Because students work at different speeds, it’s smart to have an activity readily available for those that finish a reading assignment or writing exercise early. This allows students to remain engaged in a meaningful activity while teachers help students who are not yet done with a current lesson.
One activity that literacy specialists and English Language Arts teachers can keep on hand is the Art Mouse Project. The Art Mouse Project is an artsy collage and writing prompt exercise that students can complete multiple times throughout the year. This activity is all about creativity & inspiration that comes from experience, memory, and imagination. Last, but not least, The Art Mouse Project builds self-esteem and produces happy and proud students.
Although the Art Mouse Project can be used multiple throughout the year after finishing an assignment, its best to initially introduce Art Mouse after during an art unit, or to initiate a discussion on bullying.
Meet the Art Mouse
So, who and what is Art Mouse? Art Mouse is an imaginative motif crafted in the Art Studio of Connie Ewing. Connie wanted Art Mouse to encourage children to feel good about themselves, and help them feel confident creating their own masterpieces; whether it be art, writing, dance, music. When asked to briefly describe Art Mouse, Connie shared:
“The Art Mouse is a beautiful yellow-green mouse. She wears a very red heart on her belly to remind all artists that through art we can touch other lives with our love for all. Art Mouse loves to share her wisdom through ‘Loveable Life Lessons’. How to share together a gift of friendship? Art Mouse says “Crayons and paper for two! It doesn’t seem like work if you are sharing what you do!” How to paint my dreams? ‘Crayons, scissors, paint, and glue, will help me teach others that no two works of art are ever the same. Be yourself!’ At night, she scurries around the studio gathering supplies & leaves tiny notes of colorful art projects for all.”
Introducing Art Mouse to Your English Language Arts Class
To start, show an image of Art Mouse with students. Share with students that Art Mouse is a character that helps people create art masterpieces and spreads loveable life lessons. Explain that Art Mouse is going to assist the class in exploring their artistic sides and discuss ways to stop bullying in the classroom. The purpose of this art and writing activity is to learn new things about themselves and their classmates. By understanding and embracing everyone’s differences, students can prevent bullying!
The Art Mouse Activity
Once students have been introduced to Art Mouse, use the download below to execute the Art Mouse Project in your classroom. Download includes:
Step-by-Step Activity Instructions
Writing Prompts by Grade Level
Art Mouse Template
Puzzle Piece Template
Using Art Mouse All Year
As mentioned previously, this activity can be used year round in the English Language Arts classroom when students finish an assignment early. Create a variety of writing prompts students can choose from on future Art Mouse Projects. Students can then go grab an Art Mouse Template and select a new writing prompt each time they need to quietly keep working while classmates finish a lesson or assessment!
The CoreLiteracy Blog is pleased to welcome guest blogger Connie Ewing. Connie founded the Art Mouse Studio in March of 2013. Art Mouse was a nickname given to Connie by students while teaching in the Fayette County school system. This nickname sparked an art movement in the shape of Art Mouse, an imaginiative motif crafted to inspire creativity in children everywhere!