The art center gives your students an opportunity to strengthen their fine-motor skills and develop their illustrating capabilities.

Organization and Routines

Designate a Space—It is best to use one of your student tables for this center because the supplies buckets will be needed.

Supply Shelf—Other center supplies are stored on the top of the shelf nearby. Here I keep a bucket for paper that I want students to use for their artwork. Early in the school year, you may choose to have students focus on the illustrations. Later in the school year, you may want to have children add writing to match their illustrations.

In another bucket on the supply shelf, I store the directions sheet for the center. Each week, the children learn how to draw a new object by following multi-step directions. I always encourage children to draw with a pencil first in case they make a mistake. Each week, after children have visited the center and completed the illustration, I add the directions to a special “illustration box” in the classroom. Children can then use the directions as resource when they are illustrating something during writing workshop.

Art Center in Motion

Here students work to follow the multi-step directions to create self-portraits. Once students complete the portrait, they can write about their illustration.


This is an excerpt from Literacy Centers in Photographs by Nikki Campo-Stallone.