A growing body of research shows that not only is art helpful for learning, but is an essential component, especially for reading. In this post I’ve shared a creative literacy based art project that is easy to do and will help your students make deeper connection to a wonderful book that is a classroom favorite!
Invisible Pictures: A Literacy Based Art Project
I’m a firm believer in integrating art and literacy. In fact, I like to integrate art in all subject areas whenever I can. Art helps to bolster student reading and writing, helps reach second language learners, and offers a path to engaging struggling learners. This literacy based art project is a fun one to do while working with the book, Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
I’m a big fan of this oldie but goodie. I’ve used it as a mentor text for teaching cause and effect, sequencing, problem/solution, and even social skills and conflict resolution.
Making Art with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
One of the events in the story that always gives kids a giggle is when Alexander draws an invisible picture in art class. He gets upset when the art teacher likes his friend Paul’s picture better. I ask my students why they think that is? Of course they all respond with an emphatic, “Because she can’t even see Alexander’s picture!”
To remedy that, students made what started as invisible pictures, but ones the teacher could later see. To do this we used a crayon resist technique. With all the lights off, students pulled out their folders, and used white crayons to draw.
The shadows from their folders helped students to see their pictures as they drew.
After diluting a brightly colored Tempra paint, students brushed them over their drawings.
We used paper towels to blot the paper and soak up excess water from the paint wash.
Next, students wrote to explain what happened to upset Alexander in art class, and using quotation marks, what Alexander’s teacher would say about his picture now that she can see it!
To publish and display the writing glue the pictures and the writing on a sheet of 12″ x 18″ construction paper. I know many teachers don’t have time in their schedule to do projects like this often. One way to fit them in is to set aside some time on a Friday afternoon.
To do this with your class click the link below to download the FREE writing templates.
CLICK HERE to download the FREE Invisible Picture Writing Template.
CLICK HERE for the complete Alexander Reading Unit & 6-Lesson Teaching PowerPoint
I hope you’ll try painting invisible pictures with your class. It’s a high engagement extension activity and a fun literacy based art project to do with a wonderful picture book!
Be sure to pin this for later so you have it when you plan!
For more reading and writing activities, teaching ideas, and freebies visit these posts!