Friday, February 20, 2015

Read and Draw

Here is a very easy post-reading activity to implement in class. It is called Read and Draw, and the objective is exactly how it sounds - students read a short story and illustrate it. I usually have students do a Read and Draw after we have gone over a story for at least two days in various ways. What I love most about doing this activity is how low-key but effective it is.

There is some setup on your end:
  • A short COMPREHENSIBLE story (around 10-15 sentences) which the class has been going over a number of days in various ways. I would not use a story which students have not seen.
  • Paper with cartoon frames on them. I usually print them out for students so they know how many frames they are to illustrate.
  1. Tell students that they are illustrate each sentence from the story using the cartoon frames
  2. In addition to illustrating, students are to label the parts of their cartoon with the corresponding Latin word. Students are NOT to write the sentence itself but to label their picture
  3. I usually give students 20-25 minutes to complete this at one sitting, but there are others who will have students do a Read and Draw as part of telling a story. After each sentence which the teacher tells as part of a story, students have 2 minutes to do a Read and Draw of that particular sentence.The Read and Draw then becomes incorporated as part of the storytelling.

Optional post Read and Draw activities
  1. Ask students comprehension questions in Latin about the story. Students can use the Read and Draw as a reference.
  2. Using the Read and Draw, in partners, students retell the story to each other. 
  3. Using the Read and Draw, students rewrite the story as a Timed Write.
  1. This is another way to get students to interact with the language using different modalities. They are demonstrating comprehension through drawing the sentence but are writing the Latin which corresponds to each part of the picture.
  2. Because students themselves are drawing visual representations of the words, they are creating a personal association with the vocabulary in a meaningful context.
  3. Tell students not to get caught up in their drawings too much. To quote the great Sally Davis, "Everyone can draw stick figures!" Some students will complain that they cannot draw at all, while others will spend 20 minutes on just one frame. 
  4. It is a student-centered activity. As the teacher, I simply facilitate!


  1. I am thinking about doing this as part of a review of a larger story we have been reading in class. Do you think this would work if I condense the story down to about 10-15 main sentences? Or should I let the students condense the story down to their own 10-15 sentences by having the story in front of them?

    Also, if I were to condense the story and if I am understanding your process correctly, I would be the one reading each sentence aloud in Latin and they would take a couple minutes to draw that sentence?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Personally, I the teacher would condense the story down myself so that all students have the same sentences with which to work. Because it is a shorter version of the original story, the Read/Draw version becomes a form of an embedded reading.

      You can do a Read/Draw different ways. I have projected a few sentences of the story on the board, discussed it with circling, PQAs, etc, and then given students 2-3 minutes to draw and to label as much as they can, and then started over with a new set of sentences from the story. Some students do not like it, because they feel rushed. Other times, I have given students the 10-15 sentences on a sheet of paper and given students 25 minutes to draw and to label as much as they could in that time. Some students like that way better, because they can work at their own pace. Either way, students are still interacting with the language in a story. Hope that helps some.