Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What you can learn from a children's book: My favorite way to start the school year!

Can you believe it?  It's back to school time! There is something exciting about new school supplies, and while my days as a student are long gone, as an art teacher my favorite items to prepare for the year are a fresh notebook to jot down project ideas and of course, some sort of colored ink pen to write with.

book cover image courtesy of / via 
I am going to set up my classroom very soon and one of the best tasks is unpacking my old favorite books for the classroom library while slowly adding new stories to the mix. I start the year off by reading Mem Fox's "The Straight Line Wonder" - a sure fire hit! Without telling the entire story, here are my favorite ideas that it encourages:

1. It's OK to be different and break away from the crowd sometimes (most artists do!)
2. At some point you'll jump, twirl, spin and wiggle through life and everything will be just fine
3. In the end, you'll always know who your true friends are

What makes the story extra special is that the book was given to me by a mentor who taught me the magic of always staying as stay playful and excited as children when they first pick up a crayon or paintbrush.

Ready to make some art with the kids? Then stop by the Studio Museum of Harlem this Sunday, August 26 for a really fun printmaking activity I'll be helping to facilitate! Go here for more details and to RSVP