visual communication

We have a guest blogger today! Elizabeth, art teacher and parent, describes the visual communication curriculum she and Gever have started implementing…


Visual Communication at Brightworks


Brightworks holds drawing with the same esteem as reading, writing and mathematical thinking.  Visual communication is an essential skill for creative minds and makers.  Children teach themselves to draw and will persist if supported.  There is no wrong way to draw your idea and often doodles can communicate ideas more efficiently and dramatically than words.  It is with this in mind that Gever and I restarted the Visual Communication program in January.  Our goal was to give children practice and confidence in their ability to communicate their thoughts with lines and images.



We borrowed ideas from many great drawing teachers to explore doodling, observational drawing, symbolism as well as examining materials and tools used by doodlers.  Gever also used his own years of illustrative note taking as a foundation for our work with the kids.





Each band has 45 minute sessions with me on Thursdays exploring doodling as a means of expression, communication and note taking. The younger bands looked at maps and drew their own representations of the Brightworks building.  The older groups worked off “The Sketchnote Handbook” by Mike Rohde to give them confidence using visual techniques for recording ideas.  All the bands experimented with drawing people and letterforms, and often our time was influenced by what each band was working with that week.




While their work may look simple on the surface, each child took the drawing time seriously and made improvement in their dexterity and focus.  Through the spring we will continue to practice our techniques. No high school graduate would ever exclaim “I can’t write,” and we plan that no Brightworks graduate will proclaim, “I can’t draw!”