One way to make the story Run Away Home by Patricia McKissack come alive
for students is to ask them to pretend that it is their job to make a
jacket cover illustration for the story. This activity also allows the
story to be visible in the classroom when their finished work is displayed.
Often children are asked to “draw” a picture of a story and
all they have at their disposal is a box of crayons. Artwork becomes so
much more interesting and alive if the teacher provides a variety of art
materials to choose from instead of just crayons.
The students will each create a work of art using many different types
of materials to depict an event or character(s) from the story Run Away
You Will Need:
- Poster Board
- Twigs and leaves
- Paints, Watercolors,
& Colored Pencils
- Colored Tissue
Paper & Yarn
- Cotton & Construction
- Fabric Scraps
& Wallpaper Samples
- Chalk & Steel
Teachers can help children think about the story by asking questions such
- What would be
the most appropriate material for you to use for your illustration?
- Are you thinking
about using just one or two materials or are you thinking about making
a collage with many materials?
- What colors do
you see when you think of this story?
- How will you portray
the main character? How old is he or she? What does he or she wear?
- Where does the
story take place? When? How could you show this in your picture?
After the illustrations have all been created, the teacher should honor
each child’s work. When the students show their work to the class,
teachers might encourage them to talk about their choices by asking questions
- Why did you choose
to illustrate this scene or characters?
- Why did you choose
those particular materials?
- How did you make
that part of your picture?
- Did you discover
anything in making this illustration?
- How does this
help us see the book?
By asking questions
and discussing what the students were thinking, the students are encouraged
to think about what they have done and appreciate their own work and the
work of others. Also, the teacher gains valuable insight into their thinking.
Another idea to consider when having students illustrate a book is to
have them work collaboratively on a mural. The teacher may assist the
students in the planning and organization of the mural. Murals may be
organized around events in a story or around students’ favorite
characters. An easier form of mural is when children’s artwork is
cut and pasted to a background.
Biography | Connections
| History Center | Story
L. Perrenoud at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Last Updated
October 20, 2003