In Pictures and in words – 3rd Takeaway Every part of a child’s work (writing and illustrating) is important

According to Ray, “the goal of studying the illustration techniques is to help young writers and illustrators understand that every part of a picture book they make is important, as is every decision about how the parts will be “laid on the page.”  By looking closely at the layout and design of picture books, children will come to realize how many decisions are in their control as they play the roles of writer, illustrator, and designer with more purposeful intention.” (p. 229)

Whether children make squiggles for superheroes,


Squiggles for underwater seaweed…



or big blue bathtubs for dogs…


Of course, in the writing workshop, the focus of illustration study is on composition and decision making, not drawing techniques, but color and detail add to the discussion and complexity of the work.

Ray, K.W. (2010). In pictures and in words: Teaching the qualities of good writing through illustrative study. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


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