At a recent conference I attended, an artist representative spoke about consistency of character when illustrating a book, but also when showing work in your portfolio. She suggested including at least three sample illustrations in progression. Starting with one image, the advice was to do another two showing what happened with that character before that image, and what happened after. While good advice for illustrators, I thought this would also make a wonderful drawing and writing exercise to use in the classroom.
Using a picture book, pick out a single illustration or a two page spread towards the middle of the book, using a book that children are not too familiar with. Cover any text with Post-it notes.
Ask children to look at the illustrations, and then come up with their own drawings of what might have happened before this illustration, and what might have happened after.
Depending on the age of the students, a more simple or complex book can be used for the prompt. This can also be used as a writing exercise only, or in combination with the drawings.
After children have completed the assignment, have them share work with their classmates, then reveal the illustrations and/or text from the actual book. How does the student work compare?