Doodling / representational (this session with the 5th graders)

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Session 4 – Doodling. Approximately one and a half hours.
Starting with one element. Adding from there by proximity and expanding the drawing.
Tool: a black fine line marker and a fine point Sharpie.

For this second session of doodling we talked about using “representational” elements and about the fact that representational doodles are often either a collection of elements or constitute a story.

To inspire the students, and because doodling is often associated with another activity (listening to music, the radio, giving a phone call), I proposed to them to listen to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.

Steve Jobs’ death a few days earlier was the occasion for the teacher to talk with the students about his impact and his legacy.

The commencement speech at Stanford is a powerful speech, maybe not very cheerful but right to the point: “Love what you do – Follow your Heart”, through three short stories. Steve Jobs talks about connecting the dots and the circumstances of his birth, then what happened when he was fired by Apple and finally when he was diagnosed with cancer and his close encounter with death. He finished his speech with these famous words: “Stay Hungry, stay foolish”.

I thought it could be a wonderful inspiration for the students. But the doodle did not have to include elements of the speech.

They started doodling as the speech started and then we talked about it. When the speech was finished, the students continued doodling listening to the speech a second time.

Along the way, their doodling included more and more “visual” elements from the speech.

Doodling / abstract (this session with the 5th graders)

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Session 3 – Doodling. Approximately one and a half hours.
Starting with one element (preferably somewhere in the center area of the page).
Adding from there by proximity and expanding the drawing.
Tool: a black fine line marker.

At the beginning of the session, I showed the students a short Power Point presentation with a series of examples of abstract doodling. I want them to feel at ease with the idea of doodling without having to “represent” anything and to try to let go and draw whatever idea comes to their hand. For those who wanted to do otherwise, they could – of course.

In some cases, the doodles were abstract at the beginning and became representational somewhere along the way: like the ones with the women and their long decorated dresses.

I encouraged the students to do only one doodle during the session, to see where they could go, by adding more and more elements. But if they wanted, they could get another sheet of paper and start another doodle.