Update: Warm Ups!
For the past couple months, students have been doing observational drawing during their beginning of class Warm Up activity. (Click here to view Dec. 2 post: "Warm Ups!") For the observational drawings, I encouraged students to make changes to their drawings using their imaginations. In order to more explicitly help students access their memories and imagination, after the holiday break I introduced a warm up activity I call "Story Sticks."
Story Sticks are labeled popsicle sticks that have four categories: Character, Condition, Feeling and Setting. I draw one stick from each category to create a prompt for a 4 minute drawing. Some of the words on the sticks are cat, island, sunny, mad, ghost, garden, rainy, worried, car, dinosaur, misty, scared, etc. The prompts can be funny and often put characters in unusual circumstances.
The Story Sticks are meant to provide a starting point for drawing and students are not obligated to stick to the catagories drawn. I encourage them to use their own ideas and that if they have a better idea than the one suggested by the story sticks they should do it! I find the drawings fascinating and I find out things about what the students know, think and feel and generally students have interesting and personal stories about what is going on in their drawings.
Click here for student art inspired by the prompt: a lonely boat in the fog at a castle.