A few years ago I attended a workshop about teaching students learning English as a second language. A technique the speaker shared was “live drawing”. During the live-drawing lesson, the teacher draws a picture of whatever subject she may be teaching- in her example she drew an insect. As she drew, she spoke about her drawing and thought aloud. The idea being, students who cannot understand the language yet, can make a connection to the image drawn and have some understanding. As the teacher speaks and thinks aloud, English language learners are able to increase their vocabulary.
I’ve adapted the live-drawing technique to serve as shared-writing in my Preschool. As we conclude our intensive study of each letter of the alphabet, we create a shared-writing page using the live-drawing technique. Students are able to volunteer words starting with the letter being written about, demonstrating their development of phonemic awareness. I draw the children’s volunteered words, narrating and thinking aloud as I draw.
Students will often recommend I use a particular color, or suggest how I draw a particular image. Students become creative writers when we participate in these warm and lively writing sessions. We take pride in, and display, and often revisit our work.