Elementary student using the APH Draftsman; drawing with one hand and feeling the tactile lines with the other.

Tactile drawing: Expanding creativity and social inclusion

Students use drawing to express themselves, explore their creativity to tell stories, and for rich social connection.

This is a fourth video post on providing tactile graphic rich environments for preschool and elementary students. This post will provide some focus and discussion on a student’s progression with drawing and how he uses the APH Draftsman Tool.

Like his peers, the themes of Logan’s drawings become more complex including magical beasts with varied shapes, attributes, and abilities and more details such as claws, wings, and teeth. Logan is also using more textures to represent things like scales, hair, or feathers. Also, he uses conventions and symbolic marks such as lines that indicate running or “sparks” for magical powers.

Drawing progression

The school art teacher shared that, “There is always a narrative with the drawings.” Like the other kids, his drawings include animals or imaginary beings on a journey quest or shows a portal to another world.

Image: Logan’s drawing: Self-portrait with his dog drawn on his shirt.

Students tactile drawing: self portrait with square for body; long rectangles for arms and legs; lines for fingers, hair, and teeth; small circles for eyes; small shapes for ears and shoes.

Note: The drawing film is scotch taped to the table top so that it does not move as Logan explores his tactile drawing.

Video Tactile Drawing:

Video transcript

Key points

Late elementary strategies to support fluency with tactile pictures and drawing


Other posts in this series: 

Ideas and videos are by Jessica McDowell; post co-written by Diane Brauner

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Using a black pen, tracing a student drawing onto Swell paper which is over a raised line drawing on top of the Lightbox.

HOW TO turn a tactile drawing film drawing into PIAF image: Sharpie method

Outline of a tree with roots, trunk, branches and leaves.

Our very own tree: Tactile graphics and slide Presentations

Kindergarten Logan in a literacy small group reading his illustrated braille book.

Early elementary: Tactile pictures and drawing, engaging students in literacy activities