Kim and Cindy’s Art Studio Lessons Support Early Academic Learning for 4 to 6 Year Olds

As public school teachers with over 30 years experience, when Kim and I decided to establish our Monterey Art Studio, one of our main focuses had to be supporting academic achievement through our art lessons.  Kim has been teaching elementary school for six years and I have just retired from teaching K-12 over the past 26 years.

In our classes for 4 to 6 year olds, we use Drawing Through the Alphabet lessons designed by Mona Brookes, author of Drawing With Children.  Each lesson starts with a letter of the alphabet, and an object that starts with that letter becomes the focus of the drawing lesson.  For example, the letter n is the first letter of the word nest.  Our students begin their lesson with a practice sheet on which they trace a picture of a nest with two baby birds and then they draw that same picture in a blank space next to the picture.  They also practice writing the letter n across the top of the page, and the word nest at the bottom of the page.  An information sheet is provided which we read to the students.  This stimulates discussion about the drawing they will be doing.  We then give direct instruction during the drawing phase with students following along during our demonstration.

To accommodate shorter attention spans for younger children, we may take a short break to read a storybook connected to the topic of their drawing.  The last 15 to 20 minutes are spent coloring the drawings during which instruction is given about color – technique with the media, color theory, etc. – for a finished product to take home.

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The Drawing Through the Alphabet classes have supported the learning in my daughter’s Kindergarten class, and her grandmother loves getting the art work gifts!
Nathan M.