List of Draw-Write-Now Lessons

 A List of the Drawings

I just love your Draw Write Now books! I have the eight-book boxed set and have been enjoying them every week with my four and five year-olds. I am trying to incorporate the lessons with my social studies/history plans; it is working wonderfully! My question: is there a full list of the drawings in all eight books?  I am finding myself, for example, hoping there is an owl and needing to search the Table of Contents of all eight books to find what I need.


Yes, Donna!
Here's the list:
pdf download (49kb)

Another option is to use the search box. For example, insert “owl” in the search box and the result shown is “Draw Write Now, Book 2.”

Note: The search box is found on the footer of each page of this website.

List: The lessons in each of the eight Draw Write Now books (49 KB)

List: The lessons in each of the eight Draw Write Now books (49 KB)

PlayPack: Fine Motor Focus

Fine Motor Development, see CurriculumChoice.

Fine Motor Development, see CurriculumChoice.


Reviewed by Curriculum Choice

Betsy’s review at of PlayPack: Fine Motor Focus.

PlayPack: Fine Motor Focus

PlayPack: Fine Motor Focus

Regular activities such as cutting, drawing, finger paining, lego building, playing jacks, and play dough are all great activities to develop the finger muscles. But what do you do when your child balks when presented with small muscle play? Here are three more ideas to try, from PlayPack: Fine Motor Focus:

  1. Pizza Party
  2. Fun with Shapes
  3. Hand Art

Find PlayPacks in our store.
See Betsy’s full review and helpful tips at CurriculumChoice.


Think Like an Editor

The role of editor is explained in this new CommonCraft video. Many websites operate without an editor, so it’s important for each of us to…Think Like an Editor

As an author, I appreciate the guidance of a good editor. Children ask me how I feel when my editor asks me to change something or questions my work. I let them know: 

  • The editor’s comments might nudge me in a new creative direction.
  • Sometimes the editor notices something I haven’t. Even when I have put a lot of effort into my work, I sometimes overlook a simple error.
  • Getting the editor’s opinion gives me an understanding of other people’s standards and actually strengthens my own standards.

I encourage children to think of their teachers as editors. A good, objective editor (or teacher) helps us improve.


Win a $50 e-Gift Card

Rose, 7 years-old, Grace-Filled Homeschooling

Rose, 7 years-old, Grace-Filled Homeschooling

Review by Grace-Filled Homeschooling (and a giveaway!)

Grace-Filled Homeschooling
Grace-Filled Homeschooling

Melissa and her girls, Rose and Beth, were recently introduced to the Draw Write Now lessons. Hear how they enjoyed drawing together, tried out pencil grips, and neatly worked on their writing.

I loved Melissa’s comment that 5 year-old Beth “…was incredibly focused on neatness and proportion of her letters for the first time.” I hear that from parents a lot.

Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win the $50 e-Gift Card!

Source: http://gracefilledhomeschooling.blogspot.c...

Spanish—The Tripod Grip

Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip

Kathy Pedroza teaches Spanish at a dual-language program and translated our “Tripod Grip” illustration. “This has been so helpful, especially in my Spanish dual-immersion class.”

She shows it to her students’ parents, includes it with a letter chart in her kindergarten homework envelope, and refers to it during her 1st-quarter progress report.

For more information on developing the tripod grasp, see Hold the Pencil and the Hold the Pencil Pamphlet.

Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip: DrawYourWorld
Hold the Pencil in the Tripod Grip: DrawYourWorld

Handwriting and Self-Assessment

Handwriting practice improves with assessment.
Handwriting practice improves with assessment.
Handwriting practice improves with assessment.
Handwriting practice improves with assessment.

Self-Assessment of handwriting work. See for Leann’s tips onImproving Handwriting with Draw Write Now.

Leann presents the lessons in three parts in her homeschool:

The Warm-up—review notes from the prior day and work on letters needing help.

Drawing and Writing—30 minutes of drawing and writing.

Self-Assessment—look over the writing and noting the best work and the things that can be improved.

In the classroom, the warm-up and assessment process is just as important. Handwriting improves when the teacher checks over the students’ drawings and writing, noting issues and adjusting the next day’s lesson.

My mom, Marie Hablitzel, had over 30 students in her classes, making it difficult for one-on-one time for self-assessments. The assessments were made, though—she carefully reviewed each of her students’ drawing and writing papers after class and adjusted the next day’s lesson or found time to work with students needing individual attention.

Assessment is a huge part of improving handwriting. 

Handwriting and drawing using Draw Write Now.


Art Appreciation

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord

I love to look at artwork from my parents’ generation. This small picture is from the 1940’s or possibly earlier, I suppose. My sister, Anne, bought it at a garage sale years ago and she’s had it hanging in her house since then. I love it—hand-drawn, hand-lettered, such a beautiful style.


Bridge Lesson: Draw Your World

Rachel, age 5

Rachel, age 5

Architectural structures in your community are excellent subjects for children to  draw. I live near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State. In 2007, a new bridge was built alongside it. We watched the new bridge go up and learned about bridge engineering and construction, which of course, led to a drawing lesson. This lesson is NOT in a Draw Write Now book—the children and I were simply drawing our world!

Basic Bridge Construction

  • The basic parts of a suspension bridge: towers, main cables, anchorage, suspender cables, road deck.
  • Artistic styles influence engineers as they design a bridge.

Bridge History

University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections FAR165, used with permission 

University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections FAR165, used with permission 

Drawing Lesson: Suspension Bridge


Prepare the Paper

Paper clip or tape the tracing paper onto the tower template. (The template is removed in Step 6 and the white paper is taped to the back of the tracing paper. The drawing will be completed on the tracing paper.), Draw a Suspension Bridge, Tacoma Narrows, Draw a Suspension Bridge, Tacoma Narrows, Draw a Suspension Bridge, Tacoma Narrows, Draw a Suspension Bridge, Tacoma Narrows

A Suspension Bridge Near You —See suspension bridges from your neighborhood and from around the world! —See suspension bridges from your neighborhood and from around the world!

Stephanie, age 10

Stephanie, age 10



Simple World Map: Draw-Write-Now 7

Draw a Simple World Map

Geography for Life: The National Geographic Standards, 1995, stressed the importance of children knowing how to draw a map of the world. It suggested using simple ovals for each continent. We loved the idea and created a lesson for Draw Write Now, Book 7. It is available here as a free download.

The Common Core State Standards recommends that students “use a mix of drawing, dictating and writing to compose explanatory texts.” Drawing a simple world map helps children develop their own mental map, always at the ready as they build an understanding of our world. It’s easy to see how drawing a simple map can add to the ability to use explanatory texts.
(2 page pdf, 674 KB)

50/50, Fiction/Nonfiction

Draw Your World
Draw Your World

 Newsletter | August 2012   .

50/50, Fiction/Nonfiction

Is nonfiction a significant part of your child’s reading material? The Common Core State Standards recommends that fifty percent of children’s reading text be fiction and fifty percent informational material, like science, social studies and history. Look for books that explain or are factual. Use written text to learn about the world.

Write Nonfiction

It’s one thing to write an imaginative story, it’s another thing to accurately describe and report. As with reading, the Common Core suggests that nonfiction and fiction writing skills be balanced. While drawing a polar bear, discuss the Arctic region and guide the children in drawing an appropriate Arctic background. The things included in their background drawing may serve as a prompt as they write about the bear’s environment.

Read and Discuss

Show that you enjoy reading nonfiction. Marie Hablitzel, the creator of the Draw Write Now lessons, kept a children’s encyclopedia close by while giving a lesson. When the opportunity arose, she read a paragraph or two aloud from the encyclopedia. Her interest in reading sparked the children’s interest and her thought-provoking questions nurtured their curiosity.


Drawing instruction improves vocabulary, because basic words are demonstrated during a drawing lesson. While teaching, simply describe a line or shape and describe their relationships to each other. You may not even realize that you are modeling these words: over, under, above, below, left, right, diagonal, curved, straight, horizontal, vertical, near, around, between, center, half, quarter, smaller, larger, short, long, zig-zag, choppy, smooth.

Read More

Read multiple books on the same topic. A variety of sources provides a broader understanding of the topic. Nonfiction books on the Arctic:One Small Square: Arctic Tundra by Donald Silver, Houses of Snow, Skin and Bones by Bonnie Shemie, Here is the Arctic Winter by M. Dunphy, Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn Bradley.

Polar bears live in the Arctic.

Thick fur keeps them warm.

They are strong swimmers.

They swim in the icy ocean.

Why do Arctic foxes follow polar bears?
Polar bears hunt seals, but eat only the fat of the seal. Arctic foxes follow the bears and feast on the leftover seal meat. See Alaska’s Three Bears, by Shelley Gill.


Common Core

Common Core State Standards provide a clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. Individual states are adopting the standards, see New York.

The Standards, ELA

(pdf, 340kb)

The English Language Arts Standards as they apply to Draw Write Now, from our publisher, Barker Creek.

Handwriting in the News

Computers and gadgets are great for children to experience, but remember to include handwriting instruction and regular practice in their day. Draw and write with your children—make it fun for both of you! This video was on our local news station last night:

A study is mentioned that found the following:

KING5 HealthLink, Good handwriting in children translates to good grades

Connecting the Dots

I’m having a hard time focusing on my pile of work that MUST get done today. It appears I’m grieving the passing of Steve Jobs. So, maybe if I write a bit, I’ll get back on track.

I got my first Mac in 1994, right after our first book was published. I bought the thing the same week my husband was laid off from work. It was scary to put down so much money, but I knew I had to learn how to use the computer. The Mac was what our publisher used. Actually, it was the only computer with programs that worked for publishing. Besides that, Macs made sense to me… PC’s befuddled me. They still do. I’ve stayed with Apple all these years and, fortunately, always found a program that worked to cover shipping or whatever for the business.

This editorial by the Seattle Times was published on August 25 after Jobs resigned:  Here’s what struck me: 

His story could not have been predicted or planned. The Mac’s proportionally spaced fonts helped create desktop publishing. To hear Jobs tell it, their reason for existence was that years before, he attended Reed College in Portland. He became bored with classes and dropped out — but he hung around campus to audit classes that fascinated him. One was calligraphy and typography. It was fascinating to him but completely useless — until it came time to design the Mac.

He called this story “connecting the dots,” but he said, “You cannot connect the dots looking forward.”

Some of the little things we do with children may seem “completely useless”. You never know… during a lifetime, one of those experiences may be just what is needed for connecting some dots. Using Steve Jobs as inspiration, take time to draw, write and learn with children. YOU might find it fascinating!

My child is 10

“My child is 10 and she hates writing.
What can I do to help?”

Focus on drawing and add a little writing on the side! Keep in mind that an older child’s handwriting habits are pretty well ingrained, making changes can take longer. Be patient, have fun and plan to practice regularly and carefully.

Handwriting Practice

Somewhere along the line, your child may have missed some basic skills. Start by gaining an understanding of the progression of language arts skills. Keep this in mind as you draw and write with her. Start with the sample lessons of the swan (Book 1), whale (Book 4) and tiger (Book 7). Keep the practice time short, easing into more writing as her skills improve. Find more lessons in the Draw Write Now books. An older child is able to do any of the lessons in the series, so look at the Table of Contents and select a book that she finds most interesting.

Pencil Grasp

Look at how she holds her pencil. The older the child, the stronger the habits, so don’t expect her grasp to be corrected within a week. Exercises to improve fine motor skills can help.


She may need help with her posture. Exercises to improve gross motor skills will help.

If your child bristles at the idea of writing practice, drawing may be the thing that motivates her to put a pencil to paper. The skills of handwriting and drawing are similar, so there will be some improvement even if she doesn’t write a word! 

Whale Lesson, Draw-Write-Now 4

Draw Write Now, Book 4: Whale lesson

Draw Write Now, Book 4: Whale lesson

The lessons are simple and clean. This is how the swan lessons appears in Draw-Write-Now, Book 1. CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE 


Our lessons are flexible and simple. Keep it easy—pick up a lesson and draw! All that is needed is a pencil, eraser, paper and crayons (or a coloring medium of your choice.)

1.) Introduce the Subject

Garner interest in the blue whale and the animals and people who live in the polar regions with a story, discussion, poem, photos or a song. 

2.) Draw the Subject

Using a pencil, encourage the children to draw the whale lightly, because some lines will be erased (see Step 3.) Use the step-by-step instructions—the red lines—to draw the subject. Throughout the building of the whale, refer to the color drawing, pointing out the shapes and lines.

3.) Draw the Background

Still working in pencil, encourage the children to create their own background for the drawing. If they want to copy what they see in the sample color drawing, that's fine. With time and a little encouragement, their own creativity will take hold.

4.) Practice Writing

See Drawing and Writing Together. Scroll down the list and find where your child fits. Is your child just learning to write letters? Are they able to write, but don't like to practice? Do they need to work on forming paragraphs? Children of varying ages and skill levels can work together during drawing time, and at their own pace during writing time.

5.) Color the Picture

This is the fun time! The child colors their creation of the Blue Whale. You may notice that the drawings shown in our Gallery are outlined in black. Introduce outlining and see how it helps preserve the details the child has so carefully drawn in pencil. It also makes colors pop!

Practice writing sentences, learning to write letters, or crafting a paragraph.

Practice writing sentences, learning to write letters, or crafting a paragraph.

Drawing Circles in the Sun


When my mother prepared her drawings to show the publisher for the first time, there was one in the stack that caught my eye—a cluster of grapes. The grapes were a grouping of circles, like racked billiard balls. “Mom, you made this drawing? I remember drawing this, but not with you.” With the drawing in hand, my thoughts went to a quiet moment on a sizzling hot summer day when I was seven years-old:

Sitting beside the wading pool, I used wet fingers to draw circles on the cement patio. The goal was to draw four circles, all the same size, lined up in a row. I could make two the same size, but the third was too high or the fourth was oval-shaped. The circles vanished in the summer heat. I tried again and again, until four perfect circles lined up. Challenged, I tried to add a second row of circles before the first row evaporated. It became a race. Draw the line of four circles, the line of three, then two and one. Hurrah! I did it! I beat the sun!

I looked at my mother's simple little drawing of grapes again. Her lessons make such a strong impression on children—ideas and concepts that reach far beyond classroom walls and intrigue the child long after the lesson is finished. 

Grape Lesson, Draw Write Now, Book 2, page 26

When I See a Child's Drawing

Those of us who knew Marie Hablitzel acknowledged her special way with children. It shone through in children’s artwork.

Hannah, age 8?

Hannah, age 8?

Drawing a picture together gave everyone a chance to begin the day with a success. A new student, a child who struggled with reading, or one who didn’t understand English could follow along with me. Everyone could draw and write the short sentences.
— Marie Hablitzel

A month after Marie passed away in February, 2007, and feeling the loss, I was going about my normal errands. Near the exit of my local grocery store, a wall was covered with cute children’s drawings of octopi. On my way out, I stopped to have a closer look and realized it was from the octopus lesson in Draw Write Now, Book 6. Seeing the drawings picked up my spirits and would have been enough for me, but when I got to the bank, there were colorful drawings of sunflowers in the foyer, a lesson from Draw Write Now, Book 3. Just a few blocks from the bank, the appliance store window was filled with drawings of the Gingerbread Boy, a lesson from Draw Write Now, Book 1. It was Youth Art Month and retailers in town made room to display children’s artwork. The bank clerk said the drawings were little angels all over town.

One of my brothers noted that the Draw Write Now series is a tribute to our mother’s many years in the classroom. I must add that when I see a child’s drawing, it’s a tribute to my mother and other teachers who put their heart and soul into helping children grow and learn. I am forever thankful that her lessons have been shared with so many children, parents and teachers.

—Kim Stitzer