Slice of Life: Doodle Your Way into the Days

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

This morning, all of my students are going to get a huge, oversized calendar labeled October: Doodles of Place. And each day, when they arrive, part of their routine will be to look at the board, find the day’s theme, and doodle into the box for the day.

This is all part of CLMOOC’s October Doodle Month — a way to inspire art among the affinity network — and for the upcoming Write Out Project, the free online collaborative place-based project which launches in two weeks (October 13) and encompasses the National Day on Writing on October 20.

The daily doodle themes, which were gathered by crowdsourcing the list, are all about place — from rural places to urban spaces and areas in-between. Each morning, at The Daily Connect, a daily theme/idea will be released.

You can join in, too. (Today’s theme is Mountains). The Daily Connect site is here, and you can sign up for email notices (see the sidebar of The Daily Connect) or just keep an eye on the #clmooc hashtag on Twitter.

I’m curious about what my students make on their Doodle calendars, and I’m even more curious because we are starting up a connected project with some classrooms in California, and they are going to be doodling, too, and we hope to have kids share their doodle art via Flipgrid later in the month.

Why doodle? Well, first of all, making art is a great way to start the morning, and I know I have plenty of artists and comic book creators and more in my classroom. Second, it provides a connection point with another school on the other side of the country. Third, it will give us points to talk about how place informs stories, and how stories inform place.

And it’s fun.

I’ll be doodling at school on my calendar, but also, I am aiming to write small daily poems on the theme each day, too, here at home, as part of my own daily writing routine.

Here was the first poem, inspired by the theme of Mountain:

and crevasse marks;
the scale of it nearly
overwhelms the senses
— you can’t look up
from below to understand
the scale of this place —
you need to gaze out
from above

Peace (doodling it everywhere),

  1. What an interesting project – a doodle a day. Thanks for sharing and I love that you are bringing it to your classroom. Your connection and dedication to writing daily is an inspiration, can’t wait to follow your journey.

  2. Hmm, when I saw your title I assumed you were doing Inktober (we are in my class), but as usual, you sent me a surprise. This sounds like a fun project! You start your morning with it and we are starting our afternoon drawing. I am sure you will learn more about your students over the course of this.

  3. Gotta love a good doodle and especially one that leads to a poem! Thanks for the idea for NationalDay on Writing. I’m trying to collect some ideas to send to principals so that we have some participation this year!

  4. Doodling must be a wonderful way to make art, Kevin. The doodles I made in high school and college were flourishes with fancy endpoints like the hands of dancers reaching out beyond the body. I look forward to hearing more of your poetry this month. If you create or your students create poems that address my “AbundantAutumn challenge theme, please let me know. Today’s poem is an inspirational one, Kevin. Don’t forget to send me a poem about Fall if you create one.

  5. This artsy exercise reminds me of a reading program I used in my resource room. Struggling readers are asked to show their comprehension by drawing the meaning of simple sentences (coat on goat, goat on coat). For those who also had verbal expression difficulties, this was much less daunting than oral conferencing about reading. I hope your drawing exercises tap into academic skills that students might not be able to show otherwise. Please share your thoughts on how the doodling impacts their writing as the month progresses!

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