Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

Lessons Plans

Our lesson plans are written and reviewed by educators using current research and the best instructional practices and are aligned to state and national standards. Choose from hundreds of topics and strategies.

More

 

Professional Development

Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.

More

 

HomeProfessional DevelopmentStrategy Guides

Strategy Guide

The Art of the Doodle: Writing with Imagination

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

The Art of the Doodle: Writing with Imagination

Grades 5 – 12
Author

Jenna Grites

Oakwood, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

Strategy Guide Series Differentiating Instruction

See All Strategy Guides in this series 

 

Research Basis

Strategy in Practice

Related Resources

Use independent, imaginative artwork and varied writing prompts to assess understanding of a given topic for a student body with differentiated needs.

Research Basis

 

As Vygotsky (1967) explains, creative activity is vital for full flourishing of the brain and mental growth; he states that “imagination, as the basis of all creative activity, is an important component of absolutely all aspects of cultural life” (p. 9). Using art in the classroom allows students to transcend the traditional or basic levels of understanding (Sidelnick) and access multiple knowledge bases, allowing deeper understanding and a sense of accomplishment. Providing differentiated writing prompts allows students of differing abilities to reach the same learning objectives through instruction which is based on their needs.

Accessing imagination allows students a deeper level of understanding and the chance to use their creativity to build a more personal meaning. When differentiating for students of varying ability levels, it is often useful to leave some aspects of the assignment the same. This way, the students feel they are still performing equally with their peers.

Sidelnick, M. A., & Svoboda, M. L. (2000). The Bridge Between Drawing and Writing: Hannah’s Story. The Reading Teacher, 54(2), 174-184.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1967). Imagination and Creativity in Childhood. Journal of Russian and Eastern European Psychology, 42(1), 7-97.

 

Strategy in Practice

back to top

 
  • Show students the “doodle” itself. This is a miscellaneous shape or image, such as these examples, which can be easily adapted and altered to fit into a larger image. 
  • Assign the differentiated writing prompts. The prompt in this case (from an 8th grade ELA class analyzing the effectiveness of a fictional story developing the theme “all actions have consequences”) is intended to encourage students to think abstractly, but could be altered to fit any situation.
    • Students who struggle with abstract thought may need prompts more clearly connected to the text: “All of our characters made choices that led to consequences. What was the most challenging consequence for the characters, and why?”
    • Students with a moderate ability to think abstractly may need a more open-ended prompt: “Our characters have learned that all actions have consequences. Do you think the consequences in the story were fair?”
    • Students with more refined abilities in abstract thought may need a more challenging prompt which requires them think very critically: “Consider how the characters in the story have acted. Will the lessons they have learned affect their behavior in the future, when faced with a similar decision?”
    • See the Differentiating the Reading Experience for Students Strategy Guide for more ideas regarding differentiating writing tasks relating reading and writing.
  • Explain the assignment:
    • Students should answer the prompt, trying to include three main explanations for the “why” of their answer.
    • They should then draw a picture which illustrates their answer. Within the picture, the “doodle” image must be hidden somewhere: the background, the foreground, a small detail, or a large element of the illustration. It must be organically included as a part of the image. See this example for a student responding to a less abstract prompt; this student is responding to a prompt with more demands for abstract thinking.
  • Students should have time in class to outline their argument and brainstorm their illustration, then homework time as well.
  • Students share their writing and illustrations, looking for the different ways they incorporated the doodle as part of the discussion.

Related Resources

back to top

 

Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Ekphrasis: Using Art to Inspire Poetry

In this lesson, students explore ekphrasis—writing inspired by art. Students find pieces of art that inspire them and compose a booklet of poems about the pieces they have chosen.