Grade 5 Portfolios — Collecting Words

 I LOVE kids’ books!!! I just dis­cov­ered a great new book, titled “Max’s Words” by Kate Banks. While this book doesn’t have a spe­cific art theme, it inspired me to cre­ate a port­fo­lio project for my 5th graders based on WORDS.
Kids LOVE to col­lect things. I learned this from per­sonal expe­ri­ence, with a daugh­ter who col­lected Beanie Babies like there was no tomor­row, and a son who made “col­lec­tions” of any­thing he had more than one of! So kids will really relate to this story of Max, whose brother Ben­jamin col­lects stamps and brother Karl col­lects coins. Max wants to have his own col­lec­tion of some­thing, but he doesn’t know what. Finally Max decides that he will col­lect “words”, and the adven­ture begins!

Words are fas­ci­nat­ing things. When com­bined, they can cre­ate a thought, and even a story. Another great thing about words is that they can be made even more inter­est­ing by being writ­ten in dif­fer­ent let­ter­ing styles! In this port­fo­lio project, we’ll use stick let­ters as a foun­da­tion for cre­at­ing out­line let­ters on the front of our port­fo­lios. Then we’ll fill them in with col­or­ful pat­terns and designs and “col­lect” some art words to place ran­domly in the background.

1. Begin by tak­ing a few min­utes as a class to brain­storm all the art-related words you can think of. (Write them on the board as stu­dents call them out.) You will use these later!
2. Using basic stick let­ters, write the word “ART” across the front of your port­fo­lio. You can use either upper case let­ters, lower case let­ters, or a com­bi­na­tion of both.… just make your let­ters LARGE and leave plenty of space between them.

3. Now, draw an out­line around each let­ter. If you draw your out­lines with lots of space around the stick let­ters, you will have more room to fill them with col­or­ful pat­terns and designs.
4. Next, erase your stick let­ters (I hope you remem­bered to press lightly with your pen­cil!) and go over your out­lines with a black chisel tip marker.

5. Then, use col­or­ful mark­ers to fill your out­line let­ters with pat­terns and designs.
Finally, use a black “F” Sharpie to ran­domly write all the art-related words you “col­lected” in the back­ground around your letters.

As an exten­sion of this les­son, my 5th grade stu­dents started their own “Font Col­lec­tion Jour­nals”. They looked for words in mag­a­zines and on prod­uct pack­ag­ing to cut out and glue into a spe­cial note­book. This exer­cise not only trained them to be on the look-out for inter­est­ing let­ter­ing styles, but also gave them ideas of their own to use on book cov­ers, sci­ence fair dis­plays, and other projects.

In a future les­son, we’ll learn to use this same stick let­ter con­cept to cre­ate a wide vari­ety of fun let­ter­ing styles!

3 Responses to Grade 5 Portfolios — Collecting Words

  1. Anonymous September 23, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I love how you com­bine children’s books and art, I plan to use sev­eral of your lessons with my Grade 3 and 4 stu­dents. Thank you for the won­der­ful ideas.

  2. Loreen Leedy September 28, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    I just dis­cov­ered your blog, so many great ideas here. For resources about how kids can cre­ate books, please check out this post on I.N.K. Putting That Cre­ative Spark into Book Form

    Best regards,
    Loreen Leedy

  3. TeachKidsArt November 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Your book looks great! I plan to add it to my next book order. I’ll be teach­ing a book mak­ing work­shop for ele­men­tary school teach­ers in Jan­u­ary through our local read­ing asso­ci­a­tion, so I’ll be sure to bring it with me and pass it around! Thanks for let­ting me know about it!
    ~ Cheryl

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