Celebrating Art and Books

The Children’s Book Council of Australia host Book Week every year, here in the lovely land of Oz!

It is, hands-down, my favourite event in the school calendar.

Books are nominated, short-listed and finally selected in a range of categories, and schools are encouraged to read and celebrate these books with their classes.

In my school, we have a week-long (although, honestly, it goes on for much longer than a week!) celebration across every year level, where students read these fabulous examples of Australian literature and make beautiful art pieces to go along with them. (Along with regular book responses, of course!)

Each year has a theme, and this year the theme is Reading Across the Universe.

Here in Melbourne we have a great school art supplier, Zart Art. Every year, Zart runs workshops for Book Week, selecting up to 12 books from the Book Week shortlist to provide teachers with art ideas and inspiration. This is the second time I’ve attended (the first being in 2010, my first year of teaching) and it is nothing short of AMAZING!

(Zart Art’s Book Week art activities guide)

Picture this – 28 teachers, 5.5 hours and 8 art pieces created. Each. It is so much fun!

Here’s what we created:

1. Animal Masks (based on The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog)

2. Wire Tanglewood (based on Tanglewood)

3. An Iceberg (based on Sophie Scott Goes South) – this is really cool, it’s a model of an iceberg field on the way to Antarctica, and the tiny little orange dot is the Aurora Australis, and it’s designed to highlight the fact that we only see 1/10 of an iceberg above the water!

4. The Rocket (based on The Terrible Suitcase) – if you squint you might be able to see the tiny, pink suitcase hidden inside the rocket!

5. Aerial View Jigsaw (based on Herman and Rosie) – please excuse the poor quality of this piece; as my Dad commented upon seeing it – I’ve got NO spacial awareness! That said, this is probably my FAVOURITE story from the list so far.

6. Elephant Mobile (based on Too Many Elephants in this House) – we had to make 4 elephants, exactly the same, and trade 3 with people on our table. The red elephant is mine!

7. Lest We Forget Medal (based on A Day to Remember) – an ANZAC story, very beautiful and moving.

8. The Flying Coat (based on The Coat) – the quote reads “If we create from the heart nearly everything works, if from the head almost nothing.” (Marc Chagall) I think this is my new favourite quote!

All that art-making and we still had time for morning tea and lunch AND I went shopping for art supplies for my classroom!

My goodies: Supertac (like PVA/Elmer’s glue only thicker, so it doesn’t run and it sticks EVERYTHING!), poster colours in warm, cool and fluro colours, an assortment of tissue paper (in block colours AND animal prints!), giant crayons, paper bags with a gusset, boarder roll in silver and gold, 2 packets of Paper Magiclay (we used it for the icebergs, but it’s so handy!).

I also got 2 free pencil rolls! (Cue my happy face!)

Two really great tips from today:

  • When modelling creations for students, do your second-best work – it’s ok to be a little bit different and NOT perfect!
  • When folding a page and cutting for 2 exact images, tell the kids to hold the fold!

So that was my very exciting day.

What are your favourite book crafts? Feel free to leave links so I can visit your blog and pin ideas!

9 thoughts on “Celebrating Art and Books

  1. Ohhhhh! They all look fantastic! Very jealous that you got to go to a Zart Art PD! Even if it is in the second last weekend before the holidays! Love the blog post, can’t wait to see what my new school does for Book Week!


    • I have to admit that I treated myself and paid to go today (hey, I can claim it on tax!) because I miss doing art. While doing my teaching course I did a specialist subject in primary visual arts and I miss learning new art techniques, etc. I’m SO tempted to do a big theme for at least the first half of term (based on Reading Across the Universe) and reading books on space and astronomy and exploring all the shortlisted books.

      We should totally share all our ideas for Book Week! I can’t wait for the Book Week parade… the Grade 1s and I are reading Harry Potter together and I’ve now put together my own Hogwarts student costume – lol!



  2. Oh, wow! I would love to attend something like that! Here in the United States we’re too busy giving the kids standardized tests to do art. Maybe if art could be tested on a standardized test, I would be able to go to Book Week too! 🙂


  3. Pingback: Celebrating Art and Books | Miss Galvin Learns ...

  4. Pingback: Celebrating Art and Books | Miss Galvin Learns | Love to read, love to learn!

  5. This PD looks amazing!! I wonder if we have something similar in QLD – off to do some research. I am really excited for book week and have started thinking about my costume too! Looking forward to seeing what fun activities you come up with =)

    Lifelong Learners in Prep


  6. I’ve just revisited this post because we need an art project to complete this week for Book Week for next week – I loved Herman and Rosie – we read Tanglewood too but the class were pretty confused!
    Thanks for the ideas!


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