7 practical tips for completing the Big School Sketchathon

Ideas for completing your 100-hour sketching marathon, supplied by our official Teachers' Club Ambassador, Kelly Sattin.


Struggling to fit those 100 hours in for the Sketchathon?  Here are some activities you can try, as suggested by Kelly Sattin...

1. Starting the day with sketching


Lots of us have an activity set for the children as soon as they enter the classroom in the morning. This could be a great time to include some sketching. Have something ready on the tables for the children to draw, an image on the board or use a ‘how to’ or ‘copy me’ style YouTube clip.

2. Ending the day with sketching  by setting it as homework!


As we all know, not all children do their homework. But maybe (just maybe) making it more creative via the Sketchathon can help… All while logging how many hours they spend on it — result! With my class, their homework was to draw a self-portrait and write around their drawing positive affirmations about themselves. They really enjoyed it and loved showing me their portraits.

3. Using drawing as an extension task


The squeeze is always on during the school day and there are always those children who finish activities really quickly and sometimes, we just haven’t planned an additional activity for them. So, why not give them a drawing bonus task? For example, in maths, the children could draw a story board for a word problem or turn numbers into animals. In English, they could do some observational sketching and label their sketch with adjectives describing it.

4. Doing creative brain-breaks 


Breaks in between activities or lessons are a great way to help the children to ‘reset’ and get ready for the next activity. So why not make it drawing themed? The children could draw on each other’s backs, have a 1-minute timer to draw an animal, draw something using only one type of shape or even play games such as Pictionary or ‘drawing hangman’.

5. Drawing on the tables


Not wanting to use lots of paper? Then why not let the children draw on the tables. It might sound a little mad, but the novelty of using whiteboard pens on the table will definitely encourage those children who may not enjoy drawing quite as much. And trust me, it does clean off with a bit of warm water and a paper towel!

6. Creating a bit of class collaboration


Have a large piece of paper stuck up on the wall or somewhere accessible for the children. During a day, or over the space of a week, the children can add any doodles or drawings that they like. They can even add to what others have drawn. By the end of the allotted time, your class will have a doodle masterpiece!

7. Turning story time into sketching time


My class love story time – and I bet yours does too. Why not tap into this by bringing sketching/doodling into your next reading session? While listening to the class text, you could challenge pupils to draw what they’re hearing along with the story. It’s guaranteed to create a calm atmosphere.

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