This week we are dwelling in the world of flowers and plants. I told the children I knew a “scientific illustrator” – a person who draws illustrations of nature. We had our own bean plants growing and I took one and displayed the roots, stem, and leaves. I told them we were going to be “scientific illustrators” and draw/label a flower plant. We looked at photographs in books at the parts of real flowers and compared it to our bean plant.
They were so excited when we began drawing. They kept telling me more to add to the drawing – such as the sun, dirt and rain! One student inquired, “How do the plants stand up with out falling over?” We observed the plant we had removed from the soil. “What do you think?” It was amazing – they knew! It was the root system that “anchored” the plant.
Materials needed: sharpies and cardstock for the drawing, watercolors
Here's how to draw this illustration:
Step One: Draw a horizon line. Put the seed in dirt.
Step Two: Give the seed a solid root system. Draw these like little wiggly worms.
Step Three: Add the stem that has grown up out of the seed! Use two lines to make the stem.
Step Four: Make a circle at the top of the stem. Add the pollen as dots. Add the petals as ovals.
Step Five: Finally, let's add two leaves. I like making pointy ovals.
Step Six: Label the roots.
Step Seven: Label the seed.
Step Nine: Label the stem.
Step Ten: Label the flower, sun, rain and dirt.
Step Eleven: Watercolor!
Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing! We are getting into planting seeds so will have to try to make these here, too.
Love the paper flowers project you posted about too. So colorful and pretty.
Enjoy your weekend,
I love your kid’s artwork! I just recommended your blog on my site. Thanks for sharing your creativity!! What’s the name of the flowers in your header? I purchased some this past week and they’re beautiful!!
I love how unique every drawing is. Thanks for sharing your ideas!
very cute love the painting and teaching all in one! will star this in google so we can use it later (and link back to you!)
new follower great blog!
Thank you for sharing this idea! We start our Plants unit on Monday!
This is a great idea. I am so glad I found your blog!
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten
I love the idea of designating kids as “scientific illustrators”! Love the illustrations,too! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow
Wonderful idea, I find that children love to label drawings and this they will love.
Love your ideas!
I did this with my Kindergarten class with our painted lady butterflies.
Brilliant ideas thanks
How old are the children who
Did this activity
This particular example is from kindergarten.
What age is kindergarten?
In the United States, the age of kindergarten is 5-6 years of age, for public school. Of course this age can vary based on the individual child. Hope this helps!
Great idea! I will try this during our plants study!
What a great idea and I love the use of sharpies and watercolors together!
Thank you for the brilliant idea sharing. it inspiring me so much .
You are most welcome! We are so happy we inspire you!
I’m confused? Why weren’t the children drawing the parts? I would never draw an observation for the children to copy!
Hi Carol! This was a project that replaced the worksheet used at the public school among my kindergarten team. Additionally, the exercise replaced handwriting worksheets. It was one way to meet the pressure of drill and skill with an alternative. The class kept an observation journal that they did completely independently.
Yes i love what you do Sally but was very disappointed to see this. Please read Red and orange horses do they matter Wendy Lee
I totally get what you are pointing to. Again, I was in a high stakes environment with intense pressure and mandates by my administration (this post is dated 2011). This activity replaced horrifying worksheets. My classroom was basically arts integration and I stand by my choices at that time given my circumstances. Have you taught in a high stakes environment? I think it is easy to pass judgment but not as easy to make an intense situation work. I am over this kind of shaming. It blows my mind.
I am a big fan of diagrams and the emergent writing and drawing that ensues. I use the arrows on the app Skitch with their photos a lot to label and promote writing as well. I did not know that card stock works with water colours…my new learning for the day! Thanks for all the great ideas and information.
I loooove reading your posts! They are inspiring!
I wanted to ask what type of pens do you use with your students so that the water colour paints don’t become muddy with the black ink?
Hi Maryam! Black sharpies were used! Great question 🙂
A simple question. How can we teach the same in a Reggio way?
Regarding the Atelier and art mediums – I went to art school right out of high school so it is a big part of who I am. My approach to incorporating Reggio Inspired practices is to do what feels authentic and true to who I am, who the children, family and my community are. I do not believe there is a cookie cutter formula. So for me, guiding children on how to draw is an authentic expression. That said, I would not do this method with children under 4 years old. Another way I look at what I bring to children is to view it through the lens of “Does this honor children?” Having children under 4 do this is developmental inappropriate. As an adult taking a drawing course – the first thing an instructor will do is share some of the fundamental principles of drawing. Guided drawing is teaching children, who are ready, to see line and shape. Hope that helps.