In this accessibly written guide for classroom and art teachers as well as parents, Nancy Beal shows how to release children's marvelous gifts of expression. Beal believes that children must first of all be comfortable with their materials. She focuses on six basic media: collage, drawing, painting, clay, printmaking, and construction. She gives practical consideration to all facets of a teacher's responsibility: how each material should be introduced; what supplies are best; how a classroom may be set up to support children's explorations; and how teachers may encourage them to expand and challenge their imaginations. Beal also discusses how to integrate art into social studies and how to make museum visits productive and fun. Each chapter includes a section specifically for parents, on helping their children create art at home.
Beal has taught art to children for twenty-five years and is able to draw on a wealth of examples from her classroom. Her guide is extensively illustrated with her students' art, visual proof of her gifts as an educator and art enthusiast.
"The Art of Teaching Art to Children is exactly right. Nancy Beal unfolds the magic , the practical, and a clear sense of children as she describes materials, motivations, and conservations in her Village Community School art room. This honest and thoughtful book should become a classic for all parents and teachers who cherish art in the lives of children."—Joy L. Moser, Teachers College, Columbia University
"Nancy Beal's work is grounded in her having thoughtfully reflected on years of teaching experience with young children. This book will become a standard for any elementary art teacher."—Elizabeth Larkin, Assistant Professor of Education, University of South Florida
"Full of practical, easy-to-follow advice . . . Art teachers will find [this] an invaluable handbook . . . [Beal] shows what children can do when they have the support of a caring adult—an adult who respects children's ideas and honors their creativity. Anyone who works with children, anyone who lives with children, should read this lovely and thoughtful book."—Peggy Kaye, author of Games for Writing
"Here is a book that will carry children from experimental beginnings as artists to full-fledged, deep expressive competency in art. Beal's knowledge of developmental growth is matched by her inspired motivational methods for teaching skills. Above all, she never loses sight of each child's personal view."—Naomi F. Pile, author of Art Experiences for Young Children
"What an invaluable treasure for educators, parents, or for that matter, anyone who works with children! The wisdom of this book goes far beyond teaching art. With her developmentally appropriate approach to teaching children, Beal outlines a way of teaching that can be transposed to any educational situation. It is an indispensable reference for schools, homes, and libraries that is sure to become a classic."—Jeff Wallis, Principal, Dwight-Englewood Lower School, Englewood, New Jersey
"This is a gem of a book!"—Janie Lou Hirsch, Director, Westland School, Los Angeles
"Beal has taught art to children at the Village Community School in New York for 25 years. Her method involves encouraging long-term familiarity with art materials so that children ages five to ten can master the materials and use them to express their own life experiences. In chapters on collage, painting, clay, drawing, printmaking, and 3-D construction, Beal discusses how to set up the art situation and how to speak to children about their artwork to encourage their creative expression. Short sections at the end of the chapters discuss what materials and techniques are best suited for use at home."—Kathryn Wekselman, Library Journal