My little niece and nephew are in grades 1 & 2 respectively. They use a set of readers in class where the main character is an elephant called Tippie. When I visited them during the school holidays, they took great pride in reading to me from their books. I wanted to incorporate this into their fun activities and realized that it would be possible for them to draw and paint the character themselves, if I gave them some guidance. We did just that, and afterwards even drew and painted Tippie's cat as well. I show you how easy it is to involve yourself in your child's school career in today's blog and to get them even more excited about learning than they already are. I use a connect-the-dots method to help them with spacial orientation on the page. You may want to try this with your own kids as well.
This is the little reader we worked from.
I divided an A4 page in half to make the project slightly smaller in scale.
We started by wetting the watercolours. This makes them much easier to work with later on.
Tippie is the little elephant in the book and this is the drawing we would copy.
Start by drawing a rectangle on the page for Tippie's head. It was at this stage that I realized that kids of this age still struggle to get the size of the shapes right, because their spatial orientation isn't fully developed yet. I adjusted the project ever so slightly to assist them in this.
Round the corners of the rectangle.
Erase the square corners.
The six year old's attempt.
In the next step, I have them mark the outposts of the ears with dots. This will help them to get the ears in the right place and draw it a sensible size.
Connect the dots from the head.
Connect the dots with slightly curved lines and add the creases in the ears.
Tippie's body is a circle. Again we determine the perimeter with dots.
Connecting the dots ensures that the elephant's body is the required size.
Place dots in place for the arms.
Connect the dots to draw the arms.
The seven year old's attempt. Look at the tongue for an indication of the concentration required by this task.
My niece checking carefully to see what she needs to do next.
Mark the spaces for the legs with dots.
Connect the dots to draw the legs.
Erase the lines that cut the legs from the body.
Draw in the bottoms of Tippie's sleeves, after marking it with dots.
Draw in the sleeves.
Erase the lines of the arms as these won't show through the sleeves. There is an important lesson about spatial orientation in this as well.
Draw Tippie's hair.
Draw the bottom of Tippie's shirt.
Draw the stripes on Tippie's shirt and sleeves.
Draw a curved line to start the tail.
Draw a second line like the first to complete the tail. Connect them at the bottom end of the tail.
Mark Tippie's eyes with dots.
Draw Tippie's eyes. A verbal discussion followed here about how these lines conveyed emotion.
Three circles form Tippie's trunk.
Turn the page and draw a heart at the end of Tippie's trunk.
Erase the lines separating the circles and heart from each other.
Draw Tippie's mouth in two semicircles.
Tippie is not completed and it is time to paint him.
The kids wanted to use their own choice of colours and I allowed them this freedom. I stuck to the true colours in the book.
The completed Tippie.
Despite the challenges of the project, the kids remained fascinated and intrigued.
Not letting up on the concentration.
My version of Tippie.
The three final versions of Tippie.
The kids then wanted to draw Tippie's cat as well and we went on to do this. I share these steps with you in the next blog.
The seven year old's pictures.
The six year old's pictures.
Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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