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.
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. Adam Trowbridge September 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Adam Trowbridge September 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    And now I'm collecting a dollar from you!

  3. TeachKidsArt September 5, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    That means you must have more than one…. that's good! ;)