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Art and language

Art is a natural component of literacy activities; encourage children to illustrate their stories, as well as to make up stories for their illustrations!  Through different art media, the activities in this section encourage the development of children's language.  Children explore their feelings, ideas, even their capacity for role-playing --------- all through art.

This Is Me - ages 4 and up

Materials: markers, crayons, 1 unbreakable hand mirror, white drawing paper (heavyweight), magazines, glue, scissors

Invite children to make a collage about themselves on the white paper.  Heavyweight paper will work best, as children will be drawing on the other side.  They may choose to cut out magazine pictures of their favorite foods, toys or animals.  Children can also use crayons or markers to represent their favorite colors or to draw pictures.   Some children may want to label the items in the collage, using phrases such as "favorite food," "favorite color" or "my dog."  Invite children to write or dictate their labels.  When children finish--allow collages to dry.  Later, ask children to illustrate the other side of their papers with a self-portrait.  Set out an unbreakable mirror along with crayons and markers in different colors.  Suggest that children look carefully in the mirrors and really notice the shape and color of their hair, eyes, mouth and so on.  When children are finished allow them to share what they have done.  Encourage them to explain what the items in their collages represent.  Ask children where they would like their pictures to be hung.

Mother Goose Puppets - ages 5 and up

Materials - a few mittens or socks, poster-board, plastic-foam balls, scissors, stapler, collage materials(yarn, fabric scraps, paper scraps, buttons, sequins, and feathers), markers, crayons, paper plates, Popsicle sticks, glue, tape

Recite several nursery rhymes together, and ask children to choose a nursery rhyme character they would like to make into a puppet.  For stick puppets, children can glue a Popsicle stick to a poster-board shape, or to a paper plate.  To make a ball puppet, help them poke a hole big enough for their finger in a plastic-foam ball.  Or children can use a sock or mitten to make their puppets.  Allow children to create a face, hair and if they like clothes and props.  Encourage them to think about what their character might look like, and help them problem-solve to represent those features with art materials.  When children finish, they can use their puppets to recite their nursery rhyme.

Tips - Model language by describing colors, shapes and the process you see in children's work.  Your comments will help prompt children to express their own ideas.

You might also like: Mother Goose on the Loose, Body Collage

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