Are you looking for a fun holiday gift idea that your students can make for their families? Well, you have come to the right place! Directed drawings are a fun way to practice listening skills, fine motor skills, and can make a cute gift along the way with this calendar. Keep reading to learn more about how to create these directed drawing calendars with your students!
These directed drawing calendars will be a hit with your students and an exciting gift for their families!
This activity works well with these resources:
What is the Directed Drawing Calendar?
The directed drawing calendar is a fully editable calendar where students draw a picture for each month with your guidance. This includes step-by-step directions to draw all twelve months of the year plus a self-portrait cover picture. You can bind these calendars together in several ways for your students to give them that real calendar feels!
Your students will love putting these fun calendars together. They are also a great holiday gift for your students, at a low cost. (Downloaded it again year after year and just edit the dates, too!) Families will love admiring these all year long. Check out an example of the directed drawing calendar below!
How to do directed drawings with kindergarteners.
Directed drawings are perfect for kindergarten (and beyond) but what does that look like?
Teacher at the front of the room modeling and students are at their desks. Before we begin, I talk about listening to the directions all the way before doing our strokes on our own paper. We talk about placement and spacing so things are somewhat where they are supposed to be on the page (i.e. leaving enough room for a hat or legs or whatever).
I like to use black marker but some teachers prefer using pencil and then tracing with black marker after so they get a more polished drawing.
We start with the first stroke. I describe the stroke very easily for the students and we give you that language in our directed drawings for this calendar. I model on my paper and then walk around and watch students make theirs offering encouragement so they feel confident. Then we move to the next stroke and the next stroke, etc.
We talk a lot about how ours will all look different, no two drawings will ever be a like and that is what makes them amazing. I model making mistakes, maybe my circle is not perfect or maybe I went a little too far with a line but that is OK in the end. I will think aloud things I see students working through on their own drawings.
After the picture is drawn, then we add our colors. Crayon looks beautiful and we make sure to color the entire paper with color. You can guide them to do one color for the background (that looks really cool) or draw in a relevant background for the picture drawn.
How to prep your calendars.
We do the cover on card stock and add a blank card stock page on the back. The monthly pages are regular paper. We edit the calendar using Adobe by adding the dates and holidays we want for the year.
Since you are doing 13 drawings and putting them together this is a teacher preference for organization and structure. Here are some ideas.
- Put the calendars together with all 14 pages (one per month, the cover, and the blank back page). Students will then flip to the right page before beginning (or you will before handing out).
- Do one drawing at a time. Collect the drawings and then bind them after.
How to bind your calendars.
Again, there are several options. Here are some we have seen.
- Staple it along the top.
- Use 2 binder rings along the top and just hole punch.
- Use a binding machine and add a comb.
A binding machine is great to use to make these last! Check out this one:
Most importantly, remember that the directed drawing calendar does not need to be completed all at once! Some teachers will start these months before the holidays and do one a week. Others will do one a day or even crank them all out in a week or so.
Students can also finish up coloring or adding details during centers or morning work if they are versed in doing directed drawings.
What about absences.
Of course, we all know absences will happen, so what should you do if you have an absent student while working on the calendar? A great idea is to add this to a center rotation or an independent station for your student to work on when they return! The Simply Kinder Directed Drawing Calendar gives you several options for independently do the drawings step by step.
Or check out the color-only option! It’s inevitable, you will have students who are absent when you do a drawing and so this option is a lifesaver! For each drawing in our Directed Drawing Calendar, we give you a matching coloring-only option where we drew the picture for you so students can just color it in quickly.
Directed Drawing calendars are so much fun!
Directed drawing calendars are a hit with students! At the end of the project, students are beaming with pride about the gift they have created. Above all, their hard work will come to life in this calendar project! Parents will absolutely love receiving these personalized and student-created gifts!
You will also love seeing the amazing pictures your students create!! The images shared in this article come from the Simply Kinder Teacher Facebook Group. You can see those posts here and here. Be sure to share your photos with us on the or tag us at @SimplyKinder on Instagram!
This post was written by Lindsey Ward. Lindsey is a certified teacher with several years of teaching experience and a great love for all things Kindergarten and First Grade.