Preschematic - Early Symbol Making
begins at the end of the scribbling stages
Why art?
to Express and Communicate
to Create Order

Use ideas for artwork from the child's

to>preschematic picture
to>thinking picture
to>x-ray picture
to>quest for order
to>scribble information
preschematic information
to>schematic information

Ask questions.
ask if they'd like to draw
"I" and "My" topics
"I help rake leaves"
"I feed my pet . . ."
"My truck goes fast"
"Making my cat out of clay?
Use lots of questions to make Passive Knowledge Active (review experiences)
"Can you remember what it feels like?"  "How many fingers would you like 
on the hand?"
"I wonder who could be in this place?"
"Who do you play with when you . . . ?"


For growth, materials
Should have good 
line contrast. 
Maximize use of 
Dark and Bright 
on white
Examples are:
Markers,  Crayons 
Thick Paints
firm bristle brushes 
Clay and similar modeling, wet chalk on dark paper
Wet Sand. 
Blocks natural wood and colored. 
Sorting sets of Color, Texture, Shape.

For More Growth
Ask questions.
Ask detailed accretion questions during observation and during experiences.

"Which are the biggest branches?"

  "Where are the smallest branches on this tree?"

Give informational praise and encouragement.
"The colors you used here really help this part show up?"
"I noticed your flowers have LOTS of colors."

    When having new experiences, help the child notice more.  Use questions. "How does it feel? How big are are the ears? How does it smell? How many legs are there? Can you walk that way?"
    Think of ways to build awareness.  Children draw what they remember.  They remember what they notice.

All rights reserved.  This page © Marvin Bartel.  
For permission to make copies or handouts, e-mail the author. 

Many authors and researchers in art education have written about the stages of artistic development.  
Viktor Lowenfeld made many observations and described the stages in his book, Creative and Mental Growth.  The 4th  edition of Creative and Mental Growth by Viktor Lowenfeld and W. Lambert Brittain. 1964 includes a  summary with charts describing the development stages in Chaper 13. pages 395 to 402.