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Hands: Growing Up to be an Artist

Last updated Friday, June 27, 2008

Author: Lois Ehlert
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 0152051074
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2008

Synopsis: As the child in this story watches her mother and father work with their hands, she knows she wants to build and sew and garden and paint just like they do. All she needs is a special place to work, lots of good materials--and plenty of encouragement. With these tools, she is able to make the most wonderful things. From Caldecott Honor-winning artist Lois Ehlert, here is a book for anyone, young or old, a book that celebrates the importance of nurturing the creative spirit within us all.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you do things with your Hands?
•  Do you know what an artist is? Do you want to be an artist when you grow up?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever made or built something with your hands?
•  Does anyone in your family build anything?
•  Do they ever teach or show you? Do you ever help them?
•  Have you ever used any tools?
•  Do you know how to sew? Does anyone in your family sew?
•  Do you make things for your pets or family?
•  How does making something make you feel?
•  Have you ever planted anything?
•  Does using you hands help you grow up? Does it help you learn?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a garden glove with construction paper. Fold a piece of paper in half. Trace your hand (make it large so they can put their finger in). Tape, staple or glue the hands together.
•  Make a patchwork quilt. Volunteers cut up different shapes of construction paper and give them to the kids to glue on a piece of white paper creating their own patchwork quilt.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!