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Lesson Plans

Art & Literacy

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 11:22:43 -0600

Hi - There are so many non-traditional book forms that you could do stuff
with -( I especially like the palm-leaf books of India that are "bound" by a
single thread through the center). Calligraphy is also an important
connection to be made, and that certainly includes Arabic and Asian
cultures. The Calligraphy lettering arts society link is . I
think there are other links there. Perhaps artists from those communities
would be willing to demonstrate their lettering techniques - I was at a
festival once where the crowd hovered -fascinated over a Japanese brush
calligrapher. Writing as a work of art in itself.

Also - "international symbols" are a jumping off point for projects -
"design an international symbol for....." how visual design communicates an
idea. Perhaps the students could design the signage for the event - with

And maps....there's a great web site about mental maps (a favorite subject
of mine) but I don't have the link, sorry, its by a pretty interesting group
from the UK - mental maps are how people visualize their surroundings,
distance between things, etc., and following maps is a type of reading. (you
can find it easily by searching "mental maps")

and there's Dadaist "concrete poetry"....

It seems like there could be a way to show how people who are unable to read
depend on the visual design of product labels to help them shop - I once had
a woman approach me in the grocery with a bottle of apple juice and a bottle
of apple cider vinegar and ask me which was juice - they were both yellowish
liquid with a red apple on the label. (I managed to not burst into tears it
broke my heart - that state has the 3rd highest rate of adult illiteracy in
the US) And how the shapes/colors of traffic signs serve the same purpose.

It sounds like a fun project to me. Good luck!