Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art®
Teachers Manuals by Beth Olshansky
Picturing Writing unit of study contains a progression of daily lessons designed to build a solid foundation of literary and artistic skills around a specific genre. Teacher manuals are distributed through our teacher workshops or as part of our instructional DVD packages.
of Day Unit —
This foundational Picturing Writing unit of study introduces Artists/Writers Workshop, simple crayon resist art techniques, and the use of descriptive language to establish a sense of setting and mood in a piece of writing. Through a progression of carefully designed art-and-literature based mini-lessons, students study illustrations and text in quality picture books. They learn how to compose crayon resist paintings that depict the passage of time (a precursor to story writing) and how to read their pictures to access descriptive language. Word choice becomes a focus of this unit as students discover that their words can paint pictures in the reader’s mind. If they select just the right words, students also discover that they can make their paintings come alive!
Poetry Unit —
This foundational genre unit introduces poetry in a way that is engaging to a wide range of learners. The weather unit introduces several simple weather art techniques that help students expand their use of descriptive language. Students strive to establish a strong sense of setting and mood through their pictures and their words. A variety of simple poetry formats introduce poetry to writers of all ages. As students engage in word play, their command of descriptive language increases.
The winter story unit teaches the key elements of narrative writing through both pictures and words. Through the study of quality picture books (illustration and text), students gain an understanding of how to create visual and written text to establish a sense of setting, introduce a character, develop dramatic tension around a problem, create a sense of relief for the solution, and establish a sense of resolution for the ending of their story. Through the use of storyboards, accordion folders, an array of simple winter art techniques, community word banks, and specially designed brainstorming sheets, students are drawn into a rich exploration of story.
Picturing Writing Animal Poetry Unit —
This research-based poetry unit introduces reading and writing informational text as students work toward creating an animal tri-fold. Students learn how draw facts from pictures and text as well as how to embed facts in their paintings and their poems. The manual comes with step-by-step art and writing lessons, poetry masters, and a sample tri-fold to be used as a mentor text.
in Their Habitat Research-Based Story Unit —
This research-based story unit is designed to combine informational and narrative reading and writing. Students conduct research on an animal of their choice from any biome relevant to the curriculum, study narrative form through analyzing the work of professional artists and writers, and develop a fact-based storyline which includes habitat information as well as a realistic problem and solution. Several simple texturing techniques are added to the basic crayon resist repertoire to provide students with a wide range of visual tools with which to add detail and thereby enhance their story. Storyboards, accordion folders, community word banks, and specially designed brainstorming sheets provide the scaffolding needed so that all students have a finished book they are proud off. Witness your students bring their stories to life through the artful marriage of picture and words!
Sun's Day —
by Beth Olshansky is a 7-page Time of Day book describing
the sun's journey over 24 hours. This Picturing Writing book
is designed to teach use of descriptive language, personification
and similes to young children. It has a duel text: one to be
used as a quick read which teaches the times of day through
personified language, and the other to introduce individual
times of day with a lengthier descriptive passage. The crayon
resist pictures depict a variety of simple "interesting
ground-lines," reflected light on water, and the changes
in the sky throughout the day. Available in English or French $18.00
A Day in the North —
by Beth Olshansky describes, in pictures and in words, a progression of lovely skies and vast, snow-covered Northern landscapes over the course of 24 hours. This Picturing Writing instructional aid offers several examples of simple crayon resist art techniques and words that paint pictures. Together, words and pictures are crafted to make each painting appear to “come alive” through the use of strong verbs, personification, and metaphor. A great resource for the PW Time of Day unit whether or not one lives in the North. Available in English, French, or Inuktitut $18.00
Weather in the North —by Beth Olshansky offers a series of crayon resist paintings depicting various types of weather. Sample paintings and accompanying poems follow the same sequence found in the Picturing Writing Weather Poetry Manual. This is a great resource not matter where one lives. Available in English or French$18.00
Seasons in the North —by Beth Olshansky provides an example of yet another application of the Picturing Writing process. Paintings and accompanying descriptive passages model how words can make images come to life as well as demonstrate how one might extend the Time of Day Unit to encompass the seasons. Available in English or French$15.00
by Lexi Grahame is a 5-page Picturing Writing ocean story
with a well-crafted text and detailed crayon resist pictures.
This story, created by a second-grader, can be used for teaching
a variety of mini-lessons, including lead sentences, the key
elements of story, and creating dramatic tension in a story. $18.00
written by Ms. Taylor's second-grade class with pictures by
Beth Olshansky, is a 4-page Picturing Writing animal story
which grew out of a series of class modeling sessions. It
can be used for teaching a variety of mini-lessons including
developing a sense of setting, dramatic tension, and a sense
of conclusion. It provides examples of supplemental art techniques
(watercolor and salt, plastic wrap prints, scratch technique,
and tissue clouds). $15.00
Midnight Escape —
This stunning 5-page animal story was created by teacher Robyn Parker as a mentor text for
the Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Story Unit. With both images and text artfully crafted to address all the literary elements of a good story, this latest addition to our collection promises to become a favorite resource. $18.00
One Winter Day —
Beth Olshansky designed a mentor text to be used as a teaching tool for the Picturing Writing Winter Story Unit. This 5-page narrative addresses key literary elements (setting, character, problem, solution, and ending) in both pictures and words. Each page of the story coincides with lessons in the winter story unit. $18.00
Techniques Poster Examples of 8 different kinds of weather to be used
as a resource for your weather study (includes several simple
supplemental art techniques). Available in English or French
11"x17" laminated $8.00
Techniques Poster Examples of 24 different simple art techniques for
sky, land, and water that can be used to enhance the pictures
and language of any integrated curriculum stories and poems.
17"x30" laminated $15.00
Each Image-Making unit of study contains a progression of mini-lessons designed to build a solid foundation of literary and artistic skills. Manuals are distributed at teacher-training workshops or as part of an instructional DVD package.
Our Stories in Pictures and Words: Image-Making Immigration Unit
—This Image-Making unit of study offers a dynamic way to teach immigration through reconstructing and sharing personal, family, or ancestral immigration stories. After creating a portfolio of hand-painted papers, students new to this country construct a sequence of collage images and write about their family’s recent journey to the United States. American-born students construct collage images and write stories that recount the journey of one of their first ancestors to immigrate to America. This powerful unit of study, suitable for classrooms with both English language learners and native English speakers, contains daily art and writing lessons to support the creation of deeply meaningful family keepsakes.
Image-Making Research-Based Animal Stories – Formerly the Endangered Species Unit, this manual has been expanded to include all animals. It offers step-by-step instructions on creating a portfolio of hand-painted textured papers and detailed, literature-based art and writing lessons for each page of the story. Combining reading and writing of informational and narrative text, students conduct visual and written research on an animal of their choice and develop a fact-based storyline. Supported by the study of quality picture books and the use of storyboards, accordion folders, community word banks, and specially designed brainstorming sheets, students craft a fact-based story in both pictures and words. They learn how to create a strong lead, introduce their character, develop dramatic tension around the problem, create a sense of relief for the solution, and provide an ending that brings their story to closure. This Image-Making research-based story process can be easily adapted to other curriculum units.
Within The Writing Process® Poetry Packet
—The Image-Making Poetry Packet (teachers manual) provides teachers with step-by-step guidelines for creating a portfolio of hand-painted textured papers and simple collage images. A variety of poetry masters, appropriate for students of all ages, make the Image-Making poetry process easy to integrate into many areas of the curriculum. A supplemental folder provides examples of a wide range of poems that accompany a sample collage image.
Image-Making Research-Based Mentor Stories
and Station Labels
Underwater Escape — This compelling 5-page research-based animal story, created by artist and art educator Kimberly Wade Cheifer, takes the Image-Making process to a new level. With exceptional skill, Kim crafts stunning collage images and detailed text to move her readers through the story of an otter family’s escape from an oil spill. This story, used as a mentor text, offers many quality examples of key literary elements depicted in both pictures and words. Underwater Escape can be used to inspire and instruct. Available in English or French$20.00
Owl's Night — a compelling 5-page research-based story created by third-grade teacher, Maggie Mattson. Through her breathtaking collage images and carefully crafted text, Maggie artfully draws the reader into her story about Mother Barn Owl and her owlets’ close encounter with a predator. This story will serve as an excellent mentor text in your classroom, offering quality examples of key literary and visual elements. Owl's Night offers a treasure trove of teaching opportunities! Available in English or French $18.00
Bamboo Dreams —written and illustrated by third-grade teacher, Marlene Oda. This 3-page researched-based story provides an excellent example of a strong lead, dramatic tension when writing about the problem and a sense of relief when creating the solution. The book also includes a research page, scientific sketches, and an About the Author/Illustrator page. Marlene’s simple yet exquisite collage images and well-crafted text provide wonderful models and inspiration for students young and old. $15.00
Tiger's Adventures —
written by Ms. Dion's first-grade class with pictures by
Beth Olshansky. This 3-page research-based collage story
provides examples of a simple descriptive lead, a realistic
problem and solution, and use of strong verbs and adjectives.
The pictures provide examples of creating a sense of habitat,
interesting ground-line, reflected light on snow, use of
changes in perspective, and changes in the sky to drive
the story. $12.00
written by Mrs. Carmichael's first-grade class with pictures
by Beth Olshansky. This 3-page research-based collage story
provides wonderful examples of a strong simple lead, a realistic
problem and solution, and use of strong verbs and adjectives.
The pictures provide examples of creating a sense of habitat,
interesting ground-line, reflected light on water, use of
changes in perspective, and changes in the sky to drive the
From Nepal to America —
by Probin Tamang is the story of a young boy who, with his family, journeys from a refugee camp in Nepal to America after a fire ravages a neighboring camp. His stunning collage images and poignant story capture the hearts of readers, young and old. $18.00
From Russia to the New Land —
by Elizabeth Engalichev is a well-crafted story about Lizzy’s grandfather’s journey to this country. Through her sequence of thoughtfully crafted collage images and her use of words that paint pictures, Lizzy reconstructs the journey, bringing her readers along for the ride. Her pictures and words capture the highs and lows of the immigrant experience (photos and documents included). $18.00
Image-Making Station Labels —
This set of 20 laminated station labels provides a visual example of each paper-texturing technique with directions on the underside of how to set up each station and demonstrate each process. Available in English or French -- $25.00
Original Image-Making Process Instructional Materials
Image-Making Within The Writing Process: Crafting Collage Stories — This manual provides an overview of the original Image-Making Process developed by Beth Olshansky in 1990. Unlike more recent Image-Making units of study that are integrated into the science or social studies curriculum, in this original version of the process, students create a portfolio of hand-painted papers and then search for the story within their textured papers. The manual includes instructions on how to make hand-painted papers, craft collage images, and write to each picture. However, since these stories are more open-ended, the art and writing lessons are less structured than those in more recent Image-Making units. This unit comes with a set of professionally published student-made mentor texts and a video overview of the original Image-Making process.
As Authors, Children As Illustrators: The Whole Story
This 48-minute video brings viewers into the classroom to observe the original Image-Making story process as it was facilitated at its inception in 1990. After creating a portfolio of hand-painted papers, students are directed to find the story hidden within their portfolios of hand-painted textured papers. Complemented by the teachers manual and set of collage books, this video provides a historical overview of this dynamic process of discovery and meaning-making–in pictures and words—as it was first facilitated in its early stages of development.
Original Image-Making Collage Books by Young Artists/Writers
pictures and text by Jamie Cragnoline (grade 1), is a truly
poetic inquiry into the nature of the spirit world. Jamie's
remarkable use of language and imagery captivates audiences
of all ages. $5.00
Lost Boy —
pictures and text by Eddie Reyes (grade 2), is a bilingual
book with a universal theme that will touch the hearts of
children and adults. $5.00
Best Winter of All —
pictures and text by Noami Brautigam (grade 3), is a heart-warming
tale of how an orphaned Eskimo girl finds friendship and family. $6.00
pictures and text by Kelsea Larson (grade 4), details an intriguing
dream journey of a young girl. The vibrant collage images and
fascinating changes in perspective carry you from deep beneath
a lake to the glistening stars above. $5.00
and the Beautiful Skies —
pictures and text by Amanda Clark (grade 5), is an enchanting
story that explains why the sky is so beautiful at sunrise and
sunset each day. $6.00
So Long Ago —
pictures and text by Nicole de Pontbriand (grade 7), is a
thought-provoking tale which addresses issues of prejudice
and discrimination in a delightfully straight-forward manner. $5.00