Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It All Starts With a Squiggle...

Do you have one of those items in your 
bag of teacher tricks 
that you have used FOREVER, 
but just l♥ve?

For me, it's squiggles.
Let me preface by saying that this may not be my original idea.
I have been doing them so long (over 20 years!)
that I do not remember where the idea came from.

But I love using them,
and the best thing about them is,
and there is no prep!
(Unless you want to copy off a bunch just to have handy.)

I have used them in many different ways over the years,
and I thought I would share just a few with you.

It all starts with a squiggle...
just a simple black line or design 
somewhere on a blank page.

They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be.

I give my kiddos about 10 minutes 
to turn that squiggle 
into a pencil drawing.
While they are drawing, they are to be 

thinking about the story behind their picture.

Next they write their story.
I have different requirements for their stories, 
depending on what we're working on at the time.
For my littles, I just let them write a story about the picture.

After they finish their story, they get to color the picture.
After all, it is a writing assignment, 
so I want the focus on the writing.

Here are a few of their stories...

Want a class set of Squiggles?
Show students a few examples,
and then give everyone 
a black marker and a piece of paper.
Have each person make a squiggle.
Collect them all and you have a set of Squiggles to use.
Do you have someone in you class that LOVES to doodle?
Have them make some for you!
Along that same line, 
a few times I have had the students
draw a Squiggle.  
Then we pass the papers over or back 3 or 4 seats.
Students complete the writing activity that they just received.
Easy Peasy!
One year I made packets of about 30 designs on lined paper like this...
(lines on the back too.)

3-hole punched them and put them in a plastic pocket folder for each kiddo.
Everyone had their own Squiggle Stories notebook to work on if they had free time.

Another year "Squiggle Stories" was one of my year-long literacy centers.
Each week I put a new design in the center, along with a date stamp, and a two-hole punch.

Students kept all their stories in a pronged file folder at the center.
Each month they chose their best one or two stories for me to grade.

I have also made class books of Squiggle Stories
for the classroom library.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!

Got more ideas?
I would L♥VE to hear them!
Please share!


  1. Love these. I have a little one that is always doodling!! How can I get these?


    1. Melanie, you can right-click and save mine, but better yet, make your own or have your kids make them. :)

  2. This is so great! I've used a similar activity as an art lesson but what a great way to tie the writing in - Love it!

  3. We use squiggle pictures as a stimulus for philosophy. My 7 year olds enjoy the activity, now I can get them to extend the philosophy discussion into writing! Brilluant. Thanks vety much for this.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...