The Art, Books, and Creativity (ABC) curriculum comprises fourteen lesson plans, high resolution images, artists’ biographies, book-making instructions, and a vocabulary list. Lesson plans and vocabulary lists are available in English and Spanish versions.
Download full ABC Curriculum in English (2011 version)
Download full ABC Curriculum in Spanish (2007 version)
Introduction to the ABC Curriculum
Introduces curriculum concepts, including artists’ books; curriculum organization centered on observation, creation, and reflection; art materials; 6+1 Traits of Writing; and assessment.
One-page summary of the curriculum’s enduring understandings, essential questions, key concepts, and assessment evidence.
Students view and discuss Love’s Young Dream by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, considering how artists express stories visually through setting, symbols, etc. Students learn that by looking carefully and analyzing what they see, they can “read” narrative art to find meaning, much as they do narrative writing. (Additional image: To Kiss the Spirits by Hollis Sigler)Download the full lesson PDF
Students view and discuss Portrait of a Noblewoman by Lavinia Fontana and explore how artists help us understand the people portrayed in their art. By observing the subject’s clothing, facial expression, and physical context, students can infer much about his or her identity, personality, and role in society. Students create self-portrait books illustrated with visual and written self-portraits. (Additional image: Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky by Frida Kahlo)Download the full lesson PDF
Landscape & Still Life
Students view and discuss Staffelsee in Autumn by Gabriele Münter and Still Life with Watermelon, Pears, and Grapes by Lilly Martin Spencer. They learn how artists use overlapping, size, color, foreground, and background to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. They create a tunnel book in which to explore landscape and depth. (Additional images: March, Bermuda by Jennifer Bartlett and Still Life of Fish and Cat by Clara Peeters)Download the full lesson PDF
Students view and discuss Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and Crocuses by Alma Thomas, exploring how artists communicate ideas and emotions through abstract means. Students discover that the subject of some abstract art is the arrangement the elements of art, rather than the description of people, ideas, things, or places. Students create a flag book. (Additional image: Rainy Night, Downtown by Georgia Mills Jessup)Download the full lesson PDF
Students view and discuss Untitled by Frida Baranek. They learn that three-dimensional objects like sculpture often can be viewed from multiple sides and that a work’s forms may change depending on the position of the viewer. Students explore the materials formal vocabulary artists use to create sculptures and use paper folding techniques to create sculpture hats. (Additional image: Jar by Lucy Martin Lewis)Download the full lesson PDF
Students view and discuss Tunnel Map by Carol Barton and Circulus Sapientiae (Circle of Wisdom) by Clare Van Vliet. They discover similarities and differences between traditional books, sculpture, and artists’ books. Students explore how images, text, and the form of the book work together to express meaning. They add text and images to the flag book they made in Lesson 5.Download the full lesson PDF
Colorful Words & Telling Images
Students look at illustrated children’s books to explore how illustrations and texts can relate to and strengthen one another. Students choose descriptive words or phrases from their journals and quick writes and create images that help communicate their meaning.Download the full lesson PDF
Imagine Your Artist’s Book
Students review all of their artwork and writings and choose a concept for their final artists’ books. They select text and illustration techniques to use in their final books and choose a book form to house their words and images. Students explore the idea that an artist’s book is a container for housing an idea.Download the full lesson PDF
Creating a Prototype
Students learn that artists and writers use tools to help them explore and test new ideas and designs. Students make prototypes of their artists’ books and plan where the text and images will go on each of the pages. Based on their prototypes, students decide if revisions to the text, images, and book forms are needed.Download the full lesson PDF
Pulling It All Together
Students make their artists’ books by working on book forms and their various components including images, texts, covers, and the layout and assembly of these parts. This lesson is meant to give students time to work on the various parts of their books at their own paces.Download the full lesson PDF