Summer Memories

“Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.” – Grandma Moses

I am thrilled to be back with my fifth and sixth grade students now that we are back in session again. I am teaching remotely and daily the faces of the kids and their voices bring me joy. Although quite full, the days go by quickly and I feel like we are making good progress.

The kids are working with paper and utensils they have at home because our art kit supplies haven’t yet arrived. The first project, featured here, is to draw a summer memory with pencil first and color using either markers, crayons, or colored pencils. There are quite a few skill builder exercises involved in this assignment, starting with ideation (make a short list of favorite memories and choose one), draw 1/2″ margins on all four sides, sketch lightly with pencil, and add color. Once the artwork is complete, my students learned to take and crop photos of their work and to upload them to both Google Classroom and Artsonia. On Artsonia, students wrote Artist Statements reflecting on their work. Here are just a smattering (10) of the 100+ artworks and artist statements:

The summer memory drawing is about has a lot to do with me and my friends. I’ve found that I do have a lot of good friends who are there with me. My picture shows me playing with bugs, (this is something we did a lot in the summer together), and stargazing. We stargazed a lot at night and it was a great memory. I drew a bucket filled with inspirational words and quotes to show how I’m trying to fill my life with positive things. And all of the planets and stuff in the sky just shows how crazy it felt to have these memories. – Lia R
My summer memory is located at the harbor of the Atlantic ocean. I went whale watching in this picture and we saw 8 whales which 2 of them were calves. I also saw a few that had been attacked by killer whales. There were also a few islands and trust me they we’re huge. The houses on the islands were huge so I believe they must have costed a lot. The people at the sanctuary had named the whales by there fin because every whale had a mark on their fin that no other whale had. I loved this trip and can not wait to go back. – Ekakshar B
The summer memory drawing is about when I was looking out the window and I saw 3 of my favorite birds that I see near my house. Nobody was in the picture it was just birds. The setting is my backyard. I drew it with a pencil then I colored in the picture with crayons. I think my picture came out good for drawing these birds for the first time. If I were to draw this picture again I would add trees and the furniture on my deck and maybe I would use color pencils. – James R
The summer memory drawing is about when I was sitting out side at my grandparents house that is in the cape and we where looking out at the beach. It was so pretty only half of the sun was above the water. It looked so magical. This was definitely a summer I would never forget. – Sloane R.
The summer memory my drawing is about how I remember the beach of when we got there a week or two before school. I feel proud of how I didn’t just make the rest of the page all water and made the sky pop out behind it. There were chairs in the shallow water and we put our chairs in a semi circle. I think this came out really good with the sky, the water and the beach. If I were going to draw this again I would definitely put the other peoples chairs around us and put some people playing in the water, an maybe make the chairs bigger. – Corbin D.
The summer memory drawing is about the sunrise I saw in Plymouth, MA it was around 5:30 am and there was a beautiful sunrise on the ocean. I loved doing the shading. I thought it came out beautiful, the shading looked very nice. If I were to draw it again would change a bit on the ocean because I think I could have darkened the ocean better. I loved doing this project and I am looking forward to doing more. – Sadia D.
The summer memory my drawing is about when I got my braces on. I really like having braces because I like the way they look and also because they don’t hurt as much as I though they would. I chose to draw me with my braces because I really like drawing people. I drew this use colored pencils. I think it came out pretty good. I wish I payed more attention to detail though. – Evelyn C.
I drew myself reading a book in my bed, because it is one of my favorite activities, I think I did a good job but you tell me. I simply drew it from my mind and Made it up as I went along, and when I changed my mind about something it was a good thing I only used pencil when I drew it. If I were to draw it again, instead of the doll I would probably draw a cat and have everything book themed, because that would be my dream! – Claire G.
The summer memory my drawing is about is when I tuned my whole room into a fort. The picture is of a castle in the background and a little tower in the foreground. I simply drew this with some colored pencils, crayons and a colored sharpie that I used for the border. I like this drawing very much and I am proud to say that I made it but I don’t like the background. ( the background is a failed attempt at a blended sunset ) I would have loved to go back and retry the background but I can’t. – Oliver S. (Me to Oliver: Oh, but Oliver, you can draw it again knowing what you’ve learned through this drawing!)
I drew my family’s camping setup. We have our two tents, our two easy ups, and our campfire. We went camping at Sweet Water Forest. I drew this picture with only colored pencils. I think it came out pretty good. If I were to draw it again I would make things smaller because you can’t really see my parents tent. – Taryn L

If you’re anything like me, you feel the warmth and closeness of family in these drawings. During the Covid pandemic so many families spent considerably more time together than they normally would and the kids will always remember this. Some of the memories featured in the drawings are about spending time with family or friends in nature, with birds, stars, and fireflies. I know these memories from my own childhood and love seeing today’s kids enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

There are many more drawings of summer memories on Artsonia at this link. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


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