Putting Ideas Together


Considering their analysis, research, and concept statement, students will create a rough, thumbnail sketch of their proposed design.


Materials Needed

Cartoon, plain paper for students, examples of thumbnail sketches of set designs


Related Documents


Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook

Display and read aloud cartoon to class.  The cartoon can be anything you want – check out your local newspaper for a one-frame cartoon.  I would suggest covering up the “punchline” or “dialogue” or “explanation” so that there is just the picture there for students to look at.



Step 1: Transition – Explain that we are able to understand a great deal from that one picture. Explain how in set design, we have that one image to portray all we want to say. Discuss how rough sketches can help portray how we want our set to look and what we want it to say. They can also help other designers get an idea and a feel for the style and mood we want people to understand through the design.


Step 2: Instruction – Display the examples of thumbnail sketches. Note that they are rough drawings, usually made in pencil, that show the general composition of the set, but very little detail.


Check for Understanding – Ask students what the purpose of thumbnail sketches are. (To provide a rough visualization of various scenic concepts. To see how ideas about a scenic design look on paper. To have a rough outline to start the design from.)


Step 3: Guided Practice – Pass out the plain paper and give students the remaining class time to draw a thumbnail sketch of their scenic design based off of their design concept.



Students will turn in their thumbnail sketches.