Next, we practiced cross hatching (a technique used to create shading effects by drawing closely spaced parallel lines) with pencil, and later moved on to cross hatching with pens. Its so exciting to watch the light bulb go on in a child's head when they realize just how powerful an easy to learn technique like cross hatching can be.
For the second half of the class, I set up a simple still life consisting of boxes and cylinders wrapped in plain paper. The idea is to minimize visual distractions so the children really focus on observing the light and dark areas of the still life. It was a wonderful day, so we had lots of beautiful natural light casting some great shadows. My young students really looked closely at exactly where shadows were falling, and seemed quite challenged -- the kids had to erase more than a few times.