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Firefly Drafts

School: The Academy of Learning and Leadership

City/State: Milwaukee, WI

Grade(s): Pre-K

Format(s): Diagram

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

These drafts present evidence of critique and revision for two four-year-olds from the preschool of the Academy of Learning and Leadership in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who were involved in a Learning Expedition on insects. Three versions of two student’s scientific illustrations of fireflies demonstrate the potential of multiple drafts to improve or clarify learning – even for very young children.

Notice particularly the progression for Ahiya. Her progress was not entirely linear. Draft two was not a simple improvement from draft one, but rather shows experimentation that becomes useful in the subsequent draft. For draft two, Ahiya responded to feedback (i.e. “wings too small” or “tail not segmented enough”); her new focus on enlarging and clarifying the segments and wings caused her second draft to become distorted and disjointed. In her final draft, however, Ahiya incorporated this new detail and scaled it back down to better proportions, resulting in a notable level of precision and detail in her final illustration.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Demonstrates the possibility and power of critique and revision even for preschool students
  • Exemplifies the level of detail that can be captured in scientific drawings by young children with emergent fine motor skills
  • Serves as a fine example that the process of revision does not always proceed in a linear fashion – improving with each draft – but may include particular experiments or choices that inform the final product but are not necessarily clear steps forward
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