This chart often takes center stage in the primary classrooms I coach in. Drawing is writing at any level, but this is especially true in pre K-2 classrooms. Each point on this anchor chart is a critical mini-lesson, and I don’t typically teach them all at once. The chart is typically built over time, as teachers define and model these strategies for very new and inexperienced writers.
I’ve learned that using shapes helps little writers create recognizable figures faster, and this builds their confidence and pride very quickly. The shapes also make for wider bodies, rounder and more open faces, heftier limbs, and buildings that take up real space. Coaching kids to draw or outline in a dark color may not seem significant, but this is an important strategy to teach as well. Rather than scribbling and blending images together, the dark colors help them distinguish the elements of their pictures from one another. Pairing these strategies enables the careful placement of color and fine detail. Later, writers may begin labeling them, and eventually, the labels will inspire sentence creation.