Thursday, May 14, 2009

Form Drawing

Form Drawing Verse
(Hold up thumb, index and middle fingers of right hand so that arm is straight)
Three companions who always serve
To help me draw straight lines,
To help me draw curves.

An important thing to remember when presenting form drawing is that the form which appears on the paper is in fact a crystallization of the movement made by the person drawing the form. It's very important then to make sure you draw the form in a sequence of physical movements before you sit down to draw the form on paper. I suggest that you do the following:

Trace the form in the air with the whole arm

Trace the form in the air with the right finger and one eye open.

Trace the form in the air with both eyes closed.

Trace the form on paper with the right finger.

Draw the form in your book below the form drawing (mom made) three times.

It is very important part for first grade teachers/parent to make sure that before they attempt any form drawing lessons the children can understand and differentiate between a straight and a curved line. Many movement games and exercises allow the children to experience these two core forms. The straight line usually represents the human being, standing straight and tall. When a child understands this the teacher introduces the curved line - usually by making an arch with her arm, swinging it above, below, in front, behind, to the left and to the right. The curved line represents the world around us. Children really need to fully grasp this sense before they attempt writing/drawing forms.
Additionally, the children should be doing a series of movements - first of all asked to stand straight with their arms raised straight above their heads - long and tall. Let them really understand the concept of "straight". The same is equally important when learning about the curved line. A wonderful tool for drawing curved lines is a ribbon stick.
It's important to note that when form drawing all four of the lower senses are being used and developed in the child. These are spatial orientation, body geography, inner visualization and observation. Different forms have specific sense connections. This is why when working on form drawing it's really the QUALITY of the work versus the quantity. Some of these include:

Woven forms: they work with forward-backward, estimation, self movement, balancing the parts, spatial orientation and wakefulness.

Geometric: furthers math skills and spatial orientation.

Spirals: work with point periphery and moving between them.

Symmetry: especially helpful for children who reverse letters, do not have above and below established or do not let the letters go beyond the line of writing.

Running forms: helpful in gaining better small motor movement along with small motor and body geography skills.

Double running forms: increases the development of balance and self-movement along with small motor and body geography skills.

Negative space: helpful in developing inner visualization, strong self-movement and balance and negative and positive space.

Metamorphic and completion: increases imagination, flexibility in thinking and social skills of appreciation of the other.

Balances the temperaments.

Note on forcing the letters (and bypassing form drawing)
"It is thoroughly unnatural to require a child during the sixth or seventh year to merely copy the signs that we, in this advanced stage of civilization, now use for reading and writing. If you consider the letters we now use for reading and writing, you will realize that there is no connection between these letters and what a child of seven is naturally disposed to do. Remember, that when human beings first began to write they used painted or drawn signs that reproduced things or occurrences in the surrounding world. Or they wrote from will impulses, so that forms of writing expressed processes of the will - cuneiform characters, for example. Today's entirely abstract form of letters, which the eye must gaze at or the hand form, arose from picture writing. When we confront a young child with such letters, we are bringing something alien, something that in no way conforms to the child's nature. Let us be clear about what it means to "push" a foreign body into a child's organism. It is just as though a child, from the very earliest years, were being habituated to wearing very small clothes that do not fit, and therefore damage the child's organism. Today observation tends to be superficial, and people are even unaware of the damage done to a child's organism by simply introducing reading and writing in a wrong way." -Rudolf Steiner, The Spiritual Ground of Education
Remarkably, most parents feel there is a "specific guide" to teach the "mysteries" of form drawing. The simplicity of the name of this way of drawing is the answer to the mystery. You are simply drawing forms! Therefore, once that realization is established - it's easy to locate sources.


  1. Hello Kelly,

    I would very much like to receive the Form Drawing lesson manual. My email address is My daughter is 7 and struggles with herself when she makes her letters incorrectly. I do not push her to write as I believe it will come when she is ready. She draws beautifully and with an easy flow. I am hoping that form drawing will help her to ease her struggle with writing.

    Thank you for your post.

    Be Well,

  2. Hi, just found this site, and it looks really useful. I start teaching my first class one tomorrow and one of the things I am most concerned about is how to explain certain things to the parents of the children. The information and quotes I have seen so far on here look to be really helpful - thank you!

  3. hi I would love a copy of the manual

  4. Hi, I would love a copy of the manual please

  5. Is it too late to get a copy of the manual? I would love one as we will be starting soon with our six year (almost seven) year old!

  6. Hi, I am a new homeschooler and just found your blog. Loving what I'm reading so far! Is it too late to ask for a form drawing manual? My email

  7. I would love a copy of the manual please.
    Thank you!

  8. I, also, would love a copy of your form drawing booklet if it is still available. Thank you for a very helpful site.

  9. Thank you for the quick guide here. I would also love the full version.

  10. Hi! My son has just started 1st grade in a Waldorf school near us. I came from a traditional school and I would like to ask a copy of the form drawing manual (if it is still available) so I can also understand what he's trying to learn and be able to guide him better in the process. He's not the only one learning in this household, you know =) My email address is Thanks so much and I hope I am not too late in asking this. More power to your blog!

  11. Hello! if the form drawing booklet is still available, I'd love one:

  12. I am very interested in your form drawing booklet, if this is still available. Thank you!

  13. I'm looking for help in bringing form drawing to four home-schooled first graders and would love to have a copy of your lesson manual.

    thank you for so much helpful sharing!

  14. Hi would appreciate the manual.

  15. We are beginning our journey into Waldorf 'earthschooling' and appreiciate all the resources made available. If the lesson manuel on form drawing is still available, I would like a copy. Thank you,

  16. I would love to see this manual! thank you, lisa williams

  17. If the manuel for form drawing is still available I would like a copy.
    Thank you,


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