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Bridging My Experiences

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Use this easy drawing prompt to quickly get students drawing, talking, and thinking about their experiences. This activity can be done as a short introductory exercise, or be expanded to use a whole class period. This activity is featured in the Art in Times of Change virtual inStill lesson.

Time: 10+ minutes


  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Your choice of color source (markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc)


  1. Before this activity, invite students to silently reflect on their recent experiences. They should consider the people, places, events, and emotions that have been part of their lives lately.
  2. Instruct students to draw a bridge between two places, and to place themselves on it. These instructions are intentionally vague to allow students many different ways to interpret-there are no guidelines for how their bridge should look, where it is located, or where they are on it.
  3. As students work, invite them to consider which direction they are crossing on the bridge. What are they leaving? Where are they going?
  4. Invite students to consider what is below the bridge. What are they crossing over?
  5. When students are finished working, invite them to share out about their bridges in pairs or small groups. Give students the below questions to support them in sharing out:
    1. Tell me about where you are located on the bridge and why you put yourself there.
    2. What are you leaving? What are you headed towards?
    3. How are you feeling as you’re crossing the bridge?
    4. What are you crossing over? Why did you choose that?
    5. Do you have any fears as you cross the bridge? What are they? How could you overcome them?
    6. Spend some time looking at other students’ drawings. What is unique about your drawing? Why did you make that choice?
    7. Did you learn anything about your classmates from the explanations of their drawings?
  6. Listen closely as students share out. The way students answer each question can provide valuable insight into their current experiences, fears, needs, ideas, and more.