MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Thematic Obsevational Drawing Ideas for Primary Students

Thematic Obsevational Drawing Ideas for Primary Students

Denise Jorud
Miltona Magnet School
Miltona, MN


I hope that this chart provides teachers with easy and practical items that can be used to for observational tables and observational drawing opportunities. Drawing requires the observer to focus on details such as shape, texture, line, and color. When students have time to study and then draw items in nature it increases their observational skills.

Learning Goals

To provide students with a weekly observational drawing experience that is both manageable for the teacher and increases the students observational skills and and opportunity to draw/use in their science notebook.

Context for Use

Although this will be difficult at first for students who are still developing their fine motor skills, with repeated experiences (once a week observational drawing experiences) you will be able to see the increased observational and drawing skills in their science note books.

Subject: Geoscience, Environmental Science
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Primary (K-2)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:K12, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science

Description and Teaching Materials

Use the chart to help inspire you to think of a weekly item that students can observe, study and then draw in their science notebook. chart and weekly plan (Microsoft Word 37kB Sep9 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Day 1
Introduce the item to the class.
Use the students' language to chart a description of the item.

Day 1-4
Practice drawing on scrap paper as part of a center or learning station.
I use it as one of my work board jobs during guided reading time!

Day 5
Have students use their science notebooks to draw the item of the week.
Have a students share their drawings with a partner, in small groups in as a whole class.


Use the student science notebooks to look for growth in both observational skills and drawing abilities.

Standards Sort objects in terms of color, size, shape and texture. (Students will need observational skills to be able to notice differenence between objects) Observe amd compare plants and animals.

References and Resources