Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm in the process of designing an art/reading remediation program for one of my graduate level classes. I've called it ArtSmarts and the goal is to (1.) provide students with exposure to art, art history, and give them opportunities to play with art supplies, and (2.)to help students review FCAT reading skills in a fun, relaxing setting. The project has been coming along nicely. I've learned a lot about many artists that I'd never even heard of like Paul Klee, Paul Cezanne, and Alexander Calder.

I was inspired to start this project after seeing what the art program was like at the elementary school where I taught. My students colored worksheets during one of the rare times in the week when they should have been freely expressing themselves through exciting new mediums they didn't have access to at home or in the classroom. Many of my students struggled academically, and really needed this additional opportunity to find success. That's what makes art, music, and PE classes so special. They're a chance for students to find, explore and show off talents that aren't always prized in the normal classroom.

If anyone has any interesting ideas about how to infuse art and reading, or about any African-American artists with work I can expose my students to, please let me know.

Here are some examples of books for kids that introduce them to different famous artists and types of art. I strongly believe that teaching kids about art, especially the students I worked with who don't enter school with a lot of information about the arts, is a great way to help students acquire new funds of knowledge.

A Bird of Two: A Story About Henri Matisse
by Bijou Le Tord

Paul Klee by Ernest Raboff

The Yellow House: Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin Side by Side by Susan Goldman Rubin

Cezanne Art Activity Pack by Mila Bouton

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

Marie in Fourth Position: The Story of Degas’ “The Little Dancer” by Amy Littlesugar

Pablo Picasso- On My Own Biographies by Linda Lowery

Frida by Jonah Winter

Masters of Art Leonardo Da Vinci: Artist, Inventor and Scientist of the
by Francesca Romei

Georgia O'Keefe by Robyn Turner

1 comment:

ms. wright said...

I would be interested in infusing African America Art into my classroom. I teach at a predominantly African American school and I always do a unit on African American literature. The children are always so involved and engaged, and extending it in to art would really appeal to my boys who really love drawing.