Both of my daughter’s schools encourage lots of parental volunteering and I have jumped in head first. I am a ‘reading mom’, a ‘read aloud parent’, a ‘library aide’ and and an ‘art docent.’ Fortunately, at the start of the school year, I realized that I had to focus on killing two birds with one stone or the few hours that have all been given in our days would seem even fewer. While many parents come in to the classrooms and read or do art projects that are not connected to the curriculum, I struggled with the randomness of it so I decide to interconnect two of my volunteer projects.
Once a month, I read aloud to my daughter’s second grade class and then a week later, I am an art docent in that same classroom. As part of the art docent program, I introduce the class to an artist and then lead them through a simple art project inspired by the artist’s work. I had a light bulb moment and decided to focus on children’s book illustrators, reading books one week and focusing on the art the next.
The school year began with a wonderful author visit from the super talented Jon Muth so I jumped at the chance for the children to become acquainted with this author/illustrator before meeting him in person.
During our reading time we explored many of Muth’s popular titles like
but also some of his lesser know work like
After learning about Muth’s background (no formal art education) we focused on his style, talking about his favorite medium (watercolors) and learning about his many inspirations.
And then based on the thoughtful and appropriately child centered ideas of The Artful Parent, we created watercolor masterpieces of our own.
I look forward to sharing more collisions of story and art as they arise.