Visual Arts Planning: Resources which Support Literacy

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The links between art and literature are profound and expansive and there is no doubt that historically and culturally they have lived side by side since the dawn of civilization and breathe life into each other.

As well as an avenue to explore text and meaning through illustrative practice, Art can be used as part of the creative process to aid in the building and inventing of stories. Literature can be used to invoke responses and as a springboard for making art and inventing new means of manipulating the material world.

Here we have collected some AccessArt resources which we feel might help illustrate the relationship between Literacy and Art and how they thrive together!

If you are an artist or teacher who would like to share Art projects which support Literacy and vice-versa - please get in touch!
Please feel free to add links to other resources, or share your experiences and ideas, via the comments box below.

Collection of Resources: Drawing & Making Inspired by “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

This page presents a series of resources which share drawing and making sessions inspired by Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” This page presents a series of resources which share drawing and making sessions inspired by Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Year 3 Roald Dahl & Quentin Blake Homework

Inspired homework brief for a lucky year three class to 'make or draw a Roald Dahl character inspired by Quentin Blake.' Inspired homework brief for a lucky year three class to ‘make or draw a Roald Dahl character inspired by Quentin Blake.’

Quentin Blake’s Drawings as Inspiration!

By Paula Briggs, Inspired by Quentin Blake’s drawings, this resource shares three simple exercises to help children draw from life, and explore how we might use exaggeration as a tool to help us convey the intention of our drawing… By Paula Briggs, Inspired by Quentin Blake’s drawings, this resource shares three simple exercises to help children draw from life, and explore how we might use exaggeration as a tool to help us convey the intention of our drawing…

Literacy Boost Project: James & the Giant Peach Garden by Cordelia Spalding

In a workshop with Cordelia Spalding children experience literature, English, reading and writing not as something taught and learnt but something to “get involved with”, made tangible, accessible and FUN with hands on making at the very heart of the exploration. In a workshop with Cordelia Spalding children experience literature, English, reading and writing not as something taught and learnt but something to “get involved with”, made tangible, accessible and FUN with hands on making at the very heart of the exploration.

Drawing by Torchlight

Paula Briggs leads children on an exploration of charcoal to draw a still life of toys lit by torches, creating atmospheric drawings with a strong narrative content. Paula Briggs leads children on an exploration of charcoal to draw a still life of toys lit by torches, creating atmospheric drawings with a strong narrative content.

Drawing Stories: Illustrations by Children

Children work with Paula Briggs to create drawings which tell stories: young children use toys, poetry and their own text to create richly illustrated narratives. Children work with Paula Briggs to create drawings which tell stories: young children use toys, poetry and their own text to create richly illustrated narratives.

Drawing Storyboards with Children by Paula Briggs

/drawing-storyboards-with-children/ Children explore how to draw storyboards as a way of developing both drawing skills and visual story telling skills with Paula Briggs.

Poetry and Printmaking by Ann Bridges

Printmaker Ann Bridges shares her love of poetry and printmaking in this illustrated resource, which enables children to make imagery inspired by poetry. Printmaker Ann Bridges shares her love of poetry and printmaking in this illustrated resource, which enables children to make imagery inspired by poetry.

Bad Cat

Tracy McGuinness-Kelly describes how she inspired and enabled children to respond creatively to her own writing and illustration work, through the Bad Cat art week project. Tracy McGuinness-Kelly describes how she inspired and enabled children to respond creatively to her own writing and illustration work, through the Bad Cat art week project.

Murals in Schools by Tracy McGuinness-Kelly

Creating a school mural to help children to invent their own stories at playtime and serve as a backdrop for role-play leading into writing stories down on paper. Creating a school mural to help children to invent their own stories at playtime and serve as a backdrop for role-play leading into writing stories down on paper.

Page to Panel – How to Make Manga by Irina Richards

In this fabulously illustrated resource, Cambridgeshire-based artist Irina Richards shows AccessArt how to make manga. In this fabulously illustrated resource, Cambridgeshire-based artist Irina Richards shows AccessArt how to make manga.

Post Office by Rosalie Schweiker: An Interactive Community Art Project

/post-office-rosalie-schweiker/ Artist Rosalie Schweiker describes how she created an interactive community art project in a secondary school, where the pupils took on the roles of designer/makers and writers for the project.

Teenagers Make Prompts to Overcome White Page Syndrome

/teenagers-make-prompts-to-overcome-white-page-syndrome/ Fabulously inspired teenagers at AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class made prompts to help each other overcome the ‘white page syndrome’. By Sheila Ceccarelli

Using Drawing as a Way of Understanding: University of Liverpool Veterinary Science Schematic Drawing Task.

Fay Penrose, Lecturer in Veterinary Biology at The Veterinary School at University of Liverpool, shares her work in introducing drawing as a way of checking understanding of complex subjects. This methodology would be very transferable to a number of subject areas in schools. Drawing by Charlotte Mccann, University of Liverpool. Fay Penrose, Lecturer in Veterinary Biology at The Veterinary School at University of Liverpool, shares her work in introducing drawing as a way of checking understanding of complex subjects. This methodology would be very transferable to a number of subject areas in schools. Drawing by Charlotte Mccann, University of Liverpool.

Using Monoprinting and Sketchbooks to Explore GCSE English Literature Poetry

A session for teenagers exploring how a hands on creative activities might engage students in their revision, and how monoprinting and sketchbook processes might aid a personal connection to the poetry text. A session for teenagers exploring how a hands on creative activities might engage students in their revision, and how monoprinting and sketchbook processes might aid a personal connection to the poetry text.

Block printing: Creating repeat patterns using letters with Andy McKenzie

Teenagers from AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class work with artist Andy McKenzie to create repeat patterns of letters. Print blocks are created from an assortment of wood offcuts and a thin sticky-back foam and each student is encouraged to create a simple block with their initial letter and then create patterns with it. Teenagers from AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class work with artist Andy McKenzie to create repeat patterns of letters. Print blocks are created from an assortment of wood offcuts and a thin sticky-back foam and each student is encouraged to create a simple block with their initial letter and then create patterns with it.

Drawing with Indian Ink with Aurora Cacciapuoti

Illustrator Aurora Cacciapuoti shows her work to teenagers from AccessArt's Experimental Drawing Class and showed them how to use ink and nib. Illustrator Aurora Cacciapuoti shows her work to teenagers from AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class and showed them how to use ink and nib.

Graffiti Floor – Teenagers Have a Silent Conversation with Pen and Mark

Teenagers at AccessArt's Experimental Drawing Class use the floor to have a visual conversation with each other – to say what they needed to say in marks and rhythms and drawing, to be mindful of each other but make the marks they felt they needed to express. To respond to each other – to ‘listen’ as well as ‘talk’. Teenagers at AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class use the floor to have a visual conversation with each other – to say what they needed to say in marks and rhythms and drawing, to be mindful of each other but make the marks they felt they needed to express. To respond to each other – to ‘listen’ as well as ‘talk’.

Illustrating Stories: Creating a Storyboard and First Dummy Book

Book illustrator, Emma Malfroy, shares her creative journey through the preliminary stages of developing ideas and visual language for an illustrated book. Book illustrator, Emma Malfroy, shares her creative journey through the preliminary stages of developing ideas and visual language for an illustrated book.

Chimera – A Drawing Workshop with Eleanor Somerset

Children invent their own mythical creatures through drawing with artist Eleanor Somerset Children invent their own mythical creatures through drawing with artist Eleanor Somerset

Illustrating ‘The Jabberwocky’

Artist Eleanor Somerset, shares how she worked with children and young people on a series of workshops to illustrate Lewis Caroll’s 'The Jabberwocky'. Artist Eleanor Somerset, shares how she worked with children and young people on a series of workshops to illustrate Lewis Caroll’s ‘The Jabberwocky’.

Set Designing – Exercises to Respond to Text – Experimental Drawing

Workshop led by set designer Rachel Thompson to encourage teenage participants to think about the meaning of words and phrases, the imagery and themes they evoke and to express their interpretations through drawing. Workshop led by set designer Rachel Thompson to encourage teenage participants to think about the meaning of words and phrases, the imagery and themes they evoke and to express their interpretations through drawing.

Introducing Set Designing – Exercises to Respond to Text – Model Making

Workshop led by set designer Rachel Thompson where teenagers use text extracts as a starting point to make ‘scratch models’ or initial three dimensional model sketches for set designs. Workshop led by set designer Rachel Thompson where teenagers use text extracts as a starting point to make ‘scratch models’ or initial three dimensional model sketches for set designs.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Kaz Trinder

Kax Trinder works with adults with learning disabilities to create magnificent sets for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Kax Trinder works with adults with learning disabilities to create magnificent sets for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Making Large Scale, Screenprinted, Collaged, Co-Created Campaign Posters!

Inspired by sewn Suffragette banners, and by Victorian large-scale printed notices, members of Paula Briggs' Friday Club worked together to create large scale campiagn posters to support AccessArt’s campaign to highlight the importance of making. They explored how far they could push screenprinting using a small A3 screen, by combining the screenprinting with collage and a hands-on exploration of graphics to create large posters. Inspired by sewn Suffragette banners, and by Victorian large-scale printed notices, members of Paula Briggs’ Friday Club worked together to create large scale campiagn posters to support AccessArt’s campaign to highlight the importance of making. They explored how far they could push screenprinting using a small A3 screen, by combining the screenprinting with collage and a hands-on exploration of graphics to create large posters.

Drawing with Wire: The Polymeric Approach by Julie de Bastion

Artist Julie de Bastion shares a wonderful workshop on drawing with wire and monoprinting, to enable participants to create a “story within a drawer”. Artist Julie de Bastion shares a wonderful workshop on drawing with wire and monoprinting, to enable participants to create a “story within a drawer”.

Sue Gough

Artist Sue Gough describes her approach to drawing with layers of marks and scribbles; asemic text or “secret writing”, as well as actual words and sometimes, collage. Artist Sue Gough describes her approach to drawing with layers of marks and scribbles; asemic text or “secret writing”, as well as actual words and sometimes, collage.

Teenagers Write A Letter, A Postcard, A Poem or A Narrative in Invented Text

A workshop inspired by artist Sue Gough in which teenagers were invited to write a letter, a postcard or a poem, either to themselves, or about anything at all using their own choice of materials. The creative challenge was that their texts were not to be written in actual, ‘legible’ letters, but instead for them to explore marks and invented text to record their thoughts. A workshop inspired by artist Sue Gough in which teenagers were invited to write a letter, a postcard or a poem, either to themselves, or about anything at all using their own choice of materials. The creative challenge was that their texts were not to be written in actual, ‘legible’ letters, but instead for them to explore marks and invented text to record their thoughts.

Found Poetry

This inspirational resource by Emily Wilkinson, describes how to use found words and imagery to create found poetry. Using paint and collage techniques, including sewing, the results are individual and highly transferable. This inspirational resource by Emily Wilkinson, describes how to use found words and imagery to create found poetry. Using paint and collage techniques, including sewing, the results are individual and highly transferable.

Time to Introduce Ourselves – Initial Sculpture!

A new term starts at AccessArt's Experimental Drawing Class and teenagers introduce themselves to each other by creating a 3D, sculptural interpretation of the first letter of their name. A new term starts at AccessArt’s Experimental Drawing Class and teenagers introduce themselves to each other by creating a 3D, sculptural interpretation of the first letter of their name.

“Plasticine Models & Decorated Plinths ” Inspired by the Book ‘Dirty Beasts’ by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake

Artist, Sharon Gale shares a project based on the book by Roald Dahl. The session incorporates observational drawing, illustration, modelling with Newplast, marbling inks and mixed media. It was carried out over seven, one hour sessions at the Art Cabin, one of AccessArt's Brilliant Makers Clubs. The children made wonderful sculptures inspired by the ghastly beasts mentioned in the poems, positioned on plinths decorated with marbled paper and mixed media. Artist, Sharon Gale shares a project based on the book by Roald Dahl. The session incorporates observational drawing, illustration, modelling with Newplast, marbling inks and mixed media. It was carried out over seven, one hour sessions at the Art Cabin, one of AccessArt’s Brilliant Makers Clubs. The children made wonderful sculptures inspired by the ghastly beasts mentioned in the poems, positioned on plinths decorated with marbled paper and mixed media.