The Big Book of Pick and Draw Activities

This post has a book review of The Big Book of Pick and Draw Activities, compiled and edited by Rich Davis.

Do you teach fiction writing?  nonfiction writing? art? work with autistic children? teach Sunday School? work with children experiencing grief?  This ONE book is for you. What a book!  What a book!  This is an amazing book that accompanies the drawing game, PICK AND DRAW, also by Rich Davis.

Before I read it, I thought it would be about drawing and basically be for art teachers.  However, my first impression was completely wrong.  This book has CCSS (Common Core State Standards) and chapters written by educational experts in a number of areas.  It has strong pedagogy and wonderful lessons for a variety of educational subjects and settings.  The lessons are practical, quickly implemented, memorable, and very complete.

Great For Party Fun

Every child likes to draw and the card deck approach helps them feel successful.  The success helps students be confident in other subject areas.  I have even heard some people use the game at birthday parties!  It is great when children don’t realize they are learning because they are engaged and having fun.  I am surprised by the number of people I know who own the game.  So the game is well known, and now hopefully the book will be as well. This is a link to a web page where you can sample playing the game. This is a link to a blog post where Rich Davis demonstrates drawing a winter tree in a free video.

Would you believe this book helps teach fiction writing, nonfiction writing, self-awareness, understanding idioms, caricature, different countries, educational posters, art (of course), and grief counseling with children and teens?  Believe it.  It helps children with autism.  It will also help share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with very complete lesson ideas named the Heart Messages, and scripture passages are provided.  There is even more!  These materials can be used in mission work with children and teens.  Darcy Pattison is editor and the one with the Divine inspiration for the whole book. Pattison is the one who helped base the book on the common core standards.  She has a great children’s book writing web site and has helped thousands of writers.

Using The Big Book Of Pick And Draw To Write Stories In Under An Hour

This is a great and concise chapter, written by Darcy Pattison.  It has such wonderful ideas for the application of the PICK AND DRAW game in writing class.  Yes, in an hour.  This fast-paced approach skips over the usual writing worry, fret, and chewing of pencils.  It has more tips and ideas than I have read in many professional books about writing workshop.  Yes, we know children should tell the story they are going to write across their fingers or touch three pieces of paper to tell the beginning, middle, and end of their story.  However, students who are asked to do this with “little-work-on” or understanding of their characters.  This chapter tells us to have the students give their characters a first, middle, and last name so they will be more committed to the story. The drawing cards are worked in so well, that by the time the children begin writing, they have a character they understand.  I don’t want to give away too much, but here is a link to a page with a free preview of the book.  This is a brilliant approach to writing students will enjoy.  Their writing pieces will be more effective due to the questions they have to consider before writing.  They will certainly be writing for readers!

You can probably understand how drawing and learning about idioms (see pages 40 and 41 for a list) would work well together, but it may seem a stretch to think it could help teach nonfiction writing or the study of different countries.  However, such a study can be enhanced with drawing.  Suggestions are given for even more ideas using technology as part of the lessons. Carla Killough McClafferty is an award winning author of nonfiction books, and she wrote the nonfiction writing chapter.  Rachel Masters wrote the chapter on using digital photo-editing and drawing to do some armchair traveling.

Help With Grief

Angela Hamblen L.C.S.W. is the Director of the Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief, and she wrote about using these materials with teens in grief.  The chapter is sound and excellent.  Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D. wrote the chapter about using the materials with autistic children.  She has a free newsletter with strategies for parents and teachers at HorizonsDRCcom.  The chapters have a wealth of helpful information, and it is a pleasant book to read as it is generously and cleverly illustrated by Rich Davis.  Even the Table of Contents is illustrated.

Jolanthe Erb used PICK AND DRAW while she was on a missions trip in Tanzania for Compassion International.  I enjoyed reading and clicking to see the photos and read her comments.  What a nice blog, Homeschool Creations.

This positive, upbeat, helpful, educationally valid book would be an asset to any teacher or teaching situation.  It is flexible enough to be able to be used with almost any age group of students.  The ideas are easy to implement. The lessons are crystal clear and understandable.

Rich has this quote on his email messages:

“God has made every person an artist of some kind. Someone you know or meet today may be waiting for you to notice.”

This book will help you bring out the talents of every child.  Students will enjoy learning and feel empowered to do work in subject areas, as well.  Teachers, you will enjoy teaching with this book, and that can’t be said of too many professional development books.

Here are some links for Rich Davis:

Thank you for reading, Carolyn


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Penny Cleaning Science Experiment Using Kitchen Staples

Did you know things like ketchup, salt, vinegar, and lemon juice will clean and brighten pennies? If your pennies are all bright and shiny, you can keep them in water overnight to allow them to darken for this experiment. Warning, children might like to do this over and over!