Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inspiring Art Books: "Only One You," by Linda Kranz

I'm an avid reader and I'm always looking for ways to create a multi-layered experience in the art classroom: music, movement, looking at a real piece of artwork, performing a play, etc. I also like to bring in books to share. This is kind of tricky since I have a short period of time to teach and I don't want to spend the whole class reading a book AND some children want to get creating when they get to my classroom (and won't sit still for me to read an entire book)....BUT, nonetheless, I keep trying!

Sometimes I show them the pictures (illustrations) from the book and comment about the images and then while the children are working I actually READ the book to them. This seems to be what works right now with my students.

Anyway...I heard about this great little book and it is perfect for an art project! "Only One You," by Linda Kranz, is a wonderfully colorful book full of great litle nuggets of wisdom. The story itself is of a mother and father fish imparting words to live by to their son, Adri. The illustrations are simple and combine underwater photo backgrounds with rocks painted to look like fish. But these aren't the fish you are used to--they are painted with tons of bright colors and patterns--the artwork is truly inspiring! And don't miss the endpapers (the paper on the inside of the front and back covers), they are filled with little sayings that are great and are good reminders to us all.

Of course, you could paint rocks to link to this book, but I thought a project I saw on Art Moments could be tweaked a bit and work nicely.

Only One ME Paper Plate Fish

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper plate
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick and Elmer's glue
  • Sharpie or other black permanent marker
  • Colored markers (we used Crayola washable markers)
  • Large sheet of blue construction paper (12" x 18")
  • Green and brown construction paper
  • The book, "Only One You," for inspiration!

1. Cut away a triangle shape from one side of the paper plate to create the fish's mouth. Glue the triangular piece you removed onto the side of the fish opposite the mouth to represent the fish's tail (see photo).

2. Use the pencil and draw an eye, lips, and a fin on your fish.

3. Look at the book for inspiration and discuss line, pattern, color, etc. With younger children, you may want to have them practice drawing lines and patterns to get their creative juices flowing. Use the pencil  to divide the areas of the fish into different patterns. The sky's the limit!

4. Once the fish is all patterned-up, have the child draw over the pencil lines with a permanent black marker (if you use a washable marker for this, it will bleed later on). Erase the pencils lines after you've inked the entire fish.

5. Fill in the areas of the fish with color using the markers. Everyone's fish will be different, and that's the point! Make sure the fish is nice and colorful!

6. Have the child rip green and brown paper for the seaweed and ground and adhere them to the blue construction paper background using a glue stick. I used Elmer's glue to adhere the fish to the background.

7. You could add another layer to this project by having the child either write his/her name in a speech bubble coming from the fish's mouth OR have the fish be imparting a bit of wisdom. The children can make up their own bit of advice or use one of the quotes from inside the end pages of the "Only One You" book such as: "Enjoy Every Day."

Another great idea for this project would be to create a bulletin board with all the fish from one class. Decorate the bulletin board with blue paper and add seaweed and a ground from ripped construction paper. Then add a special quote from the book or one that has particular meaning to your class and arrange all of the fish around the quote.

No matter how you do this project, it is a great way to learn some of the basic elements of art while allowing children to express their individuality. The words of wisdom will also spark quite a bit of discussion, no matter what age group you try this project with. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...