“Illustrated by Children,” Ensign, Feb. 2003, 72
As a Primary teacher I have found storytelling to be one of the children’s favorite activities, especially when pictures go along with the story.
In my search for illustrations to use with my lessons, I looked for color pictures that were large enough for a group to see, but outside of the ward library I could find few pictures that would serve my story-time needs.
Eventually I turned to my own artistic abilities. One evening I tried to draw a crow for a story to be told in Primary the next day, but when my 10-year-old daughter asked me why I had drawn a whale, I groaned to myself and thought, “The kids could do better themselves!” Then I realized I had found a solution. I would let the children illustrate the stories.
Now when I have a story to tell, I read it through several times until I am familiar with it. Then I write numbers in the margins where I want to show an illustration. I take some plain sheets of paper and number them to correspond with the story.
Before I tell the story to the class, we have coloring time. I ask the children, “Who would like to draw a picture of a bird sitting in a tree for me?” or “Who will draw me a picture of a man building a fire?”
I hand out the papers with the corresponding numbers and some crayons or markers until all of the children are working on a picture. Sometimes I will ask two or three children to work together on one picture so that all the children are involved. I give them a time limit, then I collect the pictures and put them in order.
While I tell the story, the students give me their full attention because they want to see how their pictures fit into the story. Giving the children the opportunity to illustrate the story helps them pay closer attention, learn more, and retain more.
Linda Pratt, Mountain View 10th Ward, West Jordan Utah Mountain View Stake