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It’s Not Just About The Turkey

Published on November 19, 2019 under Winter

So you know there are times that we do directed drawing. Usually only every six weeks or so. I appreciate the benefits of allowing the children to create art in their own way and in their own time. However, once in a while I do these little small group sessions with kids. Lots of learning goes on in them. The most important thing that I want kids to see while enjoying teacher directed drawings or art is that they are capable of creating. Sometimes I believe that before coaching a child through directed art experience they don’t realize they can control their fine motor muscles enough to be intentional about drawing. So today we tried being intentional while painting

Since it’s coming up on Thanksgiving and we’ve been reading books about Thanksgiving and talking about our Thanksgiving potluck I decided to try a directed painting of a turkey. I’ll walk you through the process

The first thing I do is help them put a smock on reminding them how that helps to keep our clothes clean. Sometimes in the rush of a day that little detail gets forgotten.

I also write their name at the top and the date and explain how important it is that an artist sign the painting so that we know who’s masterpiece this is.

Next I talk about the turkey and Thanksgiving. I instructed the children to paint a large circle at the bottom of the paper.

This reinforces what a circle  is and also the position word ” bottom.”

We talked about the parts of a turkey but I don’t think it’s really important that child knows a turkey has a beak or wattle . However when I tell them to pick up the paint brush in the yellow paint jar or the red I can assess what colors a child actually knows.

When I tell them to pick up the small paintbrush out of the green paint I can assist those words like smallest and largest.

And here’s where it gets a little more creative. I explain to all the children that most turkeys pretty much just have brown , gray , black or white feathers. I tell them traditionally in Preschool’s all over the world children have given turkeys colorful feathers. I allow them to do what their heart desires. I do tell them the feather should go on the top of the turkey -again reinforcing a position word ” top.”

The children were quite creative one even said she made a mommy turkey and the mommy turkey had boobs so the baby turkeys could eat. 😳 

Another thing that happens when we initiate an activity like this is many of the children want to join at once but this type of activity is done better one on one. So therefore we need to make a list of names. The children who want to join me next write their names on a list.

The children that struggled asked for help. This not only is giving them an opportunity to practice writing their name but reminds them that print has meaning.

Although I appreciate free art these activities make me happy when I see the children beaming with pride. It also makes me happy when I look back at all of the learning that took place while we were just playing and having fun and painting a silly turkey . 

It more than just a turkey.


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