February 2023 Newsletter – Exploring Art with Children: Literary Art

Literary Art Activity Ideas

Literary art refers to pieces of work that are written, such as books and poetry. Sometimes, pieces of literature are adapted to be used as a piece of performance art, as you would see if you attended a poetry reading.

Creating literary works of art with children will require quite a bit of support from teachers because preschool children are not able to write down their ideas. Fortunately, there is no shortage of creativity in children’s minds and teachers can act as the scribe that writes their ideas down on paper. This is a great way to make the connection between spoken and written language. Here are a few ideas for how to build literary art activities into the curriculum.

  • Create some simple Mad Libs and complete them with the children. Simplify the language used to request different parts of speech (noun, adjective, verb, etc.) until children have a better understanding of these terms.
  • Play a game called Sentence Stretcher. In this game, start with a very simple sentence, such as “The dog was sleeping.” With a small group of children rotate around the group and ask children to add one word or phrase to the sentence, which the teacher can write down for the children. It may look like this:
    • The brown dog was sleeping.
    • The brown and white dog was sleeping.
    • The brown and white dog was sleeping on the blanket.
    • The brown and white dog was sleeping on the blanket that Mom bought.
    • The brown and white dog was sleeping on the blanket that Mom bought for Grandma.
    • The brown and white dog was sleeping on the blanket that Mom bought for Grandma.

At this point, the teacher can add another short sentence for the children to expand, such as “Mom was mad.”

  • Introduce children to tongue twisters and challenge them to try to recite them.  Once they are familiar with tongue twisters, encourage them to make up their own and challenge their friends and family to recite them.
  • Ask children to think of different endings to familiar stories. Help children identify the arc of the story and then change one of the character’s actions. Encourage children to brainstorm what might happen based on this change in the story. Write down their ideas and then read the story using a few of the alternate endings.
  • Before writing stories, conduct a few character studies. See if children can identify features of familiar characters. How does the character make decisions or solve problems? What changes does the character make throughout the story? Once you have examined a few familiar characters, you can begin to compare characters. How are characters similar and different? What would one character do if faced with the circumstances of a completely different story?
  • Help children capture their stories by working together to write original classroom books. Teach children about elements of stories including the introduction, conflict, climax, and resolution. Read more here.  The children can work as a group or individually to express their ideas, which teachers can write down. Children can then illustrate the books before they are shared with the group.
  • Older children may enjoy writing their own poems. Introduce different types of poems and invite children to try to make up original literary works of art.


For the main article Exploring Art with Children, CLICK HERE

For the article Fine Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE

For the article Applied Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE

For the article Performance Art Activity Ideas, CLICK HERE