were wondering) said...

Thanks for visiting, Alyssa! Always nice to know someone is reading what I write and that it might be helpful in some way.

I have been planning a post on my workbox system for quite a while, but just haven't gotten around to it. Knowing you're interested will give me an incentive to find the time to do it!