Regional Artists: Rhonda Mitchell,
Featured Museum: Canton Museum of Art
Featured Artist: Max Fleischer Studios
Featured Work of Art: "Mr. Bug Goes to Town"
Featured Teacher: Debbie Gottas, Woodridge Local
The students will develop or codevelop a presentation (a cover
design, an illustration, or author and/ or illustrate a book),
grounding its artistic merit within historical, social, cultural
and/or aesthetic parameters.
Rhonda Mitchell, does a wonderful job of demonstrating sketching
techniques. Each sketch is traced and then transferred to
canvas for the application of oil paints. She shows how a
dummy book is set up to give the artist an idea of the space
available for each illustration. The school project shows
students sketching out ideas and then painting the final products
using acrylics and watercolor paints.
examine various forms of art to discover common components
of the artistic process or art forms.
analyze and critique the incorporation of the arts in
investigate the relationship between the presentation
of the arts and students’ perceptions as consumers.
build awareness of how people process information to
use vocabulary that encompasses structural, technical
and analytic aspects when discussing and analyzing artistic
forms and/or processes.
communicate information about an idea or event through
one or more art forms.
interpret an idea or event through one or more
develop strategies for collaborative work in the arts.
create an artistic piece demonstrating use of old and
new technologies and compare the process or result. (Optional)
Higher Grade Material
8" x 13" sheets of printing paper
Coloring media (acrylic paint, colored pencils, markers,
Look at a
variety of illustrated books from varying authors/illustrators.
Focus on artists who are making a cultural, historical or
social statement (for example, Eric Carle, Tomie de Paola,
Mercer Mayer, Jerry Pinkney, Faith Ringgold, Shel Silverstein
and Chris Van Allsburg). Focus on how the artists use media
in different and similar ways.
the media fit the text? What if Eric Carle illustrated
his books as watercolor paintings? Would they have the
same audience impact?
the Sharing Art video, “Illustration.” Discuss
how the artist relies on the written word to inspire her
art. Why do you think Mitchell chose to paint like this
instead of like de Paola or Silverstein, for instance?
Note her use of realism and detail in painting the little
girl. Does her art work help sell the book? Why? By just
looking at the cover do you think the story will be interesting?
Read the story. Can you judge a book by its cover? Can
a book cover be considered an ad?
possible cover art pieces (book cover, CD case design,
food packaging, magazine covers, newspapers). Critique
several examples of each of the above in terms of elements
and principles of art (color, form, line, shape, space,
texture, value, balance, contrast, emphasis, repetition,
what type of cover art you will create. What is your genre?
Who will be your audience?
you have chosen a cover art type, create a name or title
for your product or cover.
layout design. Consider elements and principles of art
(color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value, balance,
contrast, emphasis, movement, repetition, unity).
consider graphic manipulations (change of scale, clarity
of design, distortion, fusion, font/typeface, placement,
and/or paint your layout.
Lower Grade Level Project
develop an illustration and a short story about an event in
at a variety of illustrated books from varying authors/illustrators.
the Sharing Art video, “Illustration.”
how the artist is relying on the written word to inspire
her art. By just looking at the cover, what do students
think the story will be about? Read the story.
students ever heard the saying, “A picture is worth a
thousand words”? What does that mean? Look at Story
Quilts of Faith by Ringgold. Do her pictures need
words in order to explain what is going on? The words
do add to the presentation, but the image itself communicates
memorable events in students’ lives: a trip to the park,
the first puppy, a day at Cedar Point, a hike in the woods,
an afternoon of fishing, Christmas traditions, July Fourth
picnic, a trip to Disney, a winter trip to see a frozen
Lake Erie, etc.
what event you will illustrate.
tag board in half. Begin layout design on one half of
the paper. Consider elements and principles of art (color,
form, line, shape, space, texture, value, balance, contrast,
emphasis, repetition, unity) in designing. (Optional:
Draw a one-inch border on the page.)
and/or paint your layout. Fill the page.
or paint the other half of your paper to complement the
a story about your illustrated event.
story onto the unillustrated portion of the paper facing
Higher Grade Level Project
will author and illustrate a children’s book.
at a variety of illustrated books from varying authors/illustrators.
the illustration video featuring Rhonda Mitchell.
why Mitchell chose to paint like this instead of like
de Paola or Silverstein, for instance. Note Mitchell’s
use of realism and detail in painting the little girl.
Would another style of painting or another media have
the same audience impact? Read reviews of The Talking
Cloth. By just looking at the cover do you think the
story will be interesting? Read the story. Discuss how
the artist is relying on the written word to inspire her
possible story lines. Discuss what makes a story worthy
of our attention. Critique several examples of children’s
books in terms of theme, flow of the story, dialogue and
several examples of children’s books from the illustration
perspective in terms of the elements and principles of
art (color, form, line, shape, space, texture, value,
balance, contrast, emphasis, repetition, unity).
Rhonda Mitchell has both written and illustrated the book,
but there are several other books that Mitchell has illustrated
(Daddy Calls Me Man, Rain Feet,
Joshua by the Sea,
Joshua’s Night Whispers and Momma Bird, Baby Bird,
all by Angela Johnson; Little Red Ronnika by Bobby
Jackson; and Sleep Song by Karen Roy).
what type of children’s book you will create. Is your
genre informational, community pride, social issue, value
issue, family, historical, alphabet, colors, counting,
mimic (Tuck Everlasting, The Never-Ending Story),
poetry, mystery, legend, fractured fable (How the Spider
Got Its Waist, The True
Story of the American Flag)?
What age is your target audience?
you have chosen a genre, begin researching and then writing
your story. In long hand or using a word processor, write
and edit your story. At this point you are just concerned
with the content of the story. Edit to a final draft.
breaking the story down into page assignment: generally
two sentences minimum per page, eight-page minimum length.
Use a storyboard for visual planning.
your story in size 16 font or larger, spacing according
to storyboard plan. Cut apart and make up a “dummy” book.
designing illustrations. Consider media, style, techniques
and elements and principles of art (color, form, line,
shape, space, texture, value, balance, contrast, emphasis,
movement, repetition, unity). Also consider graphic manipulations
(change of scale, clarity of design, distortion, fusion,
font/ typeface, placement, symmetry, asymmetry)
up final book pages according to “dummy” layout plan.
a cover on tag board. Laminate when finished.
and bind the book. A comb or spiral binding looks very
professional but there are several hand-made techniques
that are just as presentable.
Go over the
rubric with the students before they begin their project.