The next book I am highlighting is Lines That Wiggle by Candace Whitman and illustrated by Steve Wilson. This book is so much fun and I like to start off the year with it, especially with my very young students. It is a simple rhyming book that has a glittery line that flows through the pages moving in every way you could possibly think of. It covers all the different types of lines I like to teach my students, curvy, straight and zigzag, and many others.
I have some discussion points that I like to use such as describing animals. In the book there is a whale, octopus and many monsters that I talk about with my students reinforcing a lot of language while they are having fun describing the categories the animals may fit into. I allow the students to all have their own points of view and early on start developing a high level of comfort in the art room. Another aspect of the book is counting there are lines that go by twos and threes, dotted lines like roads, promoting lots of room for discussion and exploration. I tend to love books like this that are simple and allow students to think and examine their point of view.
I combine this book with a simple project that is about discovering how different materials work and learn how to make different kinds of lines. Along with the curvy, straight, and zigzag lines students discover there are fast and slow, and thick and thin lines. I cover the table with large roll paper and put out all different kinds of drawing materials. Markers, color pencils, oil pastels, crayons that are large and small, and chalk. They move around the table exploring how the different materials feel on the paper and in their hands. The different kinds of colors and marks they make. This activity could also be done with paint or rollers in ink or paint.
For older students they could create of drawing of their own monster to go along with the assortment of monsters depicted in the book. Then decide what kind of line their monster will make. The possibilities are endless with Lines That Wiggle because it is fun and has so much information that can be explored in unique ways.