I encourage the kids to use the exact step-by-step process they find in the drawing books. Where's there's not a step process offered, I've told them to use their knowledge of shapes and break down the picture into smaller steps. I've demonstrated this process many times and most students seem to grasp the basic ideas of drawing what they see.
I talk a lot about basic shapes and how to use them to create recognizable things. We've studied the ideas of Ed Emberley, Mona Brooks, and Mark Kistler where basic line and shape are the foundation for the drawing lessons presented in their books.
The kids also have sketch books that they keep in their work folders. This is something new I'm trying to manage this year. Students use the sketchbooks to both gather and practice ideas and to showcase some of their work. Sketchbooks are kept in their work folders.
Next week we'll be doing 5 drawing stations. In each station, there will be a different drawing activity. In one, student will work in their sketchbooks, another will focus on Pacific NW Indian art, and a third, zentangle. (another zentangle site) I have several other ideas floating around in my head for other stations, depending on grade levels. I'll share how things go. I'm excited to do both the Indian art and zentangle and see what the kids can (and will) do.