Arts and Literature In this series of projects, a 5th grade literature class learned about art through literature and literature through art. Students explored visual representations of story elements by applying different styles of art to varying styles of literature.

The first project, in October, covered the topic of African American Realistic Fiction. Combining the ideas from two books written by Faith Ringgold, each student made a quilt square to illustrate her story “How the People Became Color Blind” as an exploration of what it means to be free of racism and prejudice.

Arts and Literature November’s project encompassed Realistic Fiction and Historical Fiction. After reading several books by Patricia Polacco, the students used her style of illustration to make file folder picture frames and ribbon holders. Patricia Polacco collages photographs with her own illustration work. Students learned how to draw an interior setting and how to use watercolors.

In December, students explored the topic of Fantasy Fiction by reading books by Chris Van Allsburg, who uses graphite drawings for his illustrations. The students then made their own graphite flip-book stories, learning techniques for shading and color in the process, as well as the utilization of pastels for the covers of their books.

And January brought a trip to the Ringling Museum where all their newfound illustration knowledge helped the kids more fully appreciate the exhibits. This provided a wealth of encouragement towards becoming more involved in the arts.

  • Timeframe: October 2008 – January 2009
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  • Kids Served: 5th Graders at Gocio Elementary
  • Facilitated by: Kelly Fitzpatrick, 3rd yr Illustration Student
  • Project Partners: Gocio Elementary School
  • Project Sponsors: Ringling College of Art and Design

Feedback for this Project

Arts and Literature“I think art is exhilarating because I can express my feelings with inanimate objects.”
– Maggie H., Student Gocio Elementary School

“I have really appreciated the Ringling students coming to our school to work with us.”
– Emalie W., Student Gocio Elementary School

Arts and Literature“The best part was when we used our own imagination to tell a story through a quilt.”
– Alex K., Student Gocio Elementary School

“I learned that art is not just a picture its expressing what you see.”
– Maria M., Student Gocio Elementary School

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