"I believe I have seen a genuine correlation between children involved in the ARTiculate workshops and target children making Age Related Expectation (ARE)...Every child benefited with progress, clearly evident in their school books."
Simon, Y4 Teacher, Leeds

"Raised pupil's writing by at least 1 sub-level - developed their ability to apply knowledge. Hopefully we will see ARTiculate in our school again!"
Andrew Howdle, Literacy Coordinator

"Very inspirational and creative - lots of new ideas to improve writing and unlock children's imaginations."
Nadia, Year 4 teacher


Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Art that speaks to writing - Writing and art workshop Week 6




































This superb artwork was created by a group of 8 and 9 year olds at a primary school in Leeds. The artwork is the children's counter piece to their creative writing based on the book The Island by
Armin Greder.

This workshop ran over six weeks and taught children the skills required to be a creative and imaginative author and illustrator.

All children who took part in the workshop increased their writing attainment by at least 1 sub-level.

If you would like your school to take part in similar work, please click here and ask for information on creative workshops.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Beautiful Birds, Emmanuelle Walker (Flying Eye Books, 2015)
Need a pile of books to keep your little ones (and not-so-little ones) ocupado this summer? The Guardian has compiled a great wishlist!

www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/11/2015-best-summer-books-for-children

Friday, 10 July 2015

Snapshot illustrations from the Island


These excellent drawings were completed in our final workshop today. Some of these snapshot images are aspects of the book's main illustrations whilst some are taken from various doodles that are scattered throughout the pages.

Using black ink, detail was added using the different shading techniques we have practised. Colour was applied later using watered acrylics.

The children demonstrated not only their progress as artists but also their confidence in selecting shading patterns. Great work!

Monday, 6 July 2015

ARTiculate Bulletin #2 - Have you tried The Whales' Song?

This week's bulletin is inspired by a wonderful, charity shop chance-find picture book: The Whale Song by Dyan Sheldon. Here are some great ideas for you to use with this text.

'Have You Tried?' ideas sheet for The Whale's Song can be found here

The Whale's Song by Dyan Sheldon and Gary Blythe

This modest little book might not look like much on first glance, but it is a treasure trove of starting points for English and art. Lily, a little girl living with two elderly relatives, hears a tale about the whales that visit their shore. Infused with dreams and memories, the story explores the girl's imaginings and the hazy illustrations give the book a detached, ethereal quality.   

In brief: Have you tried? 

Ideas for talking and thinking: explore the characters' perspectives on the whales through drama and discussion. Are they magical beasts or an economic resource? Included this week are resources for character development. 

Ideas for writing: with your class, experiment with form, combining fiction and non-fiction to retell this tale from the whales' perspective.

Ideas for art: experimenting with watercolours can allow children to create fluid,  dreamlike illustrations of whales and other sea creatures. See examples on my Pinterest board here.  

Enjoy!
Stefan

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Art that speaks to writing - Writing and art workshop Week 5

In this workshop, I am using art as a means of developing a sense of character perspective. Our artwork looks at 'the people' and how they might react to the intruder. The art and writing are different accounts of the same event. When used in the right way, art can enhance great writing even further.

Creating art that speaks to writing

Week 5

"If an illustration only repeats what the text is already saying then either the text or the illustration is superfluous... The pictures carry the story on their own." 
Armin Greder, The Great Bear (1999)

It is always warming to hear an enthusiastic teacher describe a great book as a 'goldmine'. I find it comforting to imagine them burrowing through the themes, vocabulary and ideas to take their classes to the heart of a book. Teaching that aims to dig below the surface can immerse children in new worlds and, almost inevitably, produces great writing. 

Another rich vein of creative possibility for literacy is art and, when tapped in the right way, enhances great writing even further. Indeed, a study of the illustrations or related artwork can often help children capture the mood of or gain insight into a text in a way that when dealing solely with words can be tricky.

It is telling that the above quote comes from the author of the book we are using for this workshop: The Island. In earlier sessions, we examined how artists use colour to convey mood. Read my blog post on that here     

In this workshop, I am using art as a means of developing a sense of character perspective. Whereas the writing focuses on 'the man' and his encounter with 'the people', our artwork looks at 'them' and how they might react to this intruder. In this way, the art and writing are different accounts of the same event, looking at each other against a stormy backdrop created through our dramatic seascapes.   

Given a choice of charcoal or pen, the children experimented with mark making and shading techniques. It is important to give the children a feel of the materials. The children posed for photographs as stunned islanders, conveying a range of emotions: curiosity, anger, suspicion, fear, revulsion, kindness. Transferring the images using charcoal, the children then used ink or compressed charcoal to add details and shading. Here is a sneak peak of some of their drawings. 


These large images (I always prefer children to work in large scale - small pictures can be so fiddly for little hands!) convey the blurry, erratic drawings created by Armin Greder. They give us the perspective of the islanders to this strange arrival. 

The full set will appear after next week's workshop so stay tuned!