Sunday, February 1, 2015

Using Books to Inspire

Having taught art for over 10 years, there are many lessons I enjoy doing with my students. I will do those lessons every couple of years. My Tightrope Walker is one of them. I usually read them the book which is about a little boy who walks around the world on a tightrope. We get to talk about landscapes, perspective and what IS a tight rope?
I've done this lesson using crayon resist, which means I get to read them another cool book the second week of this lesson.
Here are the results!

Along with the tried and true lessons, it's always fun to try something NEW! It was towards the end of the last school year, when I realize I hadn't taught the little ones how to mix the color green or the color brown.

Browsing through Pinterest I saw many projects that used a hand to create a tree. Trees are brown and they have green leaves. OH YEAH! 

I had students trace their hand and part of their arm, they added curvy lines to create the sense of lots of leaves at the tops of their tree. Then, I had the students mix the color green and paint the leaves. Next, we added red paint to magically turn the green paint into brown.

The second week I read them-
And ..... the students used scrap paper to make houses in their trees!

 This covered many of our Elements of Art, was made with mixed media and was a lot of fun!

These two examples of using literature in my art room gives me something to think about. The first lesson was inspired by the book The Tightrope Walker and in the second lesson the book was just an after thought.  To me, The Tightrope Walker was very interesting and a good example to show students.

In my opinion, the book Froggy Builds a Tree House, was just a little silly. But, sometimes I need to find a book that will match what I'm doing, and not always be the greatest find. Let me know it you have a favorite tree house book.

I enjoy using books with my primary students, it breaks up the time and works with their attention span. However, should the book always inspire the lesson? Or would grabbing any book work?
What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

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