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Grasshopper Card - Drafts

School: Alice B. Beal Elementary

City/State: Springfield, MA

Grade(s): 2

Format(s): Note cards

Subject(s): Science and Technology, Visual Arts

Project Overview

As part of a Learning Expedition on insects from Western Massachusetts, 2nd grade students from the Alice B. Beal School created note cards with detailed drawings and written descriptions of insects. This particular entry shows a 2nd grade student’s revision process through multiple critique sessions, via student feedback, through six drafts. The drawings were done from viewing photographs and scientific illustrations of grasshoppers.

  • Draft one shows a cartoon-like drawing, with a smiling face, standing upright. Students pointed out that Natalie had included the three body parts and the correct number of legs, but that grasshoppers don’t stand upright
  • Draft two shows a similar grasshopper with a smiling face, but standing horizontally, as the critique suggested. Student critique then suggested that the face should be in profile, not facing the audience, and that the legs needed a bend
  • Draft three shows the face (still smiling) now in profile, and the legs with joints. Student critique suggested stronger, fuller legs
  • Draft four shows thicker legs. Students suggested that the form was fairly close, but Natalie needed to look more closely at details
  • Draft five takes a great leap in the addition of careful details, showing much more careful observation. Note the change in direction of the grasshopper in this draft. Natalie used a light table to transfer her work from draft four to five when adding this detail, and she reversed the direction in this transfer

Finally, as shown in the actual note card, Natalie incorporates detail, color, form and overall accuracy in her depiction of a grasshopper.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Unusually powerful example of the power of critique, revision and multiple drafts to improve work; although this example is from second grade student, it would be useful to show to students K-12, or teachers of any discipline or grade level, as a clear visual model of the power of specific critique and multiple drafts
  • Shows tremendous transformation of a beginning cartoon-like drawing into a detailed scientific illustration

Relevant Resources

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can construct a closure on the topic of an informative/explanatory text.
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