Photograph of artist Carlos Frésquez with his artwork in the background.
Lesson Spark

The Magic of Discovery

Carlos Frésquez is a local artist who participated in the Cuatro[4] series of installations. Find out how he was inspired early on to make art.

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Metal is threaded together to create the appearance of fabric, mainly silver, red and yellow colors
Art Exploration

Piecing it Together

Young children make creative choices while practicing fine motor skills of threading, punching holes and attaching things together.
  • Have a basket with twist ties or cut up pipe cleaners in a center and another basket of cut up cardstock shapes (cereal boxes are great for this!) Hole punches should also be available nearby.
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Blanket/Rug with bright red, white, and blue patterns in various shapes
Art Exploration

Weaving with Various Materials

Young children make creative choices while practicing fine motor skills of weaving and threading using various materials, also exposing them to textures and creative elements.

Provide an 8x10 piece of felt that has slits one inch a part almost the entire width of the piece. Leave a one inch space around the entire felt piece as a border.

Provide various material choices to weave in and out of the slits.

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Collage made of colorful images on paper
Art Exploration

COLLAGE WITH GLUE, PAPER AND TISSUE

In this self-guided exploration, young children will make artists' choices about which shapes, colors, and placement to use. 
  • Collect scraps of colorful paper (tissue paper, patterned paper, cardstock, computer paper) and place them in a basket in an art area. Encourage children to tear or cut pieces in various sizes.
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Kerry James Marshall, Better Homes, Better Gardens, 1994. Acrylic paint and paper collage on canvas. Funds from Polly and Mark Addison, the Alliance for Contemporary Art, Caroline Morgan, and Colorado Contemporary Collectors: Suzanne Farver, Linda and Ken
Creative Practice

Ten Times Two

The art of observation will provide an opportunity for children to look into the detail of the artwork. This activity will reinforce math skills, build vocabulary and introduce descriptive language.

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Thomas Hudson, The Radcliffe Family, about 1742. 126 in. x 174 in. Long-term loan from the Berger Collection, TL-17968.
Creative Practice

Make a Pose!

This close looking activity is great for kinesthetic learners and can be used with art and books. 

A tableau is a frozen picture. It is an effective tool for encouraging children to notice details, which is an important reading and pre-writing skill. Follow these steps to create frozen pictures in your classroom!

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Painted screen depicting a garden party from the Spanish Colonial period
Creative Practice

Machines

This close looking activity is great for kinesthetic learners and can be used with art and books. 

Building machines with our bodies is a great way to understand abstract concepts in a concrete physical way.

Before introducing this activity with an art object, start out with a familiar machine, such as a bus or a blender.

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Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Summer, 1572. Oil on canvas. 36 x 27-2/4 in. Denver Art Museum; fund from Helen Dill bequest.
Creative Practice

Going on a Picnic

In this new twist on an old favorite, children will practice close looking by engaging their senses with an art object. 

Choose an object (this could be a still life painting or photograph with a variety of recognizable items).

Engage children in this game by singing each call and response phrase.

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Child standing in front of large pink and orange abstract painting of Sweet Potatoes at the Table by Roberto Juarez, 1987
Creative Practice

Eye Spy

Children will focus on seeing shape, color, and line in this game of Eye Spy with an art object.
  • Choose an art object with a variety of shapes, colors, and lines.
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Theodore Waddell, Motherwell’s Angus, 1994. Oil paint on canvas. Denver Art Museum; Gift of Barbara J. and James R. Hartley.
Art Exploration

Tinker with Mark Making Tools

Using uncommon painting tools allow children creativity and a choice when determining what and how to create their artwork.  

Artists often tinker with non-conventional tools to help create their art. In Motherwell’s Angus, artist Theodore Waddell uses masonry trowels and specially modified brushes originally intended to apply tar to roofs to create a heavy build-up of paint on the surface of the canvas.

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Hadley Hooper, Tableau, 2016. Theater flats, paper, wheat paste, Ikea chairs. © Hadley Hooper.
Art Exploration

Seeing Texture

Inspired by the whimsical installation, Tableau, created by Hadley Hooper, this printmaking exploration invites children to discover textures and patterns of different tools and materials as they reveal colorful ink prints! 

Prepare an art center with Styrofoam trays, printing ink or paint, rollers, paper, and a mixture of tools and materials that create imprints, such as:

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