I remember Shoshanna was telling me that her son’s kindergarten teacher often asks her students to draw a favorite part of a story after reading it to them, this way she knows they will be tuned to the story and their mind stays in focus. I remember thinking how clever that was; she gets their attention and boosts their imagination at the same time.
The other day we were reading flotsam by David Wiesner (again), it is a story told in pictures only, of a curious boy who finds an underwater camera at the beach; after developing the film he discovers some fantastic photos of unreal scenes that are illustrated in a realistic manner, such as an octopus perching on an arm chair reading a tale to his little ones
a small oriental village made of shells mounted on to the back of a sea turtle, etc.
Somewhere in the process of telling the story, I remembered Connor’s teacher and a post I have recently read of drawing inspired by “The Little Prince”; I proposed to Ori and Zoe to make a drawing of an imaginary picture that could have been one of the pictures the camera took… the idea was a success.
A VAST world of imagination has just open up to us.
When we were done with the story we pulled some paper, markers and colored pencils, and we drew an underwater fantasy.
I always thought this book was wonderful, but trying to create an image inspired by the book made me realize how brilliant the author is.
You will need:
The book Flotsam
What to do:
Tell the story
Draw an imaginary picture that the camera may have taken
Discuss each other’s drawing
Hang on the wall
Thoughts and variations:
This activity could also be done with any other book and with any age group.
Drawing inspired by a story helps a child engage with the story on a deeper level, it encourages him/her to concentrate in the story and gain a better understanding. It increases creativity, noticing details, drawing skills, and helps with rendering thoughts and ideas onto paper.
Here are some ideas of what you may draw:
- your favorite part of the story
- a place depicted in the story
- your favorite character
- a different ending
- an instrument or a tool that was used in the story
Some other books that you may use for this exercise:
- It's Okay To Be Different : draw yourself and how different you are (you may offer to sit in front of a mirror)
- The Little Prince : draw a planet of your imagination (see Berlin's Whimsy: summer lists)
- My Father's Dragon
: draw a map of the Island of Tangerina and Wild Island; make a picture of the dragon (one of my favorite books)
These are just a few books that were lying in front of me, If you have any other suggestions, please add them in the comments below or email me.