The Release of Animals of the World, Reading Comprehension Through Art – Unit 1

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Animals of the World, Reading Comprehension Through Art.

Reading Comprehension Skills Through Art

Why?

Because ART is Fun!

Not only is art fun, but by learning the strategies for reading comprehension through art before using a text, students’ understanding comes more easily and they retain the information longer. The structure of these lessons comes from the book “Using Art to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies: Lesson Plans for Teachers” by Jennifer Klein and Elizabeth Stuart. I encourage you to buy the book and check it out for yourselves. The lessons in Animals of the World are NOT the lessons from the book. Animals of the World was created by and belongs to The Art Cart – Mobile Art Studio LLC.

Reading comprehension strategies taught.

  • Making connections
  • Questioning
  • Visualizing
  • Inferring
  • Determining importance
  • Synthesizing

There are 8 units in this program. One unit for each continent and the last theme is world oceans. You will open each unit separately. Each new unit builds on the last and you are encouraged to practice the skills learned in past lessons along with the new skills. A list of additional, theme related texts are included in each unit as well. For the 2020-2021 school year these units will be available approximately one month at a time on the following schedule.

  • September – Unit 1 North American Animals
  • October – Unit 2 South American Animals
  • November – Unit 3 European Animals
  • January – Unit 4 Antarctic Animals
  • February – Unit 5 Asian Animals
  • March – Unit 6 African Animals
  • May – Unit 7 Australian Animals
  • June – Unit 8 Animals of the World’s Oceans

Following the theme of each unit and among the reading comprehension strategies are 4 directed art videos. Each video features an art project of an animal in the style of the selected artist.  For example, all of the art projects in the North American Animals unit are in the style of Charles Harper, a Canadan artist who uses simple geometric shapes, colors, patterns and textures.

All of the lessons are in presentation format, for ease of use, and stored inside a private Google Classroom. When you sign up for the program I will “invite you to join” the Google Classroom. I will add the new unit as “classwork” at the beginning of each month, per the schedule above. In the presentation, start at slide one and continue in the order of the slides until you get to the end. Easy Peasy. Also in the presentation you will find Fun Facts, about the featured artist, continent/oceans and animals, A Few More Books, a book list with thematic children’s stories, Words to Know, vocabulary from the Fun Facts, and Lesson Starters for other Subjects. Once you accept your invitation to join Google Classroom, you can only be refunded for the units that have not yet been posted. Each unit is $20 for the 2020-21 school year. If you are paying monthly and you do not make your payment by the last day of the previous month, you will be removed from the Google Classroom before the new month is uploaded. If you pay in full at the beginning you will automatically see the new unit in the classroom at the beginning of each month.

About the artist and designer of Animals of the World.

Stephanie Cox is the owner of The Art Cart -Mobile Art Studio LLC. She received her BA in Liberal Studies and MA in Educational Administration from California State University at Long Beach in 1994 and 1998. She began her teaching career as a Kindergarten teacher in 1995 and has held many different teaching positions since then. Most of her early teaching experience was in Kindergarten and First grade, where teaching reading was the top priority in the classroom.  Mrs. Cox moved to Virginia in 2010, where her CA teaching credential transferred to Virginia teaching licenses in Elementary Education, ESOL and Art. During her teaching time in Virginia she added grades 6-8 and Jr. Kindergarten to the list of grades she has taught. 

In 2018 she left public education to teach art, part time, at Prince William Academy in Woodbridge, VA. In early 2019 she started The Art Cart – Mobile Art Studio LLC which began holding art classes in a park the following June. By fall The Art Cart-Mobile Art Studio LLC had teamed up with a homeschool co-op and was teaching weekly art classes for area homeschoolers and had also started an after school art club at PWA. 

Then Covid-19 hit the United States. Schools and Co-ops closed their doors and everyone began “virtual teaching.”  In the summer of 2020 she was introduced to the book, “Using Art to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies: Lesson Plans for Teachers” by Jennifer Klein and Elizabeth Stuart.  As a former reading teacher and lover of children’s literature, the concept in this book lit her mind on fire, resulting in an 8 unit Reading Comprehension Through Art program called Animals of the World,

Published by Stephanie Cox

Stephanie Cox is the owner and art educator for The Art Cart - Mobile Art Studio. She is licensed to teach art K-12 in both CA and VA. She has 25 years of teaching experience (Preschool through 8th grade) and loves working with children. She is also the mother of two boys and two girls from age 9 to 18 and the Art Educator for Prince William Academy in Woodbridge.

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