Literacy activities aren’t just for English lessons. Jeanne Stewart, art teacher at Mullen-Hall Elementary school in Falmouth, engaged her fourth grade students in an art project that helped them consider reading in a new way.
In celebration of Family Literacy Month, she asked her students to depict a memory of them reading with others. Stewart said the activity created a new awareness in her students that reading isn’t something you need to do alone, “Though reading is often a solitary activity, they became aware of the social aspect of it, something that may support their journey in the future.” For the first time, Stewart said her students thought about the lively discussions they have had with family about the books they read together.
Many students drew scenes of families reading with one another at the library. To help include children who may not have parents reading with them at home, Stewart gave the activity a fun twist.
“I brought in the parameters that they could read to their pet, or include their pet in their family, and that seemed to really trigger something for them” said Stewart. One student drew a self portrait of her reading with her cat, and now the student even reads books that she thinks the cat would enjoy. “The cat has a strong preference for books with pictures about other felines.” joked Stewart.
Student work will be exhibited at the Falmouth Main Public Library during the week of December 2 with an opening ceremony on December 3 at 5:30 pm.