Teachers Connect
Jul 21, 2016


There are many concepts that could be taught through a single lesson from Art, Books, & Creativity. As you think about your final project and proposed lesson key idea or concept, what, specifically, do you want your students to learn through the lesson?

20 Responses to CONCEPTUALIZE

  1. Margaret says:

    In considering our final project, I’ve decided that I want to plan a project using the accordion style book. As part of the Visual Arts curriculum foreground, middle ground, and background is a key concept 4th and 5th graders are expected to understand. This style book is perfect for making this concept exciting and fun, and this is the main idea I would like to teach my student artists in the lesson.

  2. Sandy says:

    I want my students to learn that just as there are rules to follow in life, there are rules to follow in math. For example, in life, if one wants to successfully play baseball, one needs to know and follow the rules of the game. Can you imagine a baseball game with one player insisting on always running around the bases starting at third? That wouldn’t work so well. So it is with math. There are rules we learn and follow so that we will all get the same answers for the same math problems.

    • Carmela La Gamba Bode says:

      As the duck in the movie Babe said, “I like rules.” Picasso knew the rules of making art before his abstractions broke through. I also advocate showing some conventions to students, especially those eager to know, then saying, ‘show me what you can do.’

  3. Jessica says:

    I want the 4th grade students to demonstrate their understanding of the elements of art with an emphasis on color and shape by creating an accordion -style book inspired by the work of painter Mark Rothko. Standard: 4.V.1.4 I want to students to be able to select and properly quote the painter on the back of their book from a set of quotations selected in advance by the teacher. Standard: L.4.2.B

  4. Carmela La Gamba Bode says:

    When I return to the
    un-air conditioned buildings in September, I am going to teach my first and second grade students the concertina folds to make a fan. This will give them a scaffold on which to build when we begin an basic accordion book lesson later in the year.

    • Erin says:

      Carmela, my classroom is always quite hot in September, so that would be perfect for my first graders as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing the idea!

  5. Amy says:

    I want my students to explore and play. Working with struggling learners as an art teacher one of my biggest challenges is getting past ‘the right answer’ to all the possibilities. I love how the pockets in the accordion fold can hold the student example of different media choices and techniques.

    • Adrienne says:

      Yes, and I can also see accordion books holding student made examples of art elements and principles of design as well.

  6. Jinny Choi says:

    I would like to use the artist books to teach science. One unit that I teach in science is habitats. There are so many possibilities that I think the difficulty would be to choose which type of book I want to use. I can use the tunnel book to teach students about the landscapes and different plants and animals that are in a specific habitat. Or I can use the star book and have students work in groups to create a star book about different aspects of each climate. Or I students can make a flag book and collect information about habitats and put them on different flags! The one thing that specifically, I would want students to learn no matter which book, would be that by listening and following directions, being patient and doing work carefully is important. I would like students to take ownership and pride in their work.

    • Sally says:

      Jinny, I was just thinking today how well these artist books could be adapted to science content. I always learn something from the science displays in my school, and I am sure your students would be so proud to share them with other students, teaching them as well.

    • Judith says:

      I also struggle with choosing an artist book. This will be my first year in a new school system teaching 3rd, so the curriculum will be new to me. I am leaning towards the Self-portrait book as a getting to know you activity. I find this book to be the simplest and gives me a chance to assess their fine motor skills and ability to listen and follow directions. I will also be able to assess their writing and creative skills when they write their poems.

      • Sandy says:

        I really like your idea, Judith, of using one of the simpler books, like the self-portrait book, as an evaluation tool of the students’ abilities. How often this week I have heard someone ask, “I wonder if my students could do this?” Your suggestion gives us a way to start to answer that question. Thanks.

  7. Sally says:

    I want my students to insert themselves into a piece of art – whether a painting or a story. I want them to “walk around” in the piece as the images or characters and to feel what they do. Conversely, I want them to be cognizant of themselves as the viewer and as so they bring all their history and emotions to bear as they evaluate the piece. I realize this is a tall order. Over the summer my students read To Kill a Mockingbird, which is a very emotional novel, especially in light of recent events. I want them to process some of these strong feelings through art, perhaps be creating a symbolic mini-portrait a la Lavinia Fontana’s “Portrait of a Noblewoman” of the characters, using the small artist trading card format. The cards would be accordion book, and they would design their own cover of the book.

  8. Adrienne says:

    Remarkably, a 3rd grade teacher approached me a few months ago, asking if I can work with her students next year on illustrations for stories they write in the classroom. At this moment, I’m leaning towards doing this with a flag book, as the story could be cut and pasted on flaps with the illustrations below. I want students to think outside the box regarding the typical picture book format. Also, they typically hand in work on 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper, not book form. Third grade students have a couple of years left before they own cell phones and start reading books on kindle. I’d love for them to fall in love with artist books now and continue to work with them on another type the following year.

  9. Elodie Domenge says:

    I’ve decided to create a lesson plan in which students learn how to make a pocket accordion book, and create trading cards that relate to classic fairy tales they’ve studied.

    At my school, the first grade French and English teachers do a bilingual study of fairy tales with their students (for example, Little Red Riding Hood). For the pocket trading cards, the kids could draw characters or scenes from the fairy tales they’ve read on one side, and write vocabulary words related to the character or story on the other side.

    Specifically, they would learn vocabulary relating to the fairy tale in English and French, and create images related to those words. Students would also learn how cultural variations come into play with the telling of a classic fairy tale.

  10. Julie says:

    Since the children attend year round in my program I want to teach them in the next few weeks the accordion fold to see how they work with this concept at the end of the year. Using a pocket accordion book, they can order the drawings they have created for their own stories they have told this year.

  11. Michelle says:

    I want my studnets to understand that reading and writing is a process. Many are still believing md practicing “one and done”.

  12. Lisa says:

    As I reflect on the lesson I will present to my students, I would like to elevate their knowledge of art. As I teach very young students, some concepts may be too abstract for them to understand. However I think that exposure to art vocabulary will enrich their learning and plant the seed for future use. I want to impress upon them that art is accessible to all and that all one needs to be an artist is a willingness to try new things. By incorporating different mediums and techniques I can scaffold my students beyond what they might be capable of on their own.

  13. Gail says:

    I have two ideas. One would involve the concertina flap style format and would be a collaborative poem project connected with Poem In My Pocket Day in the spring. Students would learn about a variety of poem formats and write and illustrate their poems. They would trade them with their classmates and keep them in the book.
    The other idea uses the tunnel book format. Students would create a non objective piece exploring the art elements of line, shape and space. I would like to find a woman artist who works with these elements. The artist whose work we have looked at in the past is the artist Bruce Gray.

  14. Angie L. says:

    I am not sure yet about my student project. I am still waiting to learn more of the book styles. I am thinking of a verb book based on Mies Van Hout’s Today, we will… students could use verbs from the word wall to help with spelling, and either tell a sequenced story (harder) or list verbs that appeal to them. Either case, they would illustrate the verbs.

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