Connecting Art and Literacy: Bugs and Books Project

Duration: 1 hour

Level: K-3rd grade

Materials: Pencils, erasers, and crayons

Procedures:

We started the books by folding and cutting them because we had limited time and wanted to offer most of it to encouraging our students’ creativity. We did the same for the bookmarks, cutting them so that our students only needed to draw on them.

Books:

  1. Choose a subject that you want to write about. Some of our students choose to write about puppies, dragons, or flowers.
  2. Write the subject you choose to write about on the front of your book, and underneath that, write “by: [your name].”
  3. Draw pictures with a pencil of your chosen subject on the front of and inside your book. You can also write about it. You can explain what puppies are, what they look like, and why you like them, for example.
  4. Color to your heart’s content with colored pencils to add beautiful finishing touches to your new book.

Drawings for Bookmarks:

Ladybug:

  1. Draw a heart. Begin with a “J” and connect it to a backwards “J” right next to it.
  2. Draw a capital “T” within the heart, leaving a triangle between the top of the “T” and the top of the J’s. This space creates the ladybug’s head.
  3. Draw some lowercase o’s in the top half of the heart. This is the ladybug’s shell.
  4. Add 3 lines on each side. Explain to the students that all insects have 6 legs.
  5. Add 2 lines coming from the head for antennae.

Butterfly:

  1. Draw one long and very thin oval.
  2. Draw 2 skinny hearts coming out both of the long sides of the oval. These are the butterfly’s wings.
  3. Add 2 lines for where you want the butterfly’s head to be.
  4. Add whatever colors or designs you would like to the butterfly’s wings.
  5. Add six little lines for legs, because butterflies are insects.

Dragonfly:

  1. Draw one long and very thin oval, like the butterfly
  2. Draw one shorter oval on top of the first
  3. At the top of the second oval, draw one “O” at the top of the oval for the head
  4. Add two smaller o’s inside the head, but very close to the sides of the head
  5. Draw two teardrop-shaped wings, long and thin on each side of the shorter oval
  6. Draw another two wings, shorter than the first two and underneath them
  7. Add six lines for legs on sides of the long oval

This was an easy, simple project to get students more comfortable with recognizing letters and storytelling. Many of our students were excited about their topics and being able to write or draw what they wanted. For each topic, we demonstrated how to draw and spell their chosen subject, and the group involvement of this demonstration also helped inspire other students who had difficulty choosing a topic for their books. Similarly, because we provided instructions on what to draw on their bookmarks and how to draw them, everyone was able and willing to participate. We specifically catered the instructions for the bookmark drawings to reinforce recognizing letters and shapes.

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