A place to share ideas about play in a Prep classroom

Posts tagged ‘active learning processes’

D is for Dragonfly

 As the year has progressed I have been introducing  Observational Art activities to the children. During these sessions we have looked at real objects and discussed how they could be drawn. The purpose being to give the children opportunities to look at objects and visually dissect them. We observe the shapes of not just the whole but different parts of the object, their position and size, colour and patterns. Based on these observations the children draw the object. Today, instead of an object, we looked at   Dragonfly by Harry Hart, who is the grandson of the iconic Pro Hart. This painting is an interpretation of one with the same title, painted by his grandfather.

I began the session by putting an image of Dragonfly up on the Interactive Whiteboard.  The children sat in front of the IWB and had brown paper and, at this stage, just a pencil to draw with. We looked at the position, size and patterning of the eyes and the shape of the dragonfly’s body. When they were ready, the children began to draw.


 Next we looked at the wings and realised that the artist has only painted 2 wings instead of 4. We decided that as this was an observational drawing of the painting we would draw only 2 wings as well. We observed and drew the almost leaf like patterning on the wings. We then looked at the position and shape of the legs and antenna, counted and drew them.


With the main image now complete, we observed the other details of the painting, including the ants in the background and where the artist signed his work. We used a fine point black ink pen to draw the ants.

We observed that the ants had 3 body parts, 6 legs and antennae. We didn’t count how many ants there were. The children drew a minimum of 10 and many children drew more.


Once they were happy with their drawing, the outline of the dragonfly and their signature were drawn over in ink. Oil pastels were then used to colour their drawing, using their observation skills freely. The children were very engaged in the whole process and proud of their final result. Here are some examples.






Learning Statements-

Fine Motor Skills


Oral Language

Early Maths Understandings