One of the best ways to transition children into art-making is through a book. And if that book connects with the season, all the better. During the days when children filed into art rooms and sat on a carpet (oh, please bring these days back!), reading a picture book was the best management tool I developed for establishing a calm transition to art.
This is still an effective approach, especially if you are teaching remotely. Sharing a quick story with your students can calm down the zoom room and generate excitement and curiosity about the project to come.
Here are some Fall titles to pick up and a few lesson ideas to pair them with…
Bear Hug by Katherin McEwen
If this one looks familiar it’s because I used it as inspiration for one of my favorite projects in a summer workshop, and as a lesson inside the Science & Nature Bundle in The Sparkler’s Club. The lesson I created emphasizes the versatility of crayons. Pretty timely now, I’d say!
The book shares the story of a young bear as he faces winter alone for the first time. The illustrations are filled with line, texture, fall colors and of course, lots of bears.
Sweep by Louise Greig and Júlia Sardà
Sweep had me at the cover…gold, bronze and amber leaves floating over a beautiful page. It reminded me of one of my favorite fall projects, Leaf Print Art Activity.
This book is more than pretty leaves though. It shares the story of Ed and his bad mood and how quickly a mood can escalate.
Discussing emotions is becoming a big part of many art programs and this book is a great addition to any emotion-based lesson.
Tree by Britta Techentrup
While perfect for any season, trees tend to make an appearance in art lessons more in the fall than in any other season…especially deciduous trees with color leaves.
Tree shares the life cycle of a tree through each season and beautifully captures the child’s interest through peek holes into an owl’s dwelling.
For the organized art teacher, there is no better book to capture the seasons and create a 4-season tree project that would space the school year. I’ve always wanted to do that type of project, but I never committed to the whole year. Pity, because I think it would be a wonderful keepsake for 1st grade art journals.
Waiting for Wolf by Sandra Diekmann
Art Mixology Summer workshop fans might be familiar with Dieckmann’s work as her book, Leaf, was featured in Britt Curley’s presentation of a polar bear using gouache and colored pencils.
This book doesn’t disappoint. It’s an art teacher’s DREAM book – lines, shape, texture, color, and even some sparkly stuff. I can’t wait to create a lesson based on the illustrations but if you have already done one, go ahead and link up to your blog and share. I’d love to see it!
Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
This is my second “Good-bye” book from Pak and I love it just as much. The illustrations are as gentle, flowing, and as transitional as autumn. Just about any project that includes fall leaves, birch trees or fall trees would make a lovely companion to this book.
Tidy by Emily Gravett
There are some books that just bring a smile to my face. Pete the skunk is a tidy fellow who insists on vacuuming up all the fallen leaves. It’s quite a chore. And with winter coming, it can be quite the problem. Perfectionists will love this tidy tale and kids will love Pete. Oh, how I wish I had a skunk project to link to for this book. But for now, I’ll share my Falling Leaves project to provide a problem perfect for Pete. Try this lesson in November for Native American Heritage Month, and learn how to incorporate the topic and project together effortlessly.
Do you have a Fall book that you use in your art room? Please share or tag @deepspacesparkle in Instagram so I can share with other art teachers.
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