I could not agree with you any more, Karen. Students drew with pencil back then, and they still do to this day. Even other art projects (painting etc.) are sketched out first, using pencil. It is a very popular medium because it is forgiving; you can erase mistakes easily. Not only that, but it is very accessible to art teachers.
The pencil is an interesting pick because its use extends beyond just drawing, but to writing, as well. Regardless, both drawing and writing require that students create, or recreate, and therein does learning take place. The correlation may not be too evident at first, but if you think about it, drawing and writing force the one holding the pencil to give shape to the thoughts they have in their head, making students think concretely about their ideas, and when the student's thoughts materialize a connection made and there is an increase in knowledge. Great choice.
That is a great question. The pencil has done so much more art and many other subjects. Pencils are thought of as a base of art. Some people may find it hard to believe but the pencil is still technology which is fabulous. The pencil is so cool because I have a feeling we will always default back to it. Pencils can play so many tricks on your eyes, I think this is so because the color graphite. It is amazing how real a portrait or something can look in just pencil color.
I also chose pencils! I think that pencils are an essential part of art, and your question definitely conveys your shared thoughts with that. Pencils are one of the forgiving mediums in art where mistakes and practice are easily fixed and and less daunting when creating. Pencils are efficient when planning for a painting or drawing so that nothing is permanent in this process.
Without pencils allow people to sketch ideas and erase flaws. Pencils is a great writing and drawing tool to develop ideas. It builds a bridge from your mind to reality.