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The Globe and Mail

Kindergarten drawing analysis

Kindergarten Diaries researcher Kadria Simons look at the thought process behind a child's drawing, and what it tells us about their stage of development

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Shajana, age 6 Analysis: When asked about her drawing, this child responded, “This is the school and the door and all the boys and girls and the teacher.” She successfully included the background by only colouring up to the edge of the figures. Notable as well are the relational size of the teacher and the detail of her face.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Mithulan, age 6 Analysis: In order to draw “in front”, this student drew a birds-eye-view of the school with the figures below. There is also a clear attempt at drawing the building in 3-D. The mental reference line of the sky is also included.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Nilaksha, age 6 Analysis: This child drew very detailed figures. The structure of her drawing suggests a sidewalk in front of the school.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Natasha, age 4 Analysis: This child cleverly attempted to draw “in front” by drawing smiles in the windows. Another interesting element is the level of detail and colour.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Mehak, age 5 Anaysis: Like most of the drawings we selected, this one shows smiles on all the figures. Studies have found that this is more typical of North American children’s drawings. The figures are shown below the school as a way to draw them “in front” of the school. This child also included the details of full hands and feet, hop scotch, windows, doors, and the mental reference lines of sky and land.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Yousef, age 4 Analysis: This drawing suggests that the blue and green are cars dropping kids off at school. Sribbles and squiggly lines create a lot of movement and action, which research suggests is more characteristic of boys’ drawings.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Prishil, age 6 Analysis: This child wants to be an illustrator when he grows up. In order to draw “in front”, he used a good strategy of filling the colour of the school first as a way to occlude the background. He also attempts to draw the teacher behind himself by drawing the teacher on top of himself.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Ryan, age 4 Analysis: This child attempted to draw the school building in 3-D, another sign of early beginnings of integrating elements of representational drawings.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Gloria, age 5 Analysis: In order to draw “in front”, this child drew a profile of the school with the steps on the side. We can see the mental reference lines of the land and the sky, represented by the sun.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Victoria, age 5 Analysis: As another way around “in front”, this child drew the figures beside the school. The inclusion of the mental reference lines of sky and land demonstrates a learning milestone in the development of children’s drawings. This child demonstrates a higher level of integration by using the sky to connect the bottom and top of the drawing. Although there are details like windows, torsos, clouds, clothing, and hair, this student commented that she “… put no noses on people so that their faces look pretty.”

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Ilai, age 5 Analysis: Bird’s eye view of school and jagged edges could represent corners and angles of building. Although the child said “we’re outside, in front of the school”, he was not able to visually integrate birds-eye-view with “in front” of the school.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Alfie, age 4 The school is represented by various lines and shapes. The figures are in proportion to the school and there is a clear understanding of the mental reference line of the ground. The top of the building looks slightly 3-D.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Harshil, age 6 Analysis: This student represented his friends by adding the first initial of their names and added details of hair on clothing on them. The figures, although not in proportion to the school, are in front of the building.

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Drawing Task: Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school. Student: Moukiloun, age 5 Analysis: As a way around drawing the figures in front, this child said “we’re inside the school.” There are many details in this drawing: hands and fingers, and part of the torso.

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Drawing Task: “Draw a picture of you and your teacher in front of the school.” Student: Rametprit, age 4 Analysis: Here we see the inclusion of the torso, ears, and hair bun. The student is able to show the school behind the figures, but has not yet grasped the idea of proportion.

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