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Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills


Students worked hard all week? Do they deserve a special reward for a job well done? This activity will offer students a nice break from structured learning. Adapt it to fit your needs. Have some Friday Fun!


This activity is excellent for developing students' communication skills; it demonstrates the importance of listening and asking the right questions (inquiry skills).

Arrange students into pairs. Have each pair of students sit at their desks back-to-back, with the writing surfaces of their desks in front of them. Tell students that one of them will be Student "A" and the other will be Student "B." Have students in each pair choose one of the letters.

After students have chosen their letters, ask each student to write his or her letter in the top corner of a blank sheet of paper.

Next, instruct all "A's" to spend 2 minutes drawing something on their papers. Students need not be good at drawing; even stick drawings will suffice for this activity. (Partners may not look at or talk to each other during this part of the activity.) While "A's" are drawing, "B's" should remain in their seats. At the end of the 2-minute drawing period, instruct "A's" to put down their pens/pencils.

Next, tell "B's" to pick up their pens/pencils. Instruct "A's" to give a clear description of their drawings to their respective partners. Instruct "B's" to listen only to their partners' instructions. Each "B" will use the oral instructions to try to re-create his or her partner's drawing. Allow 5 minutes for this next step.

Remember: The only means of communication is for each "A" to provide a description of the drawing to his or her partner. "B's" can only listen and draw. Partners should remain sitting back-to-back at all times during this part of the activity.
At the end of the 5-minute time period, instruct "B's" to put down their pens/pencils.

Allow a few minutes for partners to show each other their drawings and discuss the results.

For the next part of the activity, instruct partners to resume their back-to-back positions. Provide each student with a clean sheet of drawing paper and tell students that the second part of the activity will be different from the first part. Then have "B's" spend 3 minutes drawing on their papers. Students should use the entire 3 minutes to draw something beyond a simple shape or two. When the time is up, "B's" should put down their pens/pencils.

Remind all pairs to remain seated back-to-back. Instruct all "A's" to prepare to draw. Tell students that this time the "A's" are going to reproduce their partners' drawings, but the only way they can obtain information about those drawings is by asking yes or no questions. Emphasize that only questions that can be answered yes or no are allowed. Allow students 5 minutes to complete this part of the activity. When time is up, have partners compare their drawings.

Take time to discuss the difficulties or successes experienced by the pairs. Ask which exercise was more difficult and why. Discuss what they learned about the need for effective communication.


Drawing Lesson Improves Communication Skills
Education World (May 10, 2002)

Find links to more Friday Fun activity ideas in our Friday Fun archive.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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