Mat Man: Teach a Child How to Draw a Person Using Handwriting Without Tears
I had a first grader come in and I asked him to draw me a person. He did. It was the one on the left with the orange strip (which hides his name). So then I pulled out “Mat Man” with some slight modifications to his face since I was missing some pieces, lol. We went through “Mat Man”, which was developed by Handwriting Without Tears, and we talked about his body, his arms and legs, his ears, etc etc etc…then I drew Mat Man while he watched and I explained. Finally, he drew Mat Man, see drawing on right. This lesson was probably 10 minutes long. Pretty impressive, huh? To go from that left drawing to right drawing in a 10 minute span? We’ll need to do some follow-up to try to gain consistency.
*For those of you who are going to ask about the secret of Mat Man…there isn’t much of one. I showed him up above. He has a big blue body, stick arms and legs, curves for his head, etc…well you see him. Nothing is missing besides the hair (we ended using pencils for hair). I had to improvise his eyes and nose and smile etc, and in fact don’t remember what they normally use for that. It’s basically just the idea of showing them via 3-D objects and Handwriting Without Tears materials what a person looks like, before taking it to paper.
They also have songs about Mat Man. For kids who are auditory learners, they are pretty catchy 🙂