Art is an enjoyable way to incorporate mathematical and spatial reasoning during learning time. Yet, squeezing art into my weekly schedule is difficult. In the past, I have included craft solutions to display our work. Still, I find that I do more work than the students do, and the prep time occasionally kills the project. This year, I plan to encourage my students to become their own illustrators and graphical artists by having them illustrate or model the topics and strategies they learn about in ELA, Math, Science, Bible, or History.
This week I reintroduced the C.A.F.E. menu of reading strategies from the Two Sisters and the six traits of good writing using V.O.I.C.E.S. The comprehension strategy of the week was retell the story. Of course, I created a connection between retelling the story and the O of the six traits, organization. We focused on the structure of a story: the beginning, a middle, and the end.
Throughout the week, we referred to these strategies to retell the stories I read, and we completed graphical organizers to support these ideas. At the end of the week, I combined our Work on Writing Center with Art. The project was simple, illustrate an original story, or retell a familiar story with pictures using the beginning, middle, and end strategy.
The kids loved it, and the assignment lends itself to differentiation. The older or more advanced child retold a story, but with an original twist. The younger learner retold a familiar story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by E. Carle. The best part was how easy it was. Below is a step-by-step overview of what we did.
First, we folded a 12’’ by 18’’ piece of construction paper into 1/3 like a letter. We glued half of a 12’’ by 12’’ piece of scrapbook paper to the top flap and cut copier paper into tags. However, we did not title our story until the end. On the inside flap, they wrote their names.
Second, the students orientated the construction paper to the portrait position. Together we wrote a B, an M, and an E in the upper left-hand corner of each section.
Third, the children drew the parts of their stories. I observed the type of stories they selected. This gave me an idea about what books they really liked and the subjects they enjoy. It was a chance to learn about their unique tastes and to improve their classroom reading selections. In science, we introduced using a compass to make a circle. One child used the compass in his art.
Finally, the students titled their stories. We then decided to skip Word Work time and allowed the students to tell their stories. This was a peaceful end to a busy week, and the students had the opportunity to apply the concepts of the week in a unique way. At the end of the day, I taped the back of the stories to our Wonder Wall, so the students could display their creations.