Insights & Skills


A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

a growing resource

As this is a study tour to observe Visual Arts it seems obvious to report acquired insights and skills mostly through visual images, websites and educational links or a rare comment. A final report will be written using this information.

Many of the observed artworks and ideas intended for teachers to use in classrooms or at student and teacher workshops. If you have a specific question about how these works were created or information about how they might be adapted for your classroom then please post below.


City of Toronto Youth ServicesLiving Through The Arts 


Boxed Works Muppets hanging around Swap Cards

Under Construction: My Ideal Home – A Group Work

My Ideal Home - Group Work (under construction) Original ideas discussed and written down Individual house plans drawn A plan from a different perspective Add colour to the plan

Island trees added to an area template Paste down trees Once all trees pasted firmly then add colour Beach template cut out ready to add textured surface Add sand

Wrap grassland template in green paper Add textures for grasses Fill grassland space with textures Add layers of cellophane to a sea template Cellophane Sea

 Make house out of cardboard and sticky tape Cut plaster bandages to cover cardboard houses Add plaster to houses Add colour to house Group houses together Plaster House


Doncrest Public School – Toronto   and their teacher  Rina Singh


textured-papers-fish textured-paper-donkey textured-papers-rooster

fashion-swatch-1 fashion-swatch-2 colour-wheel

drawing drawing-ongoing-stagesdrawing-ongoing-stages drawing-2

group-picasso-artwork matisse-drawing-with-scissors

tonal-silhouettes-2 tonal-silhouettes

scratch-back-appropriation scratch-back-positive-negative scratch-back-boat

self-masked-1 painted-silk-hangings visual-diary-y8 self-masked-2


Greenfield Elementary School, New Waterford, Sydney – Diane Lane


Pics of Obama Foamboard Printmaking on Colour Tennis Ball Feet

Bubble Wrap Sculptures Teaching Children\'s Rights Through Art


Holy Angels High School, Sydney – Elizabeth Lalonde





 Masked Outside The Square Appropriated Tonal Drawings





Alexander Graham Bell Museum – Linda Watson Type in a key word eg: Art, Flight


Coordinator of Program Services P-6 Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board – Cathy MacNeil  CBVRSBoard’s arts info Annenberg media site has great video streams of arts based classrooms plus discussions Project Zero Classroom on the Harvard site

‘Why Our Schools Needs The Arts’ by Jessica Hoffman Davis

In this book, Jessica Davis equips educators and advocates alike with a rich vocabulary and clear examples of how to teach and how to make the case for the essential and unique place of the arts in the school curriculum. – Richard J. Deasy, Director, Arts Education Partnership
“This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about kids the ones who are naturally drawn to the arts over sciences, for whom cutting the arts is depriving them of their very nature, and those who badly need an introduction to the arts to balance their gifts in other subjects. We must be able to promise all of them that the arts will have a well-loved and revered place in the curriculum. This powerful book will help us to do so.” Carly Simon, author and musician


ArtsSmarts – Kris Webster


ArtReach – Willie Reid


For more information and useful suggestions around the development of visual literacy, visit the following sites: – (go to lesson plans) for many examples of cross-curricular lessons using artist’s images – Click on Education, then ArtReach – a growing body of lessons connected to current exhibitions – Hit “lesson finder”, type in “visual arts” and “language arts” – grades 5-8 – artists and art history, grade level lessons based on images across time and culture – lots or teacher resources, lesson plans around the arts – a site devoted to picture books and the importance of illustrations in developing and maintaining language skills – has everything artful! Images, lessons, library, art criticism, etc.  – look for “artistic elements: Exploring art through writing” motivating students to develop descriptive language in their writing. Says 3-5 but certainly useful for 6 (and well beyond) as well

Google Internet School Library Media Centre for sites on visual literacy.


JL Ilsley High School, Halifax – Sabine Fels

Chewing Gum Van Gogh  Added Ceramic Pieces Mixed Media Scream

Mixed Media Pineapple  3D Van Gogh Ceiling Painting

3D Shoes 1  3D Shoes 3  3D Shoes 5

3D Shoes 4  3D Shoes 7 3D Shoes 6

3D Tea Party 1 3D Tea Party 2

3D Tea Party 3 3D Self Portrait Mixed Media Madam

Modelling Clay Friendship         Modelling Clay Portrait Blended Colour

Modelling Clay Portrait - Repetitive Pattern   Modelling Clay Textile 1  Modellin Clay Portrait Texture 2

Artist Melissa Marr & students screen printing Students Screen Printing

In general the arts are valued by society but this does not extend to arts education that takes place in the school system. This is reflected by the fact that the arts are the first subjects to be neglected or dropped whenever there are cuts.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Curriculum links through lessons on the AGNS website:

Go Fly A Kite  
The Art of Flying Green
Birds Flew First
Folding into Flight
Flight Factors
Pressure on Parachutes
Flights of Fancy: Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site Lesson Plan
Les Ailes de L’imagination: Lieu Historique National du Canada Plan de Leçon

5 Comment

  1. Tina Frost Clayton says:

    Hi Fiona,
    Just checked out your blogging! What an inspiration! Green here! Enjoy your quest and be sure to inservice me when you return! The ori is always a good venue. I love the images and was especially pleased to see the arty shoes…Were they a favourite?
    I’m busy setting up the ‘house next door’ which we have bought to use as a studio/gallery/workshop space, please come and visit.

    Best wishes for the rest of your tour,

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