Since we are continuing to explore ways to integrate authentic, content-driven opportunities for students to practice reading skills across the curriculum, I’m highlighting titles today that can serve to supplement instruction in art classes, while simultaneously fostering interdisciplinary thinking and creativity. Take a look!
- Magic Trash: A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art – by JH Shapiro, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Charlesbridge) – Explore the power of communal art as you learn the back story behind the formation of the Heidelberg Project, a movement to bring together residents of a Detroit neighborhood in a celebration of public art and community solidarity.
- An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work – presented by the National Gallery of Art (Chicago Review Press) – Introduce students to the enormity of art history with this accessible volume that presents famous artists and important historical movements in short, well-explained vignettes.
- I Am an Artist – by Patricia Collins, illustrated by Robin Brickman (Millbrook) – Encourage students to begin to think of themselves as artists by emphasizing how important simply looking at and listening to the everyday world is in the process of creating and appreciating art.
- Light Makes Colors – by Jennifer Boothroyd (Lerner) – Blend art instruction with science lessons by introducing students to light’s role in producing what we perceive as colors.
- Cool Paper Folding: Creative Activities That Make Math & Science Fun for Kids! – by Anders Hanson & Elissa Mann (ABDO) – Reinforce geometry concepts with these beautiful and challenging origami paper folding activities that require shape visualization and precision.
- Graffiti Culture – by Liz Gogerly (Lerner) – Discuss the social and political implications of graffiti with your students, while simultaneously learning about the history and tradition of this fascinating, albeit controversial form of public art.
- Spicy Hot Colors / Colores Picantes – by Sherry Shahan, illustrated by Paula Barragan (August House) – Revel in this book’s bright, raucous illustrations while analyzing the author’s use of rhythmic language and onomatopoeia to convey movement and emotion to her readers.
- History Paintings – by Valerie Bodden (part of the Brushes With Greatness series from The Creative Company) – Art history can (and arguably, should) play a role in “core” instruction by illustrating historically significant events, illuminating the artistic context for social and political movements, and providing visual counterpoints to abstract concepts or ideas. This series is an excellent resource for planning these types of lessons and units.
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