Pingite Picturam iam Pictam (Draw the Drawn Drawing)

I’ve created a new activity–I think.  If this is already out there, then I defer to it and whatever it is called.  In Latin I’m calling it PPP, but for other teachers maybe DDD or something else in your language.

This activity requires a little advanced set up.  Needed:

  • Class divided into groups of 6
  • One small whiteboard, markers and rag per group.
  • Three class artists identified at the beginning of class to create the original pictures.  I did this simply by saying:  I need three people who like to draw to take those three seats at the back.  They self identified, and I got real variety among them through the day.
  • A set of vocabulary to base the pictures on.  I had about 15 words, nouns and verbs mostly, that we have been using recently.

Process: Identify three “artists” (students willing to draw a picture), and give them a whiteboard and marker.  Show them the working vocab list and ask them to draw a picture on the whiteboard that is inspired by some of these words.  Tell them that they have no more than 10 minutes to complete the drawing, and more importantly, they cannot let anyone see their drawing.  They cannot even let each other see the other’s drawings. While they are drawing, engage the class in another activity that will take 10 minutes.

So, the activity begins when you have their three drawings in your safe-keeping. The class is sitting in groups of 6.  Using a social-emotional question, identify one student from each group, e.g.

  • Whose birthday is the closest to today?
  • Who put on lotion most recently?
  • Who most recently lifted weights?
  • Who has the most siblings?
  • Who  saw a scary movie last?

The identified student now gets the whiteboard, markers and rags for the group.  They sit in the middle of their group facing the teacher with the rest of their group huddled around them.

The teacher now selects one of the three completed pictures and holds it so that only the teacher can see it. The student who drew the picture being used is asked to sit out of this round, and will be the judge of who does the best job.  The other two artists can join one of the groups as participant.

The teacher begins, in L2, to describe the drawing that he/she is holding.  The identified student in each group begins to draw what they hear. The group huddled around helps the artist by listening for details that the artist may miss.  The teacher should describe the picture completely 3 times with the first round being very slow and careful. With each round of telling, you can raise the level of the complexity of the language.  For example, the first time, you may say in L2: In the picture there is a family.  There are three trees.  The trees are near the river. The second time you may say: in the picture The family is able to see three trees, and the trees are near a river.  The third time you might say: in the field near the river, three trees are seen by the family.  In oral rather than written terms, you are given them embedded versions of the complete scene each time.

At the end of the third description, the individual creations are brought to the front and placed on the whiteboard rail.  The teacher reveals the original, and the artist of that picture decides whose is the closest to the original. I like to have stickers for the winning teams to receive. 

Repeat twice more with the remaining pictures.  With each new round, have the person who just drew the picture for the group choose the next artist for their group. I’ve included quick photos of most of those produced by these classes.  The original drawing from which I was giving the description is usually in the middle and in color.  

Like anything, as we use this activity which creates more repetitions of vocabulary, focuses on listening and invites creativity, we will find variations that we prefer.  When that happens, please share them on Latin Best Practices on Facebook.

Bob Patrick