I think it was five or six years ago that I went out to San Francisco to visit my BFF Mimi. Her daughter, Fifi, attended an arts based charter school and her kindergarten teacher welcomed me into his classroom for the day.
As the children arrived, they would draw the picture and word he had drawn on the chalkboard. I was amazed at the children's ability to reproduce his images. It was a simple task but I saw so many rich and wonderful processes at work. First, and perhaps most obvious, was the eye-hand coordination. There was the visual perceptual development and spatial perceptions. But what truly captured me was the incredible power of image and word dancing together. What would it be like to do this day after day – new words, word family words, theme based words all linked with a picture symbol.
Five years later, I am hooked. I begin this process mid-year as their fine motor skills have developed a bit further.
My drawing on the white board with the word written below. There is no instructions given. The children just look up on the board – draw and write the word at the level they can do it.
A sampling of the children's work: