My students are learning about ancient China, and they adore learning Chinese characters. For example, sun 日 and moon 月 together make bright 明. Oh yeah, my students were digging that.
So I showed them some books that put the characters into pictures. Then they chose three characters to illustrate themselves. Some did three different pictures, but some combined them into one picture.
One boy drew a picture of a fire-breathing dragon, and he worked fire (火) into the dragon’s face. Then he drew someone throwing water (水) bombs at the dragon (to stop the fire, naturally). Caught in the dragon’s claws were people (人). Around the dragon’s feet were little sticks.
“I like the grass by his feet,” I said, “Maybe you could work ‘earth’ (土) in there.”
“No, those are the arms of the people,” he said, “because really the person character should have arms like big (大) does. But since it doesn’t, I made their arms go away. To match the character.”