Art Inspiration from Alaska


To celebrate my 50th birthday (I need to start owning this number), Neil and I took the kiddos on a cruise to Alaska. Just saying those words makes me feel more grateful than ever. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Of course with any trip, inspiration is everywhere. We decided to do as much as we could while in Alaska as we all felt that Alaska was unlikely to … Read More →

A Child’s Introduction to Art: Book Review


I love a great book but when it comes to children’s art history, the selection has been boring. Not anymore. I was thrilled to receive a copy of A Child’s Introduction to Art: The World’s Greatest Paintings and Sculptures by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Meredith Hamilton. Finally a book that delivers a great synopsis of the world’s greatest artists in a voice that speaks well to children. The book looks … Read More →

Book Review: The Shape of my Heart


I went to my local Indie bookstore a while back searching for a book to tie-in with my Valentine’s Day themed art lessons. I gravitated towards the sea of pink and red and searched for an appropriate book for my first and second graders.  I was disappointed with the selection but to be fair, I had alot of requirements. I wanted a book to tie-in with an art lesson on … Read More →

Arlo Needs Glasses Art Lesson


Arlo Needs Glasses  by Barney Saltzberg is about as cute as you can get when it comes to interactive picture books. My group of Kinders LOVED this book. We read the book before we created our own Arlo dogs. Because the book is interactive, it is difficult to expect the children to stay seated. They want to wear the glasses, pull the strings, throw the ball and peer into the … Read More →

Inspiring Children’s Books


Children’s books add so much to an art room. Not only do they provide wonderful inspiration for great art lessons but reading a book for 5 minutes can calm the children and create a lovely transition into an art lesson. Here are a few titles that will be transformed into art lessons soon…. 1. The Rainbow Book by Kate Ohrt is a visually stunning book that demonstrates color and radial symmetry. … Read More →

Interview with Nikki McClure


While searching for a literature tie-in for my Apple Art Lesson, I found Nikki McClure’s exquisite book Apple. The story takes on you in a visual journey of the life cycle of an apple; from apple picking time to composting and re-birth. The children had fun anticipating what would become of the bright red apple. I asked Nikki if she would mind answering a few questions about her book. Patty: … Read More →

Art Books for Children


A summer day without any specific plans turned into a delightful stroll along Santa Barbara’s State Street with my daughter, Elly. First stop? The Santa Barbara Museum of Art bookstore. I love this place. It’s a treasure trove of delightful inspiration, not to mention the best selection of art books in Santa Barbara. I have visited this store a few times before and each time I discover a few new … Read More →



About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
Enjoy your stay!


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