Mini Lesson Using How to Draw Abstract Faces

We  had this weird gap day in our schedule a few weeks ago. All of my classes on the other days of the week were still working on other projects. This day's classes needed a mini-lesson to help them stay on track to start the next project with the rest of the kids. It is what it is. I could explain to you every detail of how we got to the point of needing a gap filled and why I didn't want to go ahead and start the next project until the other classes were ready, but you don't want to read all that. You are probably just going to look at the pics anyway! LOL!

I do a lot of different things to develop observational skills and drawing skills in my students. So, please don't think this is the only thing I ever do with them, cause it wouldn't be enough. We all know that! I used this "how to draw" from Art Projects for Kids, but I didn't show the steps. I only showed the end photo. I wanted them to try to figure out the steps: problem solving and observing. I also reviewed drawing patterns briefly. I told them they could draw any patterns and use any colors they chose.

I let them use the permanent markers and crayons. Some kids got less finished than others, which is totally okay in my classroom. I expect on-task behaviors, not racing-to-the-finish-line behaviors.

When I first started teaching art, I thought it was terrible to have students using "how to draws." I see value in doing this now, particularly for mini-lessons. They really do have to observe and think about what they are doing. I also make sure to have them draw from real-life, masterworks, and photographs as well. I think balance is important here.

What do you do for gap fillers? How do you feel about "how to draws?" I bet this'll cause a heated and controversial conversation among art teachers!

Have a good week, my loves! 


  1. What then does it mean to be an educator? Does it signify something different than the assigned job title? What I have learned through my work in higher education is that becoming an educator is not an automatic process. Everyone who is teaching adult students is not functioning as an engaging and highly effective educator. However, it is possible to learn how to educate rather than teach and that requires making a commitment to the profession.