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Directed Drawings!! Why you should do them!

Hey guys!! It's Katie, from Little Warriors! Have you started doing directed drawings with your kiddos yet???

I am obsessed with directed drawings!!!! Who knew a 5-year-old could draw this well?!?! I didn't even know that I could draw this well!!!!!!!! Ha!!

I was first introduced to directed drawings about 4 years ago when, I got a unit from my friend, Deanna Jump and it had these Statue of Liberty directed drawing instructions in it. They looked soooo stinkin' cute!!! But, I was VERY skeptical that my students' drawings would turn out as cute as the ones that I saw on her blog!!!

Boy, was I wrong!!! I was hooked!!!!

As people walked down the hall in my school, they would stop and stare at these drawings. They noticed that EVERY. SINGLE. ONE was different and unique. They could tell that these were original drawings drawn by my budding little artist! "Did your KINDERGARTENERS draw these?!?!" They would ask. Yep!!! They sure did!!!!!

So, that's the first reason that I LOVE directed drawings!!! These are NOT your cookie cutter "art" projects that you so commonly see coming from Kinder classrooms. This is REAL art. They are real, unique masterpieces and I think that's part of why the kids love them so much too!!!

The second reason that I LOVE them so much is because it raises their confidence as artists so much!!!!! You would not believe how many perfect little Frankensteins that I saw everywhere after we did these!! In their journals, on the backs of their papers, in the writing center. But, it didn't stop there.....

I noticed that they were using the steps and techniques that we did in our directed drawings in the drawings that they were doing on their own!! Their skills were carrying over!

Directed Drawings are a GREAT exercise for listening and following directions!!! The kids know that they HAVE to stay focused and follow directions, or their drawings won't turn out. EVERY SINGLE one of my students listens intently as I give my step by step directions. They actually LOVE these activities because they LOVE the finished products!

You do NOT have to buy any lessons to make your drawings!! If you've never done them before, you should check out THIS awesome blog!!!!!!!! It's called ARTventurous This is where I got the directions for the reindeer (below) and the Frankensteins that you saw earlier.

Once you get the hang of it, you won't need the directions anymore. I did the Santas on my own in December and these snowmen last week! The key is breaking it down. Draw one single line at a time and describe exactly how to do it. I make sure EVERYONE'S pencil is DOWN while I'm giving the direction and their eyes have to be ON ME. I don't let them draw with me as I'm doing it. They watch a step with pencils down and once I've explained that step and drawn it, THEN they can pick their pencils up and do it.

Just have your students draw with pencil, then trace it with a black crayon. Then, color it in...(always reminding them to push hard). I also do the tracing step by step so that they don't fly through their tracing and it turns out sloppy. We trace ONE thing at a time :) For the backgrounds, I just mix a little tempra paint with water....and that's it.

We have started doing a directed drawing EVERY month this year! The kids love them, I love them, AND everyone that walks past them, can't help but stop and look at how different and unique our little masterpieces are!!

I encourage you to try them NEXT week!!! An activity that's FUN, encourages focus and attention for the entire time, builds confidence and gives your students the skills that they need to become proud, talented little artists!! You will be amazed at what your kids are drawing after your first lesson!!


  1. Oh my goodness...I love this post!! It is so spot on!! I love doing it at the beginning of a new unit so that they know how to draw the topic throughout! They are SOO much more confident and you are so right about following directions. :)

  2. I love this! I keep seeing these on instagram and love them, but didn't know how to incorporate them! I love the idea of them being speaking and listening activities ;) Thanks for sharing!

  3. You have inspired me to give these a try with my second graders! They LOVE to draw and I know you're right about boosting their confidence. I really like the way they each look different - I am not a fan of the "cookie cutter" art projects! I'm off to visit ArtVenturous and find my first idea! ~ Lisa

  4. I love doing directed drawings with my classes! I was very nervous in the beginning but the kids do an amazing job and have so much fun!
    First Grade Found Me

  5. Love, love, love this Katie! Thanks so much.

  6. I encourage you to check out a really great program called Drawing Into Reading, Project 64...there are educational, fine motor benefits to drawing as well - for handwriting & learning to use the midline correctly.

    As a first year Kindergarten teacher, I was astounded at how little fine motor some kiddos came to school with. My teammates filled me in on what they did to improve it, tweezers, play do, finger exercises, & I spoke with our OT (but OT services are auxiliary, meaning a kiddo has to have an IEP before OT services can be added, can't have an OT only IEP).

    I began searching for ideas & found Wendy's program - it has changed our school for the BETTER! Now, kiddos Pre-K - 2nd draw in our school, reaping all the benefits of tracking print, copying from the document camera, listening, following directions, attentive for 70 min. of drawing, & have marked FINE MOTOR gains!

    She has a website: & blog:

  7. Totally agree! I love directed drawings. One of my favs is doing a directed drawing of MLK, Jr.

  8. I've done the reindeer. They turned out so incredibly adorable. We're doing a Cat in the Hat next week.