Possible Classroom Concepts: Language Arts – Literature, Writing, Social Studies – Countries Around the World, Underground Railroad
Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Karen Anderson
Types of Art – Sculpture (Relief), Elements of Art – Form
As we’re opening the door to a new year, I’m reminded of artist, Karen Anderson’s Tiny Doors , that I saw on CBS’ Sunday Morning Magazine. Doors have always intrigued me. They come in all sizes and shapes. Doors can be portals to beginnings, endings and adventures. Thinking about doors opened up my mind to so many classroom lesson possibilities.
Probably the most obvious correlation would be in language arts. Doors have played a role in some famous literature. Just think about Alice in Wonderland, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden and The Harry Potter books, just to name a few.
For younger students, I found several picture books with door themes. The first three are a series of wordless books by Aaron Becker entitled, Journey, Quest and Return. In Journey, a young girl uses a red crayon to draw a door onto the wall, opens it and steps into a magical world of adventure. The story continues and concludes in the next two books. These stories remind me of a very sophisticated version of Harold and the Purple Crayon. The next picture book I found, Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim, just so happens to also be about a red door. While researching for this blog, I discovered that red doors have significance in history and cultures around the world. To learn more about red doors check out this post by Apartment Therapy. Aaron Becker’s books are about imagination and adventure. Ruby’s Wish is based on a true story about a Chinese girl who yearns for an education and how she goes about getting it. Find a video version of this story here. This is a great book to correlate with a children around the world unit. Another internationally themed book is The Old Man And His Door by Gary Soto. This story is about a Mexican husband who doesn’t listen very well, but ends up being a bit of a hero in the end. Find a video version of this story here. This book investigates the many uses for a door and I love all the Spanish words that are introduced.
So, if you are reading any of these books, studying cultures around the world or just want to open up your student’s imaginations, a door themed art project might just be in order. I love these popsicle stick doors from The WHOot. Dreamworks has produced an adorable instructional video which can be found here. For some more inspirational doors, check out my tiny doors board on Pinterest found here. A box of popsicle sticks is inexpensive and readily available at most craft stores. Tacky glue can be used in place of hot glue. All Purpose Elmers Glue can even be used. Simply glue and let the glue set before turning over. Add color with markers or watercolors. I bought pre-colored popsicle sticks. Old buttons, jewelry and beads can be added for embellishments. Once the door is complete, students could write a description or a story about what’s behind their door. Find some teaching suggestions in this pdf and this pdf. The tiny doors can be placed around the school to see what kind of buzz they might initiate.
What do you think? Could you use tiny doors in your curriculum? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just highlight the title of this post, scroll down to the bottom and add your comment.
I hope you’ll stop by again real soon.