How to Doodle

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11861

Paper we use for figuring things out is called scratch paper. Maybe it can be used to scratch the itch of being an artist! Figure out if your doodling is leading to artwork with this creative lesson!


Visual Arts

Fine Arts
learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you ever find yourself scratching away at a piece of paper with your pen or pencil? What lines and shapes do you make?

You may have done it while you were sitting on the phone or perhaps in a moment of distraction from your studies.

You begin to scribble on your paper absentmindedly, making lines, patterns, and shapes. Doodling is a common behavior, and if you do it frequently, it may be a sign of your inner artist who is trying to get out!

Take a look at someone creating a simple doodle known as a zentangle. As you watch A simple zentangle design, from Zendoodle Art (below), write down answers to the following questions:

  • How much planning does it seem this artist did before beginning to doodle?
  • What kinds of shapes and lines did the artist use to create this design?
  • How much art training do you think you would need to make a design like that one?

Now reflect on the following questions and discuss:

  • What kinds of things do you draw when you are doodling or just messing around with a pen, pencil, or crayon?
  • What shapes and lines are you good at drawing? Which do you find challenging to make?


Doodling is actually a great skill-building activity, and helps you learn to make straight lines, curved lines, shapes, and other basic drawing elements.

In the Got It? section, take a closer look at some examples of doodling and see the lines and shapes people make when they are not thinking too hard about it!

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