Visual Thinking and Writing

Young children are often immersed in a world of crayons, watercolours, pencils and paper.  They love drawing and scribbling. And they embrace the artworld without any fears. Everyone admires their artworks. Then when a child starts to read, drawing and sketching are not a priority. The focus is one how many words he can read or spell correctly. The skills to think in pictures is not valued. Yet an approach to that supports children to think in pictures along with words promotes the development of the whole brain.

Marissa Moss  is the author of the children’s book series Amelia’s Notebook. Marissa uses a mixture to words and drawings. You get the feeling that it is Amelia who tells you about her ideas about the world.


Some school has adopted this approach to the classroom, where notebooks are a place where the students can write and draw without being graded for their work. But you can also make a little notebook together and use it at home.

You find some great tips for encouraging children to use drawings and words in their journal at Marissa’s website. From the beginning it might be good you use some writing prompts but after a while children start to play around with the words and the sketches.

Writing Prompts

  • Skating on the ice is. . .
  • If I were a snowflake  I’d. . .
  • If I rule the world, I would. . .

You find plenty of writing prompts at Journal Buddies.

Of course, you can pick out a dictionary or browse some magazines and make up your own writing prompts by combing two words like red and water. You might end up with writing prompts like “If water tasted like strawberry, I would. . . (the word red makes you think of strawberry).  Or “I spotted something red by the river. . . ” (the word water makes you think of a river).

Sparking Thinkibity Book Tips
Amelia’s Notebook

Photo: Amelia’s Guide to Babysitting



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