Tag Archives: free resources

Cupcake Holder = Great Organizer for Small Ceramics

28 Apr

Look what I found at the school bake sale! This awesome small ceramic storage container is actually a disposable  cupcake box.

cupcake holder storage


The box is holding 24 painted ceramic penguins. Each figurine fits into a cupcake well. The wings and flippers fit into little grooves around the well. The pieces are really secured in there!

These disposable cupcake boxes make great storage!

These disposable cupcake boxes make great storage!

The ceramic-filled cupcake box is heavy. I added a piece of masonite underneath as a tray.

Disposable bakery cupcake holder is great for organizing and storage.

Disposable bakery cupcake holder is great for organizing and storage.

Now the pieces are safely stored until the art show.




Digital Comic Museum: Vintage Comics To Read Online for Free

7 Nov

I just learned about a fabulous free resource – the Digital Comic Museum. You can download complete vintage comic books for free! Most are from the comic book Golden Age (1930s-40s) and all are in the public domain and copyright free. Majority are US comics with a handful of Canadian and Australian/New Zealand titles.

This is a fabulous resource for SO MANY LESSON PLANS in art, art history, design, illustration, graphic arts, U.S. history, propaganda and communications at every level from upper elementary through college.

(Note: if you read Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay YOU MUST CHECK OUT THIS SITE! It is a like a visual companion to the novel).

I read about the DCM on Free Technology for Teachers. If you are a blogger or a teacher, please check out their site for lots of great resources.

MORE Art Books to Read Online for Free

22 Jul

Stop the presses!  I just discovered a FABULOUS source for online children’s picture books. TumbleBooks, available online for free through some Public Libraries in the U.S.

Some libraries require viewers to hold a library card, but some do not.

WANT TO TRY IT OUT? Google ‘Tumblebooks free’ or try my steps below.

STEP 1: 

Start by clicking  here and CLICK ON ‘Tumblebooks’ or this icon



Select a book for computer or iPad

Here are three winners for young children.

1. Art’s Supplies by Chris Tougas.   Also available for iPad.

Art’s Supplies by Chris Tougas

2. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds





3. Purple, Green, Yellow by Robert Munsch and Helene Desputeaux

Purple, Green and Yellow



The three books are available as a ready-made playlist running 17 minutes. Project and go!

Go to your local library’s website and see if they offer Tumblebooks. Some school districts offer it as well – check out the school library’s website. Tumblebooks has some iPad books for kids as well (note: I was unable to read Tumblebooks on my iPhone).

Enjoy!! Leave a comment if this works for you. Do you have a favorite Tumblebook?

Want more? Check out these additional art books to read online for free.

p.s. Got an iPad? Our 4th grade photography lesson is now available as a free download from the iBookstore.

You need an iPad to view it.

Cover Art

iPad Alphabet Photography

Rina Vinetz, Cara Spitzmiller & Angie Tremble

Category: Education


Art Books to Read Online (for free!)

18 Jul

Did you know there are a lot of art books you can read online for free? The Guggenheim Museum has 65 art books online, including a 1964 catalog from my favorite sculptor, Alexander Calder.

While we are on the topic of Alexander Calder, how about a book for kids?

This book from wegivebooks.org works great with a laptop or computer/projector.

Sandy’s Circus by Tanya Lee Stone is for primary grade students and is available in full color from wegivebooks.org.

Picasso and Matisse are lots of fun for kids. Storylineonline.net has lots of books for kids, all read out loud, including When Pigasso met Mootisse by Nina Laden.

How about a cool, retro how-to-draw book? You can read What to Draw and How to Draw It online.  The second graders loved drawing owls using the illustrations in this book.


p.s. I heard about all four books via Pinterest.

Want more art books to read online for free? Check out this post.

‘Secret’ Rainbow Fish for Kindergarten

1 Mar

secret rainbow fish for kindergarten

Looking for a kindergarten art lesson? Try this line lesson based on the popular book ‘The Rainbow Fish’.

Kindergarteners create watercolor resist line art based on the book ‘The Rainbow Fish’. Allow two 40-minute classes.


  • white construction paper 12″x18″ (use paper sturdy enough for watercolor)
  • Sharpies
  • white crayons
  • watercolors: purple, blue and green (cool colors)

Day 1: Draw

Read the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister (or listen to it online for free!) Point out the cool colors and name any lines you see.

Using Sharpies, students draw the outline of the fish as a step-by-step. I tell students to draw a large ‘rainbow’ for the back, ‘smile’ for the belly, and triangle for the tail. We divide the body with a few vertical lines.

Kinds of Lines

Each section is filled with a different kind of line.  We use

  • spirals
  • diagonal
  • wavy
  • zig zag
  • vertical
  • horizontal
  • dotted
  • dashed

Add  SECRET (white crayon) lines

Now for the SECRET! Use the white crayon to add more lines around and in-between your black lines (the white lines are hard to see and therefore ‘secret’). For best results, encourage students to press hard with the white crayon. Tell students you will tell them the secret when we paint the fish.

Day 2: Paint

Paint with purple, blue and green watercolors. Listen to the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the SECRET lines pop out from the watercolor. It is OK for colors to overlap (the cool colors mix beautifully).


Cool color watercolors and white crayon resist.

If you have extra time after clean up, read The Rainbow Fish again (or try another book in the series such as Rainbow Fish to the Rescue! or Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale).


Do you have a favorite story book for kindergarten art?

NOTE: This post was updated on 9/2/13.