My 3rd graders are ALWAYS asking, "Can we draw?" I get a sad look on my face and think about how much I loved drawing when I was a kid and the opportunity for self-expression drawing provides. Often, my answer is no. Why?
High-stakes testing has increased the pressure on the elementary teacher to focus so heavily on maximizing our reading, writing, and math time that teachers often feel as if they don't want to "get caught" doing arts and crafts activities. In Indiana we have the standardized testing that all students 3--10 take, PLUS a separate reading test that is used to determine passing to 4th grade. So when can we draw? How can we fit in little moments the students really enjoy?
Here are some printable picture prompts to answer that dilemma! Each page features an incomplete picture with instructions on what to draw to make the scene complete. I find that when I DO have drawing be part of an activity it takes students FAR too long to finish. Part of that time is students thinking of what to draw! This eliminates that problem. They provide a nice balance between student freedom/self-expression and clear guidelines.
Following the picture section is a short writing prompt coinciding with the picture. Once again, it is broad enough to allow students to be creative and independent, while at the same time setting up a clear writing goal. It could be finishing a narrative or conversation, writing a description, or explaining a situation.
Another great thing about this TeachersPayTeachers purchase? It's ALIVE! I will be adding more prompt pages to this collection as time goes by and YOU won't have to pay more! Whenever you purchase this set, you will receive the prompts currently in the set. When I add more prompts I will increase the price, but YOU can come back and download the updated set without paying any extra! You will get a notification on your TPT "My Purchases" page when the product has been revised. As of the original date of this post, there are 13 prompts included. (Updated in January 2016 to include 19 total prompts) Go get it now at my TeachersPayTeachers store!