If she's going to draw the strange posture a downy woodpecker takes at our bird feeder, she needs to notice exactly how his feet and wings are placed. That sets her up to discover (from our bird book) information about how his wings differ from the birds we're more used to seeing. Observation, drawing, and research all reinforce each other.
This is a shame for so many reasons. One that I think about a lot is that it leads to a poorly educated audience for art. Learning to draw means learning to look. An audience of people with basic drawing skills is much more appreciative of art than an audience of people with no serious art skills.
The library she was working in wouldn't let her make Xeroxes, so she had to painstakingly copy each character. As she copied, she suddenly became able to tell where each one began and ended & to recognize each letter as well (I think that's how the story went).
I think this principle probably works with sentences, reading, and grammar, btw. If a student copies a sentence word-for-word, I **think** he or she is going to start to see the chunks.
That would be an interesting experiment, actually.
This does assume they are also doing narration, telling Mom or Dad what to write about something they've read.