Activity Plan 4-5: Observational Drawings
Enjoy children's individual interpretations of plant life as they create personal drawings
- Grades: PreK–K
- book about plants including How A Plant Crows by Bobbie D. Kalman (Crabtree Publishing, 1996; $5.95) and Oh Say Can You Seed?: All About Flowering Plants by Bonnie Worth (Random House, 2001; $8.99)
- chart paper, drawing paper, and lined writing paper
- pencils, colored pencils, crayons
- houseplants including ferns, cactus, flowering plants, and leafy plants
- index or sentence strip cards
- manila file folders
- magnifying glasses
- cardboard square, large metal clips to hold drawing paper (for drawing boards)
Objective: Children will create drawings of plants to develop science, observational, and communication skills.
1 Introduce the activity by reading nonfiction books about the parts of a plant and the lifecycle of a plant. Invite the class to develop a language experience chart to summarize what they learned. Then explain that they will make observational drawings of plants. Children should begin by studying indoor plants. Show them two or three plants. Explain that when doing an observational drawing it is important to look closely at the plants. Does the plant grow upward or sideways? What is the shape of the cactus or a plant's leaves or flowers? What is the texture? Encourage children to describe what they see.
2 Ask children to focus on one plant per day. Provide drawing paper, pencils, and colored pencils. Place a plant in the center of their drawing area. Write the name of the plant on a card and place it in front of the plant so children can write its name on their drawing. After they have completed their drawings, provide them with a sheet of lined paper and invite them to write about the plant. Give children file folders so that they can store their work.
3 Provide the class with drawing boards and plan several outdoor trips to draw different outdoor plants. Take along pencils, colored pencils, and magnifying glasses in case children want to draw very small plants. Use books or online sources to find the names of the plants they drew. Encourage them to write about their drawings.
4 Invite them to share their drawings and writings and encourage them to compare their observations about the different plants they drew. Invite them to describe how the outdoor plants were similar or different from the indoor plants. Create a language experience chart to document their responses.
Curriculum Connection: LITERACY
Plant Books. Invite the class to use their observational drawings and writings to make individual plant books. Provide children with bookbinding materials and paper to make covers for their books. Create a wall display with their books to document their plant study. Then place the books in the science or library area for everyone to enjoy.