I had a great outing to the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin today. After a yummy lunch in the ArtCafe we visited the exhibits and ended up in the “student” section, art primarily by preschoolers. Can I say that was my favorite exhibit?? I loved that they had a literacy lesson on the classic children’s picture book, The Rainbow Fish. The kids were inspired to paint, collage and make ceramic fish and mobiles as a response to the story. This wonderfully illustrated book is the tale of a proud little fish who learned the joy of sharing and friendship. Hopefully the kids enjoyed a good language lesson too, explaining their picture or sculpture to the class.
When I was doing speech therapy in small groups of 3-4 year-olds with special needs, I always had an art project to support the story. I used colored shiny paper and plenty of glitter to make the coveted scales and used the pictures for re-telling the story, practicing the grammatical goals we were working on. The art project served several purposes, it reinforced the story, was a helpful prop for re-telling the plot, and served as a take-home link between school and home to prompt the child to tell a little about what we did that day.
I loved seeing the ceramic “Rainbow Fish” with a lone sequin pressed into the clay on different parts of the fish, symbolizing all that was left after sharing her beloved glittery scales!
How fun to see art class use literacy for their inspiration.