Is That a Sheep?

I shared my drawing of llamas today with my fifth graders.


I got a rousing, “Not bad!”


For some reason, they loved yesterday’s 5 minute timed writing prompt:

“Describe how to drive your teacher crazy.”

Ahhhh. Kids.


Each morning, I open my drawing book, 20 Ways to Draw Everything. I make myself draw whatever is in front of me. I am always tempted to draw the easiest figures. I might start with the easiest, but I know that I will not get better if I stick to the simple ones. My initial goal was to draw all 20, but because I have only 45 minutes to draw before I go to work, I choose about six: a few easy, a few difficult.

It’s become my morning meditation.

“I don’t know what to write…”

I get this complaint from at least one student a day when we do our timed writing. I learned this exercise from Natalie Goldberg. Write for five (or ten or fifteen) minutes straight. The only rule is that you don’t ever let your pencil stop. Just write. No censorship.

In my classroom, students write to a prompt. For example, “What makes a good life?” And then they write. This develops a strong writing voice over time.

Of course, as with anything else in life, you must do it regularly and give it 100% each time. You will improve. Yes, you’ll write a lot of crap. But any successful person has created a lot of crap and then a few golden nuggets…

Try it!