1st Edition

Children Making Meaning Exploring Drawings, Narratives and Identities

By Josephine Deguara, Cathy Nutbrown Copyright 2025
    294 Pages 161 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 161 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This ground-breaking text highlights the value of drawing as a meaningful way for children to communicate, demonstrating how it is inextricably linked with children’s everyday experiences, thinking processes, imagination, emotions, and learning.

    By exploring what intrigues and concerns children, Children Making Meaning demonstrates how drawing is so much more than an insignificant pastime. Illustrated throughout, this book includes examples of children’s drawings to explore and explain children’s drawing processes and relationships, the modes they use to create their drawings as well as the themes and meanings that emerge from them. Practical case study material illuminates the complexity of children’s thinking, intentions, and knowledge as they find creative and individual ways to convey their thoughts, fears, excitements, contentments, and fascinations. This book also explores the relationship between drawing and talk, and how children’s ongoing drawing-narratives help them to develop and change their meanings as they draw.  

    Accessibly combining relevant theories with numerous original examples, this essential resource is a must-read for educators and other professionals who use children’s drawings in their work. It will also be useful for parents to support their children’s drawing activities and extend such opportunities at home.

    1. Young children’s meaning-making 

    2. Using social semiotics to interpret children’s drawings

    3. Children drawing meanings  

    4. Researching children’s drawings

    5. Luke’s story

    6. Thea’s story

    7. Bertly’s story

    8. Form and content in children’s drawings

    9. Drawing identities

    10. Love, power, good and evil

    11. Drawing talk, narrative and collaboration

    12. Children's funds of knowledge: Pedagogical considerations

    13. Listening to children drawing


    Josephine Deguara is Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood and Primary Education at the University of Malta, Malta.

    Cathy Nutbrown is a Professor of Education at The University of Sheffield, UK.