In today’s second meeting of my Drawing to Learn class, I introduced six “drawing to learn” strategies to my students with the icons above: drawing to calm (coloring), drawing to listen (doodling), drawing to record (sketch-noting), drawing to create (handmade thinking), drawing to see (representing), and drawing to present or show (illustrated speaking).
The main focus of today’s class was drawing to calm. I had previously distributed to each student a set of colored pencils, and today I provided them a number of mandalas to choose from and to color in class. This drawing to calm strategy has lately become a more valued anti-stress, meditative, and even spiritual practice. This is also evidenced in a number of popular articles and coloring books.
Given the amount of anxiety and stress first-year college students experience in their first week of classes, they easily understood the value of sitting quietly and focusing their energies on a practice that builds their abilities in present mindfulness. More on mandalas here.
I also ended class by assuring them if their parents or friends had any concerns about why they were coloring in college, I’d be happy to talk to them.