Friday, August 29, 2014

Guided Drawing: Minions!

Photo from

Don’t you love it when you get to teach your students something fun AND work on skill building at the same time?  Me too!!  All of my classes, from 4th grade to seniors, start their first class by making folders that contain their projects throughout the school year.  By the time they are seniors, those folders are more function than form.  BUT…its different for my elementary students.  Its all still fresh and new down in the Art room for them and they are excited to make folders and decorate them.  

This year, I am starting a new behavior program for my elementary students (more on that later…) and wanted to work on listening skills as an important part of being successful…in the classroom…in a job…in life!  One great way to do that is through a guided drawing project that we could add to our project folders.

Now let me say that I am not a fan of this type of art on a regular basis.  Students need open options and opportunities to create their own visions.  I am absolutely passionate about the importance of student self expression.  BUT an activity like this does have its place!

1)  Bringing something current and timely into the classroom gets kids excited - its very 
motivating.  I love the minions from Pixar’s “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2” almost 
as much as my students.  They were so excited to learn how to draw these little guys!

(Sidenote:  We do talk a bit about copyright and not selling another person's ideas and art, etc…but at this age they are not trying to make a profit or steal someone’s ideas. They just want to draw. :-)  )

2)  It is, above all, a great listening exercise. Having to follow directions step by step is a great way to keep everyone tuned in.

3)  There is a high degree of success with an activity like this.  Students come in with such a wide range of skills.  Its great, every once in a while, for everyone to feel successful.  
That “I can do this!” attitude goes a long way toward feeling better about trying new things in Art class down the road.  We all need a little encouragement every now and then!

After we learned the basics, they were allowed to add any details, hairstyle changes, or other feature changes that they wanted to in order give their minion his/her own personality. The above photos were the practice drawings.  They did the final drawings right on their folders. 

It was a great way to start the year…and we’re ready for the next project! 

P.S.  I altered it some, but my initial drawing instructions came from this link.