Art Enhances
Promote Reading Readiness, Motivate Reluctant Readers,
and                        Enhance Comprehension  with Art
"You Can Do It! ART"--Watercolor
"You Can Do It! ART"
copyright 2007 Sunrise Services Distributing, LLC

Picture Books Invite Reading Readiness

Ages 0-5 and older
Excitement for reading begins at an early age when a child hears stories that are read, sees
pictures that illustrate the story, and talks about the pictures and the story. Read together and
talk about the pictures with your child.
Caldecott Award books are award-winning illustrations in children's books. Check them out!

Creating Art Increases Awareness of Shape and Form in Letters
and Words
Ages 2-5
Learning to read requires observing and distinguishing differences in letter shapes and words.  
o and a for example.  l and i    b and d   and so on.  Drawing and painting and creating
other art provides hands-on kinesthetic experience with shapes and heightens awareness of
shape and form. Art activities activate the artistic side of the brain (right brain). The senses are
stimulated to take in shapes, textures, colors, and to notice differences. These experiences build
a reference point for recognizing letters, which are building blocks for reading words

Some Art Activities To Promote Reading Readiness:

Ages 2-5
1.  Paint together, creating shapes and talking about the roundness, wiggliness, straight,
jagged, and curved effects you see. It's fun, not a "lesson", but your child will develop ways of
looking at shapes and noticing differences. It's not a test. It's an experience to enjoy together.

2.  Work with clay. Form snakes and circles. Put them together, and talk about connections,
tails, holes you see. Make up names for the shapes.  Real names or nonsense names. Keep it
fun. Create letters out of clay. Name them with letter names. Don't worry if your child doesn't
notice differences right away. Just point them out, and continue playing.

3.  Make instant vanilla pudding. Add food coloring for different colors. Finger paint with the
pudding! It's o.k. to lick the fingers at the end! The texture of the pudding is another way to
"feel" shapes.

Some Art Activities to Motivate Reluctant Readers and Improve
Reading Comprehension:
Ages 5 and up

Reluctant readers often are those who are dominant right-brain thinkers and processors. These
students respond first through the right-brain functions in artistic (visual arts, music), intuition,
and relational ways. Capture the imagination in visual ways, and the right-brain student will
relate more quickly to the information.
For reading, this means using paths to their natural way
of thinking about things.
Art-related activities often open the door to reading for these students.

Here are some ideas that really work:

1. Before reading, look at the pictures in the book. Predict what the reading will be about. Talk
about the illustrations before reading. Read to find out how your predictions compare to the
reading material.

2. Determine the topic of the reading material (whether in science, biography, animal story, fairy
tale, geography). Let student draw or paint something related to the reading topic
first. Then
read the selection.

3.  Before reading, tell your student he/she will be choosing a favorite part of the story to
illustrate his own way. After creating the art, let the student tell about it, why he chose that part
to illustrate, what he is showing in his artwork. Talk about his art, too, not only the way it relates
to the reading. Talk about the colors he/she used, the shapes, the textures, the brush strokes.
Take time to appreciate the art as well as the understanding it shows of the reading.

4. Look for opportunities to make maps, graphs, diagrams, even abstract paintings of
of characters. The art should be meaningful to the student, something he/she will
talk about that relates to the reading material.

5.  Be sure to give your students choices in how they will artistically express the reading
material. The motivating factor is that it is meaningful to them. The opportunity to create art is
what will motivate them to read for meaning and understanding (which is what comprehension is
all about)

6. Let the student read, and imagine a different, "secret" ending to the story. The new
ending is illustrated by the student, then told to the group, showing his/her illustration.

Before you ask yourself, "Isn't this a waste of learning time?" remember this very important
principle: Learning occurs when it is meaningful to the student!
It is never a waste of time to set
the stage before the event
. Using art to engage a student's mind is setting the stage for
learning. It activates imagination and engages the right-brained learner in ways that are different
from dominant left-brain thinkers. Remember we are all different! Take the time to find out what
excites your student. Find the keys. When traditional approaches don't bring results, it's time to
try something else!

Best of Happy Painting and Reading Days to you!
         Art promotes reading readiness,  
            motivates reluctant readers,  
     and enhances reading comprehension!
How does it work?  Art sharpens observation, encourages
early readers to love books, supplies opportunities to make
distinctions between letters and words, enhances  
comprehension through visualization, and inspires imagination.
A Final Important Thought: