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3 Ways Drawing Can Help You in School
3 Ways Drawing Can Help You in School : Page 2 of 2

3 Ways Drawing Can Help You in School

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3. How Drawing Can Help You Get Better Grades

Flower Illustration DiagramShow What You Know
An accurate, neatly drawn diagram is one of the surest ways to nail down a stellar grade. It shows what you've learned about a subject and adds interest to your presentation. A diagram of a flower shows a sixth-grader's knowledge of photosynthesis.

Drawing and Writing
Often teachers assign a weekly journal for part of your grade. If "a picture is worth a thousand words" then drawing is money in the bank when it comes to journaling. Expressing yourself through drawing opens a direct line of communication with your teacher. Honest communication leads to getting help in difficult school subjects, which can lead to receiving better grades.

If you enjoy drawing, add it to your writing assignments whenever possible. It can be as simple as gaining extra-credit points for adding an illustration of the Spirit of St. Louis to your report on aviation, or as elaborate as creating a graphic novel for your next English literature grade.

Think With Your Pencil
The doodles you draw while talking with classmates on the phone can lead to valuable ideas. Much of your thinking and problem solving happens deep down in your brain. Doodling with a pencil or pen gets your thinking process onto paper. A random doodle can become the solution to a frustrating geometry problem. A swirling scribble can turn into an abstract design for Friday's art assignment.

Visual Notes
Sometimes your teacher simply talks too fast! To keep up with the lecture, try drawing visual notes along with your written notes. Don't worry about details. Quick lines and shapes can describe how a steam engine works, or show the structure of a plant cell or a dinosaur.

Visual notes are very useful when studying for tests. You'll form a memory of where France is located in Europe because you sketched it on paper and in your mind. With practice, visual note-taking will become a code of symbols and pictures — your very own visual language.

Thumbnail Sketches

Thumbnail Sketches
Organize your notes into multi-page reports by drawing thumbnail sketches. Thumbnail sketches are small, loosely drawn rectangles showing where words, pictures, and charts will go on the pages of a report.

Quickly-drawn lines show positioning of text and give you an idea of how many words to write. Simple pictures show images that need to be created and how big to make them. Use thumbnail sketches to plan all of your school assignments, from Power Point presentations to designing a poster for a school event.

Draw Better Math, History, and Geography Grades
Bring a smile to your teacher's face! During math, take time to neatly and accurately draw your geometry lessons, number lines for integers, and shapes for fractions. This helps your teacher to clarify your method and answers. It also shows your interest in learning math, which opens the door to better understanding and better grades. The formula is easy: Teacher Smile + Understanding = Better Grade.

Whenever you can, apply your drawing skills to history and geography assignments. Adding illustrations, such as a drawing of a U.S. president adds grade points to your history report. Taking time to draw interesting details on a map of the Middle East can improve your grade in geography. Whether you draw with a pencil or computer, your oral report on the Civil Rights Act will be more engaging if you include charts and graphs.

Art and Science: A Winning Combination
Letting your passion for drawing flourish in art classes for a better grade is a no-brainer. You'll find countless ways to put drawing to work for you, such as sketching ideas for a ceramics project or drawing pencil outlines for a watercolor painting. Excelling in art class could be the edge you need toward raising your GPA.

Albert Einstein famously said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Channeling your creative mind into your science studies can help you understand complex scientific concepts and theories. Visual notes on how atoms form molecules are very helpful when studying for the next physical science exam. Your hand-drawn observations showing the metamorphosis of a butterfly can become illustrations for your biology report.

Extra Credit and Extra Curricular Activities
Straight-up: Doing projects for extra credit can mean the difference between lower and higher grades. Ask your teacher how you can use your drawing skills to earn extra credit. Then get to work! Use your imagination and your love of drawing to push your grades up to the next level, and beyond!

Of course, drawing in school is not only about getting better grades. It can also be about helping your school and having fun while you're at it. Apply your skills towards creating a program to be handed out at the next school play. Let your imagination run wild when drawing posters for school dances and assemblies.

When it comes to the number of ways drawing can help you in school, the sky's the limit! I've shared only some of the possibilities to get you started. If you have ideas on how to use drawing in school, please share them with us. We'd love to hear from you! •

© 2010 Rob Court. All rights reserved.

Rob CourtDrawing coach, Rob Court lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is the author of 30 drawing books and works with students in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. More »