Drawing is a great activity for kids. It helps improve their creativity, imagination, fine motor and most importantly their communication skills. Today I am sharing my number one favorite website for drawing that is simple and fun to use. While students can use paper for drawing, when students use online tools their drawings can be easily inserted into documents and shared with others.
Are you surprised? My all time favorite is google draw because so many kids are already used to the google interface and it is readily accessible directly from any other google product. It is a great starting place for students to have free access to a website for drawing where they can sketch, design and build tables and graphics. All drawings can be easily inserted into google docs, slides or jamboard easily! Jamboard is great for collaboration as well.
If you are doing a drawing activity with your class this is a great website for drawing which I mentioned before. Each student gets their own whiteboard and you can have them explain to you their idea in a drawing format.
Drawings are Worth a Thousand Words
The important point I want you to take away from this post is that drawing IS a communication tool that students should develop in order to communicate just as they would when they are speaking and writing. That drawing is the process of placing ideas on paper or in an online website for drawing and that the this drawing skill will help them communicate their ideas in many work situations. Some students are extremely comfortable with drawing as communication and others need to be taught. The point of sketching for communication is to get the idea across not the quality of the drawing. Below is a good example of an artistic sketch versus an icon which could be drawn using online website for drawing tools and finally the last image is the fish using the pen tool – the point is to get the concept of fish across.
Exercises to Practice Sketching as a Communication Tool in Your Classroom
A lot of people do not feel comfortable with their drawing skills but it is important to emphasize that this drawing is not for art but for communication therefore the idea that they are trying to get across is more important than the artistic quality of the drawing. When students start sketching make sure that they don’t censor their work, use thick lines for drawing so details are NOT important, annotate parts of the drawing that they can’t communicate in drawing, tell them to try to get in the creative flow and talking inhibits that so to work in silence until it is time to share and discuss. Here are some activities you can use in your classroom:
Sketch to Ideate
Set a time limit and have students sketch as many ideas as possible within the time limit. Tell them that they can’t delete or cross out any of the items they draw, just draw and move on. When the time is up students will share their sketches, discuss and move on to refine their ideas. Remember to remind your students that self-censoring goes against innovation and creativity.
Sketch to Explain a Process
Have students use the website for drawing tool to explain a process. They can use it to explain their planned process on a project, they can use it to explain a timeline, etc. Let drawing be an option for students to communication their ideas.
Sketch to Tell a Story
This is what we as humans have always done. We have sketched to capture moments and to tell stories. A good introductory activity is have students storyboard their stories before writing them.
Sketch to Spark Discussion
If your student is planning a website, book jacket, game board, etc. Have them sketch out different versions of it so that they can get as many ideas and to elicit feedback from others.
Use Website for Drawing In Your Classroom
Collaboration is enhanced when students can explain their ideas in different ways. Some students are more comfortable sketching out their ideas to help facilitate discussion. I know for a fact that when I am trying to get my ideas across to someone I always start sketching. This is an important transferable work skill and by helping students develop this in your classroom you are getting them future work ready.