Drawings are a great way for students to represent their thoughts or observations visually before expressing them in writing. They can take the form of sketches, detailed illustrations, or renditions of explanatory models. Sketches are quick and useful when representing concepts or modeling relationships early in a unit. Scientific illustrations help students to move beyond making basic observations to noticing distinctive features of objects in the world. Having students include labels also assists with vocabulary development. Before-during-after drawings are great ways for students to illustrate initial thoughts on explanations for phenomena.

Examples: sketches, scientific illustrations, comic strip, before-during-after drawings


Teacher Routine for Drawings:
How to get students ready
How to give feedback
What comes next
Elicit ideas

Make thinking visible

Develop vocabulary
Establish drawing conventions

For explanatory drawings, provide outlines. Students just draw in the details and labels.

Provide checklist or visual rubric

Have guiding questions for explanations
When collected:
-sticky notes in notebook
-comment on details, labels, descriptions
Students self-assess using checklist or rubric

Students provide written descriptions of drawings and include questions they have

Use sentence frames to scaffold descriptions or explanations

Summary table