5 Direct Benefits of Using Directed Drawings in School

students drawings of an apple with shade put on display in a classroom.

Contrary to popular belief, directed drawings can do more than fill time or be something to do just for “fun”. I’m certainly not denying that they are a fun activity for students, but there are many crucial benefits of using directed drawings that you probably haven’t considered. 

For students, directed drawings are a fun way to be creative and take a much-needed break from solving math problems or answering reading questions. 

For teachers, they’re a lifesaver for getting students to follow directions, improve hand-eye coordination, and add some moments of calm in the classroom. 

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Directed drawings should be a part of your lesson plans rather than used as needed. You may find that having these activities built into your lesson plans provides you with natural opportunities to work on some essential classroom skills.  If you’d like to tree a Directed Drawing in your classroom, I’ve got a FREE directed drawing of a flamingo!

Boost Creativity

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Children are naturally curious and extremely creative, but as they get older, things begin to shift. Incorporating directed drawings into your lessons can be an effective way to keep their creative juices flowing. 

Students increase in creativity is a benefit of using directed drawings. Students draw a scarecrow.
Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using the scarecrow directed drawing from 1st Grade Rooted in Reading.

When students follow simple step-by-step instructions to create their drawings, they are focused on the process rather than the final product. Your students will become more comfortable with the drawing process, which will encourage them to experiment with their own drawings in the future. 

Students that were once hesitant to illustrate and draw, now become more and more confident with practice!

Create Attention to Detail

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Having a strong sense of attention to detail is an important skill that will benefit your students beyond childhood. Directed drawings are a great way for students to practice this skill.

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Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using the owl directed drawing from 1st Grade Rooted in Reading.

As you guide students on directed drawings, they are discussing where and what to draw during each step. This creates visual-spatial skills that will be used throughout many different subject areas. 

Students are not focused on drawing the entire picture at once, but rather on the fine details along the way. Thus, creating a knack for paying attention to details!

Increase Student Confidence

It doesn’t matter how much you tell kids what they can do, without building their confidence through practice, they may never feel that they can get the hang of it.

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Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using the duck directed drawing from 1st Grade Rooted in Reading.

Believe it or not, as students follow along in the directed drawing process, they become more confident in their artistic skills. Their artwork comes to life with each new step creating excitement and relief in seeing their work pay off.

Your students will feel less overwhelmed by the drawing process when they have guidance through instructions. Eventually, they’ll feel confident in their art without the need for direction.

Enhance Fine Motor Skills

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Even in upper elementary grade levels, students could benefit from exercises that enhance their fine motor skills. Especially since they are necessary for all the writing they’ll endure throughout the year!

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Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using the cool apple directed drawing from 1st Grade Rooted in Reading.

Directed drawings are a perfect solution as students use their fine motor skills to hold and control the pencil. Controlling their hand movements will also improve their hand-eye coordination and handwriting skills. 

The most important part though… Students are having fun while developing these skills!

Use Directed Drawing Time to Create a Relaxing Environment

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Creating a relaxing environment may not seem like a skill but students can benefit from understanding how to use activities like drawing to create moments of calm in their lives — when things get chaotic or overwhelming.

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Image c/o of Jessica Petry @firstgradesfavoritedays using the lion directed drawing from 1st Grade Rooted in Reading.

The classroom can certainly become both of those things. You can use directed drawings to create a peaceful and therapeutic environment in the classroom. 

I don’t know about you, but every time I lead the class in a directed drawing, you can hear a pin drop! Directed drawing time is a calm and quiet time. 

Many teachers choose to do directed drawings on Friday (or at the end of the week) for this very reason. By the end of the week, we can all use a stress-free moment!

So, how do you use directed drawings as an integral part of your lesson plans? Check out these  7 ways to incorporate directed drawings into your plans.

If you’re ready to reap the benefits of using directed drawings in your classroom, I have a full selection of directed drawing packs with writing pages in my TPT store.

Don’t forget these directed drawings benefits, save the image below for later!

5 benefits of using directed drawings

Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


Sample a day of Rooted in Reading with these lesson plans and activities for Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar!