Drawing is Mission-Critical (ht @davegray)

Two events in the last 24 hours have convinced me that drawing is mission-critical to teaching, and every teacher should receive at least rudimentary drawing training.  The first was Jason Schrage, (otherwise known as @osewgo98 on Twitter.com), who asked the cloud for some good note-taking ideas.  I told him about @davegray‘s note-taking style of drawing pictures, and I turned him on to the following video:

@Oswego98 was appreciative, but then a colleague of mine asked how I could help a student with comprehending the seven landscapes or terrain types of Africa, for a quiz I’m giving him and his classmates on Friday.

Overview of the sheet
Seven basic terrain types in Africa

In response to which, I produced this drawing with her — she started out copying my drawings, and then by the end of our session she was making her own. Here’s that drawing, and you can see the rest of the set here.

The thing is, which I’ve learned from Dave Gray and others, being a drawing artist or being a drawing teacher is a habit of mind and pen.  You can’t just whip out your pen one day and decide to be a great explainer using images.  It’s taken me two years to get to the point where I can do seven different pictures on the fly like this.  And this is with me being an artist at least every other day.  So I think we have a responsibility to learn our way through Dave Gray’s little videos on how to be a sketch artist — of cars, of faces, of napkin drawings — so that when we get a whole blackboard, we can create guerrilla acts of explanation on the fly.

Drawing is a mission-critical skill.  Learn it for yourself, and teach it to your colleagues and students.

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  1. Mr. Watt,
    I tried doing this and it helped a lot. I have a good memory, so I was able to picture the pictures in my head. Thank you for teaching this to 7B.

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