This sketchbook example shows how quickly Year 4 pupils change from using a simple symbol system to draw and move onto a different and sophisticated element system.
The Symbol System
We use simple shapes to make drawings. A square with a triangle on top is a house. A circle with two dots is a face. This system is brilliant especially when we need to say something in a nanosecond without words. Road signs and general information signs are perfect examples of this.
The Element System
This is when we use elements in drawing to make it look real or three dimensional. The elements we teach in Year 4 are Shape, Line, Light and Dark, Tone and Colour.
Adding these main elements to every drawing can achieve the realistic look children in Year 4 start to really desire and measure their own drawing success on.
In this sketchbook example you can see the pupil is beginning to work out that to make the objects look 3 dimensional she must add light and dark, tone. She needs to add colour and the line needs to be accurate.
Five main elements
You can see on the egg drawings that the pupil uses more than one colour then adapted the shape and added shading to one side. She has tried to get a good shape for the triangular prism, cube an ovoid and even though it is not there yet you can see the beginnings. I think at this stage both teachers and children need to tread carefully and appreciate these green shoots for what they are, which is progress.
The Smiley Face Assessment helps to track progress and self evaluation is so important. The comments at the end of the lesson from the rest of the class helped this pupil as they were complimentary and constructive. Considering this is 3 weeks into the term I am very pleased at the progression.
If any teacher of Year 4 wants to try this lesson go to the youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFm5oEm4Y2o&t=55s and let me know how you got on especially post the results.