Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!


This page is always changing! It is meant to be a list of the books, webpages, and other sources of inspiration and knowledge I use in my art classes. Not everything is on this list, you may find additional resources within each post.These resources are organized by subject.

  • "Arts of Africa: 7000 Years of African Art," by Enzio Bassani (A lovely book that truly has every type of African Art you can think of! This is a grown-up art book so it does have images that may not be appropriate for children).
  • "Hands On Africa: Art Activities For All Ages," by Yvonne Y. Merrill (A wonderful book filled with a variety of art ideas representing the many tribes and countries of Africa. There are projects for wearables, sculptures, musical instruments and more, exploring a variety of art techniques. Although it is a children's book, it does have some adult content, so view the book before sharing it with your child to determine the appropriateness for your family).
  • "Masterpieces of Primitive Art: The Nelson T. Rockefeller Collection," by Douglas Newton and Lee Boltin (My local library had this and it was a great source for examples of images of masks).
  • "Discovering Great Artists," by Maryann Kohl and Kim Solga (Loads of hand-on lessons that allow children to explore a variety of Art Masters--this one's great to own).
  • "Teaching Art With Books Kids Love," by Darcie Clark Frohardt (Lovely way to integrate literature and fine art with art lessons--great read!)
  • "The Kids Multicultural Art Book: Art & Craft Experiences From Around the World," by Alexandra M. Terzian (This book is geared towards elementary students and the projects are varied and use inexpensive materials).
  • "Using Color in Your Art: Choosing Colors for Impact & Pizzazz," by Sandi Henry (A full-color book that has 36 wonderful projects to teach children color theory while creating  beautiful pieces of art. These projects are inexpensive to make and easy to do).
  • "Action Jackson," by Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan (Children's book about Jackson Pollock)
  • "Edgar Degas: Paintings That Dance (Smart About Art)" by Kristen N. Cole and Maryann Cocca-Leffler (A nice book to illustrate movement in Degas' work).
  • "How Are You Peeling: Foods With Moods," by Saxon Freyman and Joost Elffers (Seriously cute book! I can't get enough of these adorable food sculptures).
  • "It Looked Like Spilt Milk," by Charles G. Shaw (A classic.)
  • "Leaf Jumpers," by Carole Gerber (A great book to read before going on a leaf hunt--nice examples of leaf types and colors).
  • "Leaf Man," by Lois Ehlert (Classic, gotta have it!).
  • "Leaves" by David Ezra Stein (Nice book about the changes that occur in autumn such as leaves changing and bears getting ready to hibernate).
  • "Only One You," by Linda Kranz (Neat painted "fish" rocks and inspirational sayings/words of wisdom
  • "The Day the Babies Crawled Away," by Peggy Rathman (Silhouettes with beautiful colored skies, also a cute story about a brave little boy).
  • "The Girl Who Heard Colors," by Marie Harris, (Link to Kandinsky and synesthesia).
  • "The Fiddler of The Northern Lights," by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock (Beautiful tale of the Northern lights done in watercolor).
  • "The Robot Book," by Heather Brown (Super-cute board book that teaches kiddos that it is what is inside that truly counts! May be hard to find since it was out of print the sat I looked).
  • "Tar Beach" by Faith Ringgold (My go-to book for using quilts to tell a story).
  • "Uncle Andy's," by James Warhola (Children's book about Andy Warhol)
  • "China: DK Eyewitness Books," by Poppy Sebag-Montefiore (A nice overview of China and Chinese culture. The book has some clear, beautiful images of calligraphy, writing, and dragon costumes).
  • "Gung Hay Fat Choy," by June Behrens (This is a great nonfiction book that has lots of pictures and info about Chinese New Year. I love the pictures of the dragons used in the Dragon Dance).
  • "Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats," by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz & The Children's Museum, Boston (A wonderful book of Chinese holiday tales, activities and recipes).
  • "The Boy Who Painted Dragons,"by Demi (All of Demi's books are beautiful! This artist has been known to paint with a mouse's whisker! She's also created books on Mother Theresa, Mary and Jesus).
  • "The Kid's Multicultural Art Book,"by Alexandra M. Terzian (This is a great go-to book for a number of crafts from around the world. A must for an art teacher's personal collection. I love the whole series of art books for children by this publisher).
  • "The Paper Dragon,"by Marguerite W. Davol (LOVE this book! And artist saves his village from a dragon by using creativity and intelligence. A great book!)
  • "You Can Write Chinese," by Kurt Wiese (A bit dated, but the way the information about Chinese symbols is presented is wonderful and very kid-friendly).
  • A China Family Adventure. http://www.china-family-adventure.com/chinese-writing-symbols.html (Accessed January 2012) This site has a section entitled, "Learning Chinese Writing Symbols for Kids" that has some wonderful, clear images of chinese calligraphy and a nice chart that shows the evolution of a few Chinese characters (this is where you will see that the original Chinese character for rain looks like rain falling from a cloud)
  • Chinese Calligraphy By Kids. http://library.thinkquest.org/3614/intro.htm (Accessed January 2012) A wonderful website by two elementary girls that is very child-friendly and has a ton of wonderful information about Chinese calligraphy, great picture examples and explanation of some symbols and the combination of symbols. Lovely!
  • "The Ancient Egypt Pack: A Three-Dimensional Celebration of Egyptian Mythology, Culture, Art, Life and the Afterlife," by Christos Kondeatis & Sara Maitland. 
  • "Native American Crafts of the Northwest Coast, the Arctic, and the Subarctic," by Judith Hoffman Corwin (Colorful, hand-drawn images with lots of visual inspiration. The projects are for a bit older child (maybe 5th grade, or a child working with a grown-up).

  •  "The Inuit: Ivory Carvers of the Far North," by Rachel A. Koestler-Grack (This book is full of great information and images that aided in my giving a brief background on the Inuit people and their beautiful carvings).
  • "Totem Pole" by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

  • "The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masks," by DK Publishing (This book contains five removable masks that the children can wear or you can use for display. Each mask has a double-page spread with basic info about the mask and the culture it is from. This book doesn't have much info, but seeing how different masks can be and having the actual masks for display may make it worthwhile for you to pick it up).
  • "Medieval Projects You Can Do!" by Marsha Groves (Lots of great projects and great references).
  • "Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud" by Susan Goldman Rubin
  • "Fauve Landscapes" by Judi Freeman (A beautiful book I've had since Undergrad school--this book focuses on landscapes only, but has beautiful full-color plates).
  • "Cow Parade New York" by Thomas Craughwell (A must-have for my Cow Parade Lesson--so many cows, so little time!).

  • "Dream Carver," by Diana Cohn (A lovely story about a book who dreams of creating beautiful carvings of animals painted in fanciful colors even though his ideas are not in line with traditional ways. Great images and a wonderful story!)
  • "Oaxacan Woodcarving: The Magic in the Trees," by Shepard Barbash (Tons of great images and information on Oaxacan Woodcarvings).
  • Incredible Art Department: Oaxacan Animal Sculptures. http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/Joani-Oaxaca.htm (Accessed March 2012) This contains a similar project to my Oaxacan Papier MachĂ© Snakes. 
  • El Caracol Zapoteca: Fine Oaxacan Woodcarving. http://www.oaxacafinecarvings.com/ (Accessed March 2012) This is a commercial online gallery and a great online resource to show contemporary examples of Oaxacan woodcarvings to students. The images are copyrighted).
  • "Cassie's Word Quilt," by Faith Ringgold (The main character of the "Tar Beach" book stars in this picture book full of words).
  • "Dia's Story Cloth: The Hmong People's Journey to Freedom," by Dia Cha (This is more of an embroidered quilt, but it chronicles the journey of these refugees from Southeast Asia and their search for freedom).
  • "Talking With TebĂ©: Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist," Edited by Mary E. Lyons (The quilts and paintings of this self-taught African American folk artist pair well with Ringgold's textile art).
  • "Tar Beach," by Faith Ringgold (This was the specific book I used for this project--the children had me read it to them twice).
  • "The Keeping Quilt," by Patricia Polacco (This shows a quilt moving though generations of immigrants coming to the new world).

  • "500 Kids Art Ideas: Inspiring Projects for Fostering Creativity and Self-Expression" by Gavin Andrews (A picture book-type resource for art ideas. I am a contributor to this book).
  • A Survival Kit for Elementary & Middle School Teachers," by Helen D. Hume (This is a wonderful book that has a number of great projects. I like how her projects have a "Teacher Page" with background info and alternative lesson plans as well as a "Student Page" that you could photocopy and hand to students to refer to as they work their way through the project. I think that a number of the projects were geared more for middle-school-aged children instead of my 2nd-5th graders, but wonderful none-the-less).

  • "Art is FUNdamental: Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in Elementary School" by Eileen Prince (Great projects, very detailed and step-by-step).
  •  Article: "Smoke and Mirrors: The Art Teacher as Magician" by Nan Hathaway (pdf) This is the article that inspired Claire Provencher to look into TAB/Choice-based learning.
  • Website:  Teaching For Artistic Behavior, IncThis website is a treasure-trove of information on TAB teaching/learning!
  • Book: "Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-based Art Education in the Classroom," by Katherine Douglas and Diane B. Jaquith (A great read and has many testimonials about how this method of teaching/learning can be achieved in the art classroom).
  • Book: "The Learner-Directed Classroom: Developing Creative Thinking Skills Through Art" by Diane Jaquith and Nan Hathaway

  • "Treehouses: The Art and Craft of Living Out on a Limb" by Peter Nelson
  • The "Picturing America" series from the National Endowment for the Humanities (http://picturingamerica.neh.gov). 

This page was updated January 2016 by Mrs. P.

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