Zooming in on the “Language” of Art

Alden and I have been having a lot of fun working together – with the children – to investigate how the concepts of Language Arts relate to the concepts of Visual Arts. For example, during Writer’s Workshop, I teach and encourage the children to zoom in on just one small moment from their lives and to write a story about it. Alden teaches the same group of students how the concept of zooming in can be a applied to creating self-portraits. Moreover, just as the students are given various “tools” to write stories, Alden provides tools for the children to do what many visual artists do: make a study of something that interests them. In this case, the study focuses on drawing one’s self-portrait:


In Writer’s Workshop, Billie would normally zoom in on one small moment and write about it. Below, Billie zooms in on one feature of her face – the eye – and carefully draws the details accordingly:



In Writer’s Workshop, after the young writers have spent up to an hour writing, they come together to share, comment, and reflect on each another’s stories. In the Atelier with Alden, the young artists do the same with their illustrations:



In Writer’s Workshop, we always find time to kick back and enjoy light hearted conversations about each other’s stories. In the Atelier, we love to do the same!


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