Blog Archives

Drawing on the Right Side Anyone?

All of my students get practice in observational drawing but 5th graders get the

Betty Edwards treatment!

Betty Edwards is an artist and teacher who developed unique drawing exercises connected to right/left brain research that can enable anyone to draw.  All you have to do is find your R-Mode and let it do it’s thing!

With my 5th graders, we start the year by creating a Vase Face; an exercise in drawing that gets students focused on drawing what they see, rather than what they think they see.


Check out the official

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain


to create your own Vase Face and to learn more!

Do you use Betty Edwards strategies in your classroom?

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to help kids get started with

observational drawing?


Right or Left?

No, I’m not talking about Right or Left handedness or even politics.  I’m talking about Right and Left brained thinking.  I happen to be a Right Brainer and I suppose that’s why I’m always late for things or why I flutter back and forth across my classroom as I pick up at the end of the day instead of taking care of one thing at a time.  The research on right and left brained dominance is abundant; in fact, it has become quite popular these days.

We know that the left brain thinks in a linear manner while the right is holistic. The left is sequential and the right is random. The left brain processes symbolically while the right is more concrete.  The left is Linguistic and the right is predominantly nonverbal. These are the basic ways of thinking and knowing that I teach my 5th grade students while they are learning how to discover and use their R-Modes in my classroom.

Being an art teacher, I spent years favoring Right Brain thinking, especially since the teaching strategies in most public schools are Left Brain dominant.  However, after reading Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, I walked away with an understanding and appreciation for both sides of the brain.  We can’t solely survive using or nurturing only one half of what’s inside our 8 pound heads!  We’ve got to nurture both sides of the brain and educate not only the whole child but the whole mind.  Now if only we could get our schools to add more fine arts time in the day…

Are you Right Brained or Left Brained?

Take this quiz to find out now!