Do You Doodle? Activity 131.

I’d like to share a 2-5 minute activity that is not directly ELT/EFL/ESL-related but can be used in a lesson of English adding some creativity, relaxation, silence (possibly) and a chance to reflect. You and your students need a piece of paper to make an outline of their hand, and a pen or a pencil. If there are color markers available, it can be a plus, although I think we can be very creative and resourceful even with minimal supplies at hand. So…

… I wonder if the pictures below are enough to explain what needs to be done. Yes, these are made by me, and no, they are not the most beautiful piece of art I have ever created. [Note: I remember my CELTA tutor saying that a teacher’s ‘art’ needs to be imperfect, even if prepared at home, otherwise, the learners may be demotivated. I like this strategy!]

If you would like to read a bit of explanation, this post from Education Voice blog may be very helpful: Mindful Doodling. The reasons the author is listing are all true for the Hand adaptation, and as you see, making a frame in Step 1 can be as creative as we can only get. And there is much, much more research about Doodling being helpful for mental health, creativity, learning, and living.

I have first heard the idea at a session by Ihor Zabolotny and his Artscribe team. It is a Ukrainian consulting agency based in the city of Chernihiv, and their great list of services and creative idea include ‘graphic facilitation’, ‘visual presenting’, ‘strategizing sessions for business’, and many, many more cool ideas. I first attended Ihor’s sessions in the spring of 2020, when stress and uncertainty were high due to COVID-19 lockdown, and everyone was looking for ideas to adapt and develop in business and living. Who knew how different the reasons for all Ukrainians would be in 2022… Stress-reduction activities are much needed in the classroom (or even online lessons) and in the kids’ free time (and I think they can also work for parents or teachers just as well).

Made by my sister, on her padlet. No drawing involved 😉

Do you ‘doodle’? If yes, what benefits do you feel? If not, would you like to spend 5 minutes trying this out, and adding a note (in the comments) on how it felt, and other reflections? I must say that I have followed the steps to have the pictures for this post, and it helped get focused on the task I felt was the main one for the day. I would now like to make this a small routine to get started on a working day or a difficult item on my list. I will tell you how it works in the future posts.

Would you consider trying this out with your students or participants? I would love to hear how this goes!

This describes #131 from ‘It’s in (Y)Our Hands’ list where I share one activity for each of the day the war in Ukraine continues. Thank you for reading, and #StandWithUkraine!

In Ukrainian, it says ‘Victory’. Artist: Nikita Titov. We are all working towards making this word a reality!

About Zhenya

ELT: teacher educator, trainer coach, reflective practice addict
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