This year I added a new lesson format to our weekly schedule: Art and Fine Motor Instruction. During these weekly lessons we focus on enhancing the children’s fine motor skills through guided instruction. I choose our focus based on the children’s interests and needs or match our drawing practice to the inquiry projects we are working on. During the lesson, each student has their own 9 x 12 whiteboard and whiteboard marker with an eraser. I find that the non-permanence of the whiteboard is especially wonderful for this type of practice because it is totally risk-free. If the children draw something they don’t like, they can simply erase it and try again without getting frustrated. The format is completely accessible for all my learners – even those that are still learning how to grip a writing utensil correctly. I have to say, our weekly art lesson is probably my most treasured time of the week. The children are so engaged, focused, and excited. They always leave the lesson feeling more confident as artists than they did when they began.
This week, our focus was on drawing Snowflakes. I had noticed that snowflake designs were beginning to pop up everywhere – at the light table and in the children’s art and writing. I found this wonderful video on Youtube that provided some wonderful inspiration for the students and teaching points for me:
After watching the video a few times, I was able to pause it at certain points and, using the pens on my SMARTBoard, highlight the lines and shapes that are used to create a snowflake design. The children immediately began trying to create their own snowflakes on their boards. They noticed shapes and designs (diamonds, webs, dots, etc.) and experimented with symmetry. We stopped on several of the snowflake designs so the children could try them out. At the end of the lesson, the children excitedly held up their boards for all to see. They were so proud of themselves as artists!