Wednesday, October 9, 2019


My pony Jingles and I got to sing at Charleston Collegiate yesterday.  It's spirit week there and yesterday was "country or country club" day.  Yeehaw!  Never grow up!!!

No time for art? The trick is to figure out how to tie art in with your standards. In fact, writing standards commonly include “writing, drawing, and dictating.” Kids love to make and create things, so take advantage of that by extending skills with art. Art is active, open-ended, and encourages children to think creatively and use their imagination. 


Most of the time when we ask children to draw something they pick up a crayon and get going. Here are some tips that might help them plan their illustrations before they begin.

1st Explain that they should think about what they want to draw and plan how they are going to do it. Suggest they close their eyes and get a picture in their brain.

2nd Remind them to add details. Just like we add words to sentences to make them more meaningful, the more details you add to your drawings the more interesting they will be.

3rd An easy rule for children to follow is to ask them to use as many colors as they are in age. If you are five, you should use at least five colors in your picture. If you are six use at least six colors, and so forth. And, of course, “fill in the page” is always a challenge.
Hint! One teacher said she discovered that when she gave her students colored paper they were more likely to fill in the page. (Give it a try and let me know what you think.)

4th Compare and contrast illustrations. Show children several books with different illustrations. What media did the different illustrators use to make their pictures? Which illustrations do they like best? Why?
Remind your students that they are illustrators, too!

5th Aesthetic appreciation is probably not one of your standards, but I enjoyed introducing famous artists to my students. And the parents always got a kick out of their children talking about Picasso or Van Gogh.
Art Appreciation 101

Each week choose a famous artist – anyone from Vermeer to Rockwell to Picasso.  You can go online and download prints or check out books from the library. On Monday, give a little background about the artist and show one painting and give the title. Explain that artists always give a “name” or title to their work.  “What title would you give this painting?”  “What do you see?”  “Why do you think the artist painted this?”  “What do you think happened before?”  “After?”  “What do you think the people are saying?”  “How does this painting make you feel?”  “What materials did the artist use to create this picture?”
On Tuesday show another picture.  “Do you remember the title of yesterday’s painting? What do you think is the title of today’s painting?”  Compare and contrast.  “How are they alike?”  “How are they different?”  

Continue introducing a different painting every day. 

*Use paintings to introduce new vocabulary words.
*Use paintings as springboards for writing stories or poems.
*Paintings can also be used for informative writing where children describe details.
*On Friday let children graph which painting they liked best. Why did you like that one?  Is there one you did not like?

So, a funny thing happened because I was going to end this blog with an idea about Michelangelo. I was going to suggest you tell the children how he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on his back. Wouldn’t it be fun to tape paper under the table and let the children draw like Michelangelo? Well, guess what? That’s a myth. He actually stood up as he painted and then they attached the panels to the ceiling. You learn something new every day, don’t you? 

I still think it would be fun to tape paper to the bottom of a table and draw!