Using DIGITAL Directed Drawings in the Classroom

What are Directed Drawings?

Do you use directed drawings in your classroom?  I first heard about directed drawings when I was a classroom teacher; however, I never made it a part of our academic day--when would I ever find the time to teach students how to draw? After reading Proud in Primary's blog post, 5 Reasons to Use Directed Drawings in the Classroom, my mindset changed. I had been asking students to draw pictures to support their notes and creative projects but so many would get frustrated with not knowing how to draw certain images. By breaking down the steps to successfully draw pictures, kids can quickly become more confident and empowered designers and creators.

Have you tried DIGITAL directed drawings? These directed drawings all contain an academic element. Students will learn how to successfully design images on a digital canvas.

DIGITAL Directed Drawings

This same concept can be applied to the digital world! When it comes to designing and using digital tools to create, kids need assistance in learning all of the functionalities of the tools. Heck! Even adults need some guidance. I know I am constantly learning new tips and tricks when it comes to digital design. Many web tools and apps have similar shape, line and drawing tools that have the capability to design incredible canvases but we need to take the time to properly guide students to use these tools efficiently.

Digital Directed Drawing ACADEMIC Activities

I have created DIGITAL DIRECTED DRAWING activities for students to learn how to use the tools in Google Drawing™. However, the skills learned in these activities can transfer to other digital platforms. They also include an academic element☝Directions come as a Google Slides™ presentation that the teacher can project on the board. Students open a blank Google Drawing™ canvas and follow the directions. The teacher can read the directions aloud and students can attempt to follow those directions in isolation. Each presentation is animated so when the teacher clicks, the correct step is revealed in the example image for students to compare their drawing. This way students can easily change their picture if they didn't quite understand the directions before moving onto the next step.

After students design their picture, they type a few sentences or paragraph about the topic. Here are a few of my digital directed drawing activities I have in my TpT Store. These cover science topics. More to come! (If there are certain topics you would like to see turned into a directed drawing activity, let me know in the comments below!)

Benefits of These Activities:

  • Teach students how to use digital tools to be confident digital designers
  • Practice following directions 
  • Practice paying attention to details
  • Practice various academic concepts by working with important vocabulary terms
  • Integrate writing into the content areas
  • Great way to review academic topics!

Give it a try! Your students will have a BLAST.

Follow me on Pinterest to get more techie ideas:


  1. I absolutely adore your blog posts! They’re so inspirational! I love what you do, and the things you post is exactly the kind of things I’m interested in.

  2. These are awesome! I would love to see ones for circuits and cells (plant and animal) if you are still looking for ideas for more to create. Thanks!

    1. Two things, Susannah! 1. FABULOUS ideas...I will put them on my to do list. 2. I loooooove your animated emoji ;)

    2. Hey Susannah! I am getting ready to start making digital directed drawings for plant and animal cells. Would you be willing to review the resource and provide feedback? I will send everything to you for free :) If you are interested, please email me: contact@thetechieteacher.net. Thank you!

  3. Hi Julie! I love, love, love your products! I also love how you are always so willing to share your wonderful ideas so freely! Not to mention, how quickly you respond to questions! I would really like to see something about the Solar System for primary elementary. I also LOVE the circuit idea! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Thank you so much!! Are you wanting students to create a solar system? I do have this resource available: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/DIGITAL-SOLAR-SYSTEM-RESEARCH-PROJECT-FOR-GOOGLE-SLIDES-3747705

      I need to do a circuit one!! Thanks :)

    2. Hi Julie - I'm particularly loving your Directed Drawings activities - I absolutely love Google Drawings. There are so many rich design/planning skills that can be tapped and exercised and kids are so engaged by the creation element. I would love, love to see a few more holiday themed directed-drawings. For example, a snowman, a holiday tree, a turkey, a pumpkin patch. I know you have other holiday-themed activities - but I don't see anything that has them designing and planning a drawing. Thanks!

  4. How about Simple Machines? :-)

  5. Your digital directed drawing slides are EXCEPTIONAL! I LOVE THEM (and so will my students) I just got 2 from your TpT store. Please make more! Any subject will do...such a great idea!

  6. Love love love these. I am taking on the 8 moon phases. If you have something for that, it would be great.