Art Education – Illustrative Drawing – Senior Grade

ILLUSTRATIVE DRAWING should be taken up in this Form in practically the same way as in Form I, Junior Grade. A little truer telling of a story by pictures is to be expected here, however, and the seat work should take a more practical form. For instance, the pupils may make pictures of all the objects mentioned in any other lesson and write or letter the name under each picture. At another time the teacher may write on the black-board a number of sentences expressing action, for the pupils to illustrate in their seats ; or they may express a whole lesson by a series of pictures.

In number work, the making of pictures in this way may be made to provide profitable as well as interesting exercises for impressing tables and enabling the teacher to see at a glance whether or not the facts he has taught have been understood.

The pupils are usually very much interested in making pictures to illustrate nursery rhymes. One method of taking the illustration of a nursery rhyme with a Form I class is suggested here :


The teacher seats a little girl on a bench or table in one of the front corners of the room, so that the whole class may see her sitting on a large dictionary or a pile of books—something which will represent the ” tuffet “. She holds a bowl on her knee and dips a spoon in this, carrying it to her lips as though she were eating.

The pupils watch this tableau for a while and are then allowed to tell whom they think the little girl represents.

This question being settled, they are encouraged to describe the place where they like to eat the bowl of bread and milk or piece of bread and butter that mother gives them after school, and so suggestions are made as to Little Miss Muffet’s probable surroundings.

The little girl is then taken down from the bench or table and, after the first verse is repeated for them, the pupils close their eyes and think of the un-suspecting Little Miss Muffet eating away busily at her curds, with the spider dangling above her. As soon as they imagine they can see her, they open their eyes and make their pictures on one side of the drawing paper, using charcoal or black crayon.

During the lesson the teacher should have the pupils correct their drawings after the plan given in the lesson in Form I, Junior Grade.

When they have had time to make their pictures from the first verse, the second verse is repeated as vividly as possible by the teacher, and the pupils show in a new set of pictures how they imagine the startled Little Miss Muffet would act.

At the end of the lesson the best pictures are put up at the front, so that the whole class may be helped and inspired by them.


Little Bo Peep; Sing a Song of Sixpence; Rock-a-bye Baby, Thy Cradle is Green; Ding Dong Bell; Old King Cole; Hush-a-bye Baby on the Tree Top;

Little Tom Tucker; Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark; Three Little Mice sat down to Spin; The Mouse ran up the Clock; Jack and Jill; Little Boy Blue; Wee Willie Winkie; Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; I had a little Pony; Little Miss Muffet; Little Jack Horner; Jack be Nimble; Pussy cat, Pussy cat ! Where have you been?; Humpty Dumpty; and others.

In addition to the subjects already treated, simple fairy tales and other stories will be found excellent for illustration.

The following stories are recommended by a Kindergartner of experience, as likely to appeal to the imagination of the children. Stories should be told, not read to the class.

The Sleeping Princess, from a Kindergarten Story Book, by Jane Hoxie; Thumbling, from the Boston collection of Stories (adapted from Hans Christian Andersen) ; Wishing Wishes, Giant Energy and Fairy Skill, and The Search for the Good Child, from “Mother Stories”, by Maud Lindsay; The King of the Golden River, by Ruskin; Raggylug, from “Wild Animals I Have Known “, by Ernest Thompson-Seton; The Visit, from “More Mother Stories “, by Maud Lindsay; Little Deeds of Kindness, from ” In the Child’s World “, by E. Poulsson; The Legend of the Dipper, from “For the Children’s Hour” by Carolyn Bailey.



To develop the pupils’ imagination and power of expression.


A sheet of 6″ by 9″ drawing paper and charcoal or coloured crayon on each pupil’s desk.


As a preparation for this lesson, the teacher gives some time previously one or more lessons on drawing the Teddy bear, similar to that given among the Form I, Junior Grade lessons. Now, standing before the class he tells the story of Silverlocks and the Three Bears as vividly as possible. Five minutes is spent in a discussion of the story, as to the probable appearance of the house, the bears, and the several situations in which Silverlocks found herself.

The pupils close their eyes to see which of the many scenes in the story they see most distinctly; then, opening their eyes, each proceeds to depict the scene which is most vivid to him.

As they work, the teacher passes round, noting any mistakes that are being made. He then steps to the front and asks all to close their eyes while he calls attention to these mistakes, perhaps in some such way as this: “Silverlocks was a very little girl, and the trees in the wood were tall trees. How high up against the trees would her head come? You will remember that the bears’ house was two stories high, how big would little Silverlocks look beside it ?” The pupils then open their eyes and look at their drawings as the teacher asks : ” How many have made Silverlocks too tall and the trees and house too small ?” The pupils discover their mistakes and, where possible, correct them. When they find the paper too small to express things in proper proportion, they may be shown pictures where only a part of the house appears and where the upper part of the trees is cut off by the top of the picture. The pulling down of a window shade will help them to realize that we do see trees and houses occasionally in this way.

The best drawings may be collected and put up at the front. A good exercise in judgment would be to have the pupils choose the picture they consider best, giving their reasons for this decision.