Illustration ideas by subject
Sometimes we give students a sentence to illustrate and other times we just give them a subject.

Thinking outside the words

I continue to learn how to work with the various ways kids learn and create. Some students prefer to illustrate an actual sentence from the book, which requires a more literal interpretation; while other students prefer a more conceptual approach. In the photo above, a student studies keywords for missing pages in the book, including a few extra key phrases to see if they would generate any creative drawings — and they did! — so I then rewrote the book to fit the new pictures. One of my favorite pages not in the original manuscripts is about the worm astronauts. Worms indeed have been sent to space in NASA experiments.

And below two students collaborate on one picture. It is quite common to see this level of cooperation at the STEM school. Still, it amazed me to witness the students so lost in the passion of the drawing that ownership never crossed their minds. Sometimes I would ask some students to illustrate a background image and others to illustrate the subject, which I would combine on the computer.

Two students collaborate on one picture
Two students collaborate on one picture. It is quite common to see this level of cooperation at the STEM school. Still, it amazed me to witness the students so lost in the passion of the drawing that ownership never crossed their minds.

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More stories about the making of this book

Sorting the illustrations

Choosing drawings for the new book

After working with the elementary students for 6 days, I got approximately 1000 drawings to choose from. So, being more of the right-brained-artistic type, it is a major organizational challenge.

A colorful sign with bugs and a voting box and ballots.

Name that bug contest

One fun idea to get the students more involved in the production of the book was to have them name the characters in the story. So I, along with my self-appointed fan club, made this ballot box.

Scott Stoll hands out pages with excerpts from his book, “Ruby the Red Worm’s Dirty Job,” to students at the Waukesha STEM Academy’s Randall Campus this week. Students are drawing illustrations for the book. Photo by Wentz-Graff, Milwaukee Journal

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article

World traveler came home to fulfillment. This is a great story about my trip around the world, coming home, and how this all evolved into working with local schools to illustrate children’s books.

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