Getting Situated


This book is about drawing to emerge ideas and communicate them to yourself and to others. Just as writing something down is part of thinking and not just an end product of thought, the act of drawing things that can and cannot be seen generates new ideas and reveals unseen connections. Drawing for thinking can be more closely compared to a feverishly written note, than to a work of art. Communicating visually, through drawing, is a core practice to many fields and endeavors. However, in the world of post-secondary educators, it can be seen as fraught with peril. The barrier of one’s perceived drawing ability, on top of managing a lecture or facilitating a discussion, often means educators are hesitant to take advantage of a visual thinking practice. This is a missed opportunity, but the situation is changing. More and more people are realizing the power of drawing as an extension of thinking, taking advantage of how the act of drawing generates new ideas and reveals unseen connections.

Quite simply, Drawing in the Classroom generates learning.

This book has two sections, Lines to Things, and Things to Actions. From a creative and artistic background, we begin drawing from a place of play. In the second half we dive into interactive activities that provide new ways to achieve your pedagogical goals.

Each of the following activities will examine a specific skill and give you the opportunity to practice it. Each activity is worthwhile as a standalone, but by following the provided sequence (either from start to finish or in a mini cluster) will help to develop your visual vocabulary.

Each activity is broken down into the following four sections:

Set up – The list of materials needed and any special considerations for the space.

Instructions – A step by step of how the activity should be facilitated. We have tried to be brief so some adaptations and improvisations may be required.

Methods – Any tips that may be considered for how this plays out in a classroom. It may include some pedagogical goals, suggestions on how to adapt activities to your learning objects, or alternative ways of running the activity.

Add-on – Where can you go from here? There are many variations of these activities out there and we have tried to find them and share them here.

We recommend you skim through the book and get a feel for how all the activities build upon one another, but you can use them in any order and adapt them to your own needs.


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Drawing in Class by Jason Toal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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