“Now We All Look Like Rapunzels”: Drawing in a Kindergarten Writing Journal

  • Leslie RechEmail author
Part of the Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education book series (LAAE, volume 21)


Though research on children and drawing is plentiful and drawing is widely used as a pedagogic tool in kindergarten classrooms, drawing is not an area of concentrated study in most teacher education programs. The aim of this chapter is to tease out relationships between children, drawing, and curriculum with an interest in locating creative and transgressive spaces in an educational climate that seems, on the surface, to have little room for such things. Using video recordings from a year-long ethnographic case study of drawing in the language arts curriculum of a public kindergarten class, I look at ways in which children employ drawing in their classroom literacy work. This project focused specifically on drawing in the kindergarten writing journal; the seated, self-directed drawing designed to facilitate or complement the language arts lesson of the day. How do young children make and use drawing in their daily negotiations between the official classroom curriculum and their own interests and desires? Using an eclectic array of theories, including Aoki’s (J Curric Superv, 8(3):255–268, 1993) notion of lived curriculum, the unofficial, child led practices of the classroom; Bennett’s (Vibrant matter: a political ecology of things. Duke University Press, Durham, 2010) vital materialism, the agency and affect of things in relation to human experience; and Bakhtin’s (The dialogic imagination: four essays. University of Texas Press, Austin, 1981) theories of dialogism, the ongoing conversation between language and the individual, I explore the subtle and not so subtle spaces of classroom drawing.


Children’s drawing Citation Dialogic Kindergarten Language arts Lived curriculum 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational Theory and PracticeUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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