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Writing and Illustrating Class

Of course I am just a writer but I do love art! One of my favorites to teach is art to as many kids as I can. When I can integrate a good book, it is even better. Most the time in my substitute bag of everything, I usually carry a few favorite books and some art appeal that I can lure kids into a learning state before I entice them with a moment of art. One of the first things I do is to look for the water color paints. Hopefully they are almost out but many times they are untouched. I place them on the counter and let the kids ask, then I share if they are good for me then we will paint at the end of the day. This is seriously a great motivator. Even when they get 10-15 min of free computer time, many kids choose art because it is quite a novelty anymore.

This week I started the great free course: The Chapter Book Alchemist, attached to the Middle Grade Novel course which starts the first week of June. I signed up with Mira from The Children's Book Academy. I enjoy having a little art in my life even though it is not a pathway for me, it is a bit of love.

This self-paced course I can take from my own home sure makes the day rewarding. Today, I learned about some really great artists. I have taught radial designs before with names and sixth graders. But today, with Laura Goldstein it was a tutorial on folding paper. A perfect activity I could share with my son since he is home, of course.

Here is my art today. A cut paper radial design. I was inspired to make it for "Amy's Cup of Tea." Cut paper is quite tricky. You have to think about the folds and the curves. Sharp scissors is a must. My name is also short, which helps in this activity. Simple directions. 1. Make a water bomb base from origami. Check out here: 2. Fold it to a triangle 3. Then sketch your name touching the edges 4. If you have room, make a design that represents you on any space left or squeeze in with your letters. 5. The artist today chose to be unique with a spider, a favorite animal, or simple hearts. Remember to pay attention to the sides and the folds. It is a great lesson in negative space which is certainly a good brain skill to practice. I think this is a good project for 6th- 8th grade. I hope you can try it out. I'd love to put it on a color back ground but I am out of construction paper.

Next, check out Hugh D'Andrade's art! He has some great book cover designs. From the classics of To Kill A Mocking Bird to Alice in Wonderland. Also new contemporary books like this new series about Sherlock Holmes sister. An Enola Holmes Mystery: The Case of the Missing Marquess, by Nancy Springer. They are totally on my list!

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