The Order Of Things: Step by Step Drawing With The iPad in K

The Occupational Therapist came into our class today and did the Mat Man activity with my students today. The students use all the pieces from the “Handwriting Without Tears” program to create a person. The students sang a song while she made a Mat Man, the students made two Mat Men as two smaller groups while listening to the song, and then each student drew their own Mat Man.

Then, a brilliant idea came upon me. Or what I THOUGHT WAS BRILLIANT ANYWAY.

Sequencing. We’ve been having a tough go at this one in my class. The students have been INVENTING things that happen between pictures in stories. Say for example I had three pictures laid out for the students: one picture of a boy standing next to the sink with his face painted like a tiger, another picture of the same boy washing his face at the sink, and another picture of the same boy with his face clean holding a dirty towel. Simple enough to put together? Not for some. “We’ll first, the boy was washing his face and then his mom called him and said they were going to get their face painted so he got his face painted and the he ran through the sprinkler and his face paint came off so he went to the bathroom and rubbed it on the towel.”

Really guys? REALLY?!

So we went simple sequencing style. I thought maybe sequencing with one item (drawing Mat Man) rather than with a whole story would be easier. The OT did a great job of showing the students how to put the pieces together to make a Mat Man. I took a picture of each step with my iPad, and then with a student iPad too.


I condensed it into one photo for blog purposes, but I took separate photos on my student iPads.

Then, I made a separate album on the student iPad with the title “Mat Man”. I printed off the last picture of Mat Man totally complete onto an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and framed it so it could stand up. I placed a clip board with some paper, and voila.


The students were able to come to the iPad and swipe through the steps to draw Mat Man by themselves.


I even had a student bring a separate iPad over and use the “My Blackboard” App to draw his Mat Man!


This was SO SUCCESSFUL for my students because they are just not that type of group that is going to come to the classroom and create amazing things on their own. They’re not. Seem are. Most aren’t. Last year: different story. We were the Edmonton version of the Museum of Modern Art. They want help, they need help, they want the steps of how to create. It’s my responsibility to step back from the Reggio aspect that I love so much and provide them with what they need.

Also, the best thing ever? I had this activity done and on the table 30 MINUTES AFTER WE HAD DONE THE MAT MAN ACTIVITY TOGETHER. Win!

I have done similar tasks at our art station. Very simple, and classroom worthy.



I even found some printables on Pinterest quite a while back. We have done the castle, and the house, and LOOK at the wonderful art the students have created totally by themselves.





I am even considering having a dedicated iPad for the art station for sequencing art activities like we have done so far. It’s much less work for me to take pictures of each ste and create a separate folder, than print it, draw it, colour it, and frame it/laminate it myself.

We are gonna keep doing this for sure! What a sweet activity to have your students do too. They can make their own step by step picture story using the iPad to take pictures. Then use one of a million apps to record their voice explaining their drawing steps.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ben Sheridan (@B_Sheridan)
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 05:27:27

    Wow, very cool activities. I love how you took an idea and the tools you have available, and used them in inventive and relevant ways. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Kimberley
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 08:09:50

    You really are brilliant. Love this!


  3. Debbie
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 15:39:24

    What a great idea! As the students get better at this…the drawings could get more detailed!


  4. KinderGarden123
    Dec 01, 2012 @ 21:37:02

    LOve these ideas! I am in a sequencing unit right now and I know exactly what you mean about those wandering stories! 😀 Thanks for this great post!


  5. Kelly
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 19:39:51

    This is genius. My 5 yo has been having problems with drawing at school, and I’ve been looking for something to help him with the basics. Thank you!


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