In our BTS/ALP (Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program) school, we create collaborative lessons to integrate visual art instruction with core subjects. For this lesson, I have focused on creating art projects that teach science principles and the classroom teacher will be focusing on helping the students write about their art in the classroom. We have been studying the changes that come with the seasons, and also the habitats around the world. This has been one of the most rewarding and fun projects that I have ever participated in.
About two months ago, we started with the monumental task of acquiring about 250 books that were suitable for recycling! We scoured the discards at libraries, went to yard sales, asked for donations and visited thrift stores. Parents and teachers all helped locate the books. At one point, we didn't know if we would be able to pull this off and get enough books, but almost miraculously we got enough books so every child could create their very own art journal.
Our goal in selecting books was that the book was appropriate for children, had a hard cover, and had very few pictures. We wanted the pages to have a neutral background that would provide nice texture, but not too much distraction for the artwork.
Getting all the books ready was a huge task. We painted the covers with black acrylic paint and then let them dry before we gave them to the students. All of the classroom teachers helped me with this project. We painted about 50 to 60 books each day until we were finished.
Meanwhile, I don't know when we have had an art project that has generated such excitement. The children absolutely LOVE their books! They are excited about the art we do each week within the pages of the book.
We are finishing up this project now, but we will add little things to the book throughout the year. The teachers will also use these journals in the classroom to give the students a chance to publish their writing within the pages of the journal.
The only downside to this project is that we don't have cool pictures to post on the walls of the school. The positive side of that is that their paintings are in a book... something that is protected and loved!
If you want to see the fun projects we have done in these journals, please check back soon. I will be adding more posts over the next few weeks.