I recently did a class with my fifth and sixth graders on gesture drawing. Oddly enough, it seems that when drawing figures my older kids would often resort to stick figures. I wanted to get them thinking about incorporating motion without feeling intimidated and I think this definitely helped!
In the first class we went over some of the basics. While I had planned on using the wooden posable figures for practice I found that the kids preferred drawing each other. I’d have volunteer strike a pose, point out some of the curves and the class would begin drawing. There was a lot of laughter and I think that it helped keep them relaxed and not feel intimidated (I have some students who insist they can’t do anything artistic). After the practice group session each student worked with a posable wooden figure to create a unique drawing. The kids had fun with imaginative poses (like the ninja in the photo above) and enjoyed guessing each others work.
The following week we started sculpting the gestures with aluminum foil. We added a shadow to the sculpted figure and glued them to a base. They are so great all grouped together!
In the future I think it would be neat to paper mache and paint the figures.