When kids are young, every drawing is perfection – and it usually makes the ultimate location of the refrigerator. Children are intuitive in their understanding of composition. They understand better than adults the simplicity of composition.
Once, art in school was an important tool taught and nurtured to our children. Research has shown that children who are provided the opportunity to be creative are able to process writing better, question scientific processes quicker and develop other areas of learning because of continuing the creative ability to draw and paint.
Children who draw before they tackle writing tasks produce better writing – it’s longer, more syntactically sophisticated and has a greater variety of vocabulary. It is likely this is because the act of drawing concentrates the mind on the topic at hand, and provides an avenue for rehearsal before writing – rather like a first draft where they can sort things out before having to commit words to a page.
We understand things more deeply when we see them from multiple perspectives. Drawing what you have understood from a reading passage, drawing the science experiment you have just done or drawing the detail of an autumn leaf are all examples of engaging with the same learning from a different angle.
For most children, this helps consolidate the learning but for some children it can be the key they have been waiting for to open the door to the learning. The confidence and self belief this gives them can change their attitude and engagement with other aspects of schooling. This is disastrous, not just for the Arts and all their intrinsic worth – but for the reading and writing skills we are so focused on improving.
Research from cutbacks to Art Programs in school are already having a huge impact on our education system. For more information, continue to Let Kids Draw .