- Your library area is the perfect place to see how art and writing work together. Take a close look at the books in your library area. What do children notice about the art and writing?
- Ask children to notice the difference between books that use drawings and paintings and those that use collage.
- Focus on wordless books and invite children to create their own stories.
- Choose an author (such as Leo Lionni) and invite children to "collage and write" in his style. One class noticed that all Lionni's stories except "Little Blue" and "Little Yellow" are about animals. So they decided to write animal books in his style!
- Art is decision making. Children use science and problem-solving skills when they create. They decide what media to use, how to control the paint or the line, and how to use the space. Therefore, any art project is also a science project!
- Use nature studies to inspire art and writing. Focus your science center on specific natural objects, such as shells, rocks, or leaves, and provide plenty of paper and art materials for children to record their observations in drawings and words.
- Add magnifiers and microscopes for an "up close and personal" view.
- Make invisible ink! Children can draw and write with lemon juice or white vinegar on white paper. The "message" is revealed when it is held up to the heat of a lamp or to the sun!
Writing Center - Letter Writing
- One of the best ways to help children learn to write a letter is to ask them to help you write one. Start by reading a pretend letter from a friend and ask children to help you write a letter in reply. Starting at the upper-left corner of a piece of chart paper, demonstrate how to start the letter. You might ask, "How did my letter from my friend start? What should I write first?" Introduce the vocabulary words for letter writing such as "To" and "Dear". Explain that these are the words used to start a letter. Explain what you want to say in reply and begin writing. End the activity by introducing the vocabulary words From or Love for closing the letter.
- Put out a collection of envelopes and paper in your writing and dramatic-play centers to inspire letter writing.
- Print new letter-writing vocabulary words on picture or word cards for easy reference. The word To could have a picture of a mailbox with an arrow pointing IN. The word "From" could have a picture of a mailbox with an arrow pointing out.
- Provide stickers to use as stamps.
- Make paper plate mail sleeves, or use a plastic shoe bag for individual mailboxes.