Monday, November 22, 2010


When teaching illustration or story book art classes to children, I typically include projects based on fairy tales and fables, nursery rhymes, and contemporary children’s book creators and their choice of medium and style.  During each session, I also make sure to leave time for students to write and illustrate their own stories and accompanying illustrations. This often becomes the favorite part of the class! Most children will eagerly dive in to the project; others will sit and stare at blank pages wondering how to begin.

A class exercise I have found helpful to spark ideas from preschool age (who can work on wordless picture books) all the way up to middle school, is to come up with a story incorporating an “egg”. 

Using a hard-boiled or plastic egg, children take turns holding the egg in their hands. As it is held, have them close their eyes and ask the following questions to generate some story and illustration ideas:

Who lives in the egg?

Do they live inside or on top?

Is the egg itself your main character?

Who is this character or characters? Are they tiny people?  Are they animals, aliens or some type of other creature?

What do they look like?

What are they doing in or on the egg?

Does the egg stay still or does it roll, fly, break open or change into something else?

Does the egg stay where it is or does it travel somewhere?

These are just a few examples of endless questions that can be asked to get students started.  Any number of objects could be used in place of the egg to spark imaginations. The wackier, the better! It’s amazing how ideas begin to pour out using this simple exercise.

No comments:

Post a Comment