Drawing in the Classroom - Expressions
Sketching on the board in class is something that most teachers do. As the saying goes, "a picture paints a thousand words". This is especially true in a language learning situation - ESL EFL in this case - where a quick sketch can help students focus and generate language related to the sketches.
Of course, many of us are not artists. I'm sure you will have noticed that I am no Gaugin ;-) - I'm not even as good as my daughter Katherine! At any rate, I recently had the privilege of doing another workshop with Mark Fletcher from English Experience who is highly regarded for his quick sketches. At his workshop we picked up some handy techniques for making quick sketches that are useful in the classroom for making quick sketches that will help students - and not waste time while the teacher struggles to draw. Here are some great tips about expressing emotion quickly.
The key to drawing quickly is the fact that humans usually fill in the missing information. The difference between "happy" and "sad" is one simple stroke - the smile or frown. There are basically seven expressions which can be quickly expressed in a few strokes of the marker or piece of chalk and cover quite a wide range of situations.
Here are the other five:
People usually tip their head to one side when laughing and open their mouths in a good chuckle.
Example: Why is he laughing? What Joke has he heard?
Slang the eyebrows down and raise the shoulders, open the mouth in a shout and you have one angry character!
Example: What happened to Tom? Why is he so angry?
Three crossed lines and a small open mouth - ouch.
Example: Have you ever bitten into a lemon? Can you describe the taste?
Embarrassment - or insecurity
Hunch those shoulders, slant the eyebrows up and you've got one perplexed individual.
Example: Do you think Jack has studied for the exam? What should he have done?
Put me into the horizontal and I'll close my eyes for some sweet dreams.
Example: Do you remember any dreams from last night?
As you can see, these figures convey a wealth of information with very little effort. You can liven up class discussions - or get them going - by quickly sketching a few of these on the board and asking how the person feels and why. Students fill in the information taking the sketches as cues.
The key to sketching quickly is adding just a few strokes which deliver the needed information.
For some great examples of how simple sketches can be used, take a look at some of the example lessons from Mark Fletcher's books at English Experience.
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