We all agree that teaching kids to be creative pays big dividends no matter what field of work they choose as adults. But often our efforts at teaching creativity have a future pay-off that we don’t get to see. Kids grow up and leave our schools (or our homes) and we never know the full impact that this creativity will have on their adult lives. So when they go on to create … [Read more...]
Free Digital Art Ed Magazines
In my early days of teaching art, School Arts magazine was my go-to source for art lesson inspiration and the best way to keep up with what was new in art education. Then I discovered Arts & Activities magazine, and I just couldn't believe my luck at having access to so much great information just for art teachers! Well, that was over 20 years ago, and long before the days … [Read more...]
Using Children’s Books for Inspiration
Spring means we're heading into the homestretch of another school year! Sometimes we all need a shot of inspiration to make it from Spring Break to that long-awaited Last Day of School. Finding a new lesson plan on a favorite blog or Pinterest page is always inspiring, but don't forget that you can create wonderful art lessons of your own, as well. Children's books, with … [Read more...]
New Year – New Beginnings
It's a new year, and along with that comes new beginnings. People often choose January as a time to start something new, or to stop something that isn't working for them. It's a time for resolutions and changes. This new year brought big changes to my family, but unlike resolutions, they weren't changes made by choice. Shortly before Christmas, my dad passed away.... just … [Read more...]
Middle Eastern Inspiration
School's out and summer has begun! I've just returned from two amazing weeks in the Middle East, visiting family in Jordan and exploring the marvels of this rich culture! The carved city of Petra, ancient Roman ruins and spectacular desert landscapes were just a few of the many wonders I discovered there. In this land of sand and rock, charming mosaics (like the one pictured … [Read more...]
6th Grade Portfolio Project – Follow Your Star!
I'm especially excited about my 6th grade portfolio project! This project is inspired by an amazing book by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds, who created the classic children's books "The Dot" and "Ish". This potentially life-changing book, "The North Star", is so special, it even has it's own website! (Check out this site for fun activities for the classroom and home, … [Read more...]
Inspiration for a New Year
Copyright 2008, Simple Truths I love a good quote! It’s amazing how words can inspire, encourage, motivate, and even change lives. Here is one of the many quotes that has done this for me: “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” ~Robert Brault Whether you spend your time teaching Art to kids or doing something entirely … [Read more...]
Crayola – More than Just Coloring!
"Very Voracious Animal Voices" from Crayola.comHere's another great website I discovered with Art ideas for kids.... crayola.com. Don't be misled (as I almost was!) by the name. Crayola is more than just crayons!! Just follow the link to the Crayola home page, then click on the link "For Educators" on the left. From there go to "Resources" and then "Lesson Plans" to find … [Read more...]
“What If We Treated Driving Like We Treat the Arts?”
Here's some food for thought, from the book, "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory. This destined-to-be-a-classic book is about giving yourself permission to be creative. It was recommended to me by my friend, cartoonist Bridgett Spicer, one of the most creative people I know! When I first read this book I underlined about half of it. And I keep going back to it and finding … [Read more...]
What Inspires You?
While it's great to follow tried and true plans for a successful Art lesson, it can be fun to come up with a new project on your own, based on something that inspires you. Where do you get inspiration from? It's different for everyone, but anything that catches your eye (from the shapes and patterns of nature to the shadows cast on the building next door) can offer potential … [Read more...]