The best part about launching our Meet the Artist series two years ago has been seeing how our books are used around the world to inspire great conversations about art and spur kids to make their own masterpieces. We are constantly awed by the creative ways that teachers and librarians have turned our series into hands-on lessons, workshops, and activities. Here are some ways you can join in the fun!
Each book comes with five pages of questions and crafts. The questions invite readers to apply the concepts the artist has introduced to a new piece of artwork. Kids enjoy playing art critic and answering the imaginative questions. The craft prompts allow the students to make the artist's techniques their own through playful, hands-on suggestions. Many teachers simply read the book to their students and then work through the questions and prompts at the end.
For older students, Meet the Artist books are an excellent jumping-off place for research. Our books bridge the gap between art appreciation and art history as the artists discuss their works and their lives. Students in fifth grade and above often have follow-up questions. For example, Klimt's simple explanation of mosaics can prompt a research assignment, mosaic craft, report, and/or presentation.
And last but not least....
Just a Book!
It's OK to pick up one of books, read through it with your students, admire the art and talk about what you learned... and be done. As one kindergarten teacher shared with us, the questions on each page got her students engaged and excited about the art, so they named the colors and took turns touching the pictures and following the brushstrokes. And that was it!