Rozi is a comics artist and illustrator, whose art encourages the viewer to take a fresh look at the everyday objects and actions. As part of the DrawAble series of resources for learning at home or school, this resource shows children and teenagers how to create their own stories using objects found around their homes.
Notes for Teachers
What is the aim of this exercise?
This project offers children and teenagers a creative introduction to sequential storytelling.
The resource explores comics as a vehicle for drawing children’s own stories, using everyday objects as inspiration and/or a starting point. It encourages children to play and experiment with different elements of their narratives.
What age can this exercise be used with?
This resource can be used with ages 6 and upwards. The extension at the end may be suitable for older or gifted children.
How long does this exercise take?
This exercise will take between 30 minutes and an hour. Children may want to expand their narratives or create longer ones.
How do I measure success?
Success will be measured by the children’s enjoyment of the activity, and the ability to select objects and create narratives based on these objects.
More able or engaged children may show willingness to experiment with mark-making, giving personality and expression to the objects. They may demonstrate greater engagement in the process, and better storytelling skills.
Encourage children to “have a go” at creating a comic, even though the art form may be unfamiliar to them. Remind them that they do not have to have a “story”, or do not have to include text, using images to drive the narrative forward instead.
What can we try after this exercise?
Other resources exploring visual literacy, narratives and sequential drawing.
Try other DrawAble exercises and projects.
Since the very beginning of our time on earth, humans have used drawings to tell stories – and there’s rock art to prove it! From drawings of reindeer herds and fishing in Norway to dancing and giraffes in Libya. We humans all tell stories, and we love to hear them too!
So, what are we going to be doing?
In this activity, we’ll be discovering how to create a story from the things around us. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have any reindeer or giraffes nearby, but I think we can give it a pretty good go anyway!
We will be using our eyes to see, our hands to draw, and our imagination to create connections. And you can be sure that what you come up with will be very personal to you!
To tell our stories, we’ll be picking a few objects that we think can be used to tell a story. For now, we’re going to focus on three drawings, but in the future, this can involve as many drawings as you’d like. And long-term, this will help you to create a story out of absolutely nothing – which is a great power to have.
Why are we doing this?
Excellent question! Sometimes writing a story can be hard, and by using drawing as a tool, you can let the story reveal itself to you – like some kind of artistic magic.
And by drawing some random things you can tell your own story without needing to plan it out first, which can be pretty daunting.
What could my story look like?
There really is no limit to what you can create. So it could look like anything! It’s all down to what you pick to draw and how you choose to use that imagination of yours. When picking out your objects at home, be creative! It really is amazing what I could find around my home. What can you find around yours?
Great! Can we start now?
Like all things involving special powers, there are a few ground rules to go over first. Let me hand you over to my colleague Herman in Human Resources, who will be able to tell you more. One moment, please.
Hi everybody, I’m Herman, I’m here just to go through some of the ground-rules with you before you start on your drawing challenge. Okay, so number 1: Check with your designated adult before borrowing anything to draw. It might be delicate or easily breakable, so always ask first.
Number 2: If you’d like to find something outdoors, again, seek your designated adult’s permission first and be careful not to pick anything up that might be sharp or dangerous. If you’re not sure, ask for somebody’s help.
And number 3: Now this is the most important point of all. Have fun!
What objects should I pick?
Here’s where it starts getting fun! Have a look around you and see what is available. Is there a piece of food, or is it some clothing or technology? What do you like about it, or what do you dislike about it?
The same applies to outside. Now, I live in a flat so don’t have a garden, but I can always take a walk to my local park and see if there’s anything interesting there. Now, as Herman said if you’re not sure if you should pick something up or not, always check with your designated adult first.
Or, if you don’t like anything inside or outside, why not make something up? You can do that too.
I’m going to draw a Day of the Dead skull guy, because he’s kinda weird and that’s what I like about him.
Let’s get drawing!
Okay, remember our toolkit for today? Let’s add to it…
So, I’d suggest picking 2 or 3 materials you’d like to use. I’m going to pick this pencil for sketching, I’m going to pick this pen for going over the top of it, and I’m going to pick this crayon because I really like the colour. I’m also going to use about three pieces of paper for my drawings. And – can’t forget a rubber. Never forget a rubber!
When drawing your object, you don’t have to worry about it looking really realistic either. You could just do a line drawing, or use shading to highlight areas. You could even draw it cartoon-style, or completely and utterly abstract!
Let’s give this first object a go!
Super! Let’s move onto the second drawing. So, for drawing number 2 I think I’m going to pick a different object from around the flat that I collected earlier. And then for the third drawing, I’m going to combine the first two images together and see if I can make something kind of dumb and funny? Let’s see how we get on.
So, that’s my three! My next step is: I’m going to draw a panel border around each of my drawings and then cut them out. You don’t have to draw a panel border – it’s completely up to you.
I think I’m going to keep mine in the same order that I drew them. But If I change the order, it could tell a story too, don’t you think? I guess I could start with the third, and then have it 1 and 2, or 3, 2, 1, or 2, 3, 1. Have a play, see what you can come up with for your drawings.
So my set of drawings work pretty well without words, but I could add some in. With some scrap paper or another sheet of paper, write out some short sentences that could go with your comic. Would it be a poem or a short fact? Or some completely random words?
Have a draw, have a think, and see what you come up with!
And this is my final piece! What do you guys think?
Can we go again?
The great thing about this activity is that you can keep doing it over and over again to make more new short stories. If you want to try something longer, do one drawing a day every day for 5 days and see what you come up with. I did something similar for a comic of mine last year where I started drawing little rocks every day until it began to evolve into its own story. So if I can do it then you definitely can too!
Keep trying this challenge again and again – you’ll be amazed by what you can come up with
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