Teachers have lots of different ideas about what students should do when they finish early.
In addition to free draw and other art-making activities, I have a reading corner. Students can elect to free read instead of free draw. It's always good to encourage reading!
Our bookshelf is color-coded and organized into three categories. The colored dot on the spine of the book coordinates with the shelf label so students know the correct shelf for returning books. It works, most of the time...
So what are we reading? Here are some books I've collected these five years...
Stories about Art: These are your classic storybooks with an art-related theme. Many of these are well-known and loved by elementary art teachers around the world.
The Art Lesson
A Day with No Crayons
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!
White Rabbit's Color Book
Lines that Wiggle
When a Line Bends...a Shape Begins
Iggy Peck, Architect
Hands: Growing up to be an Artist
Harold and the Purple Crayon
Famous Artwork: The books on this shelf vary greatly but are held together because they contain many works from art history. Some have descriptive texts; others are I SPY or alphabet books. Museum ABC's is a particular favorite. I was given a copy at my high school graduation party with the sweetest inscription. For my students, I love how it shows them how the same idea can be depicted in different ways at different times and in different cultures.
Name That Style
No One Saw
The Art Book for Children
The Art Book for Children, Book Two
I Spy: An Alphabet in Art
Artist Biographies: I don't spend much time emphasizing specific artists with my students. These biographies allow them to focus on artists that pique their interests. In addition, 3rd-5th graders are required to fill out one artist worksheet per quarter to go in their art class portfolio. I give class time to allow for this activity.
Artist Biographies come in a few categories...for another time!
Do you have books you love?