This year the 4th grade students in room 122 are reading Tuck Everlasting.  Mrs. Bennett is the new 4th grade teacher, and she was interested in continuing to work with this novel.  She wanted to focus on figurative language specifically, similes and metaphors. By integrating visual art with this novel, students learned to make connections between the similes and metaphors and visual symbolism. By learning about visual symbolism and color symbolism, the fourth graders created and represented symbols in order to better communicate figurative language in a visual art work. To begin students were given a symbol challenge which consisted of them naming visual symbols or logos that are currently popular in mass media. Discussion about what symbols mean or stand for and how such a simple image comes to take meaning were discussed.watercolor painting value scale

After having learned about the symbols, students were introduced to color symbolism and how it is used to create meaning. During the beginning art sessions, students read passages from the color poetry book, “Halistones and Halibut Bones” in order to see how color can represent both concrete items and abstract concepts.

Student #1

Alisha journal TuckDuring the beginning language arts sessions with Mrs. Bennett, students were given the opportunity to express their ideas and feelings about eternal life. The students were asked to write down the advantages and disadvantages of living forever in their journal sketch book. The writing process allowed the students the freedom to explore the symbolism within the book. The students used important symbolic elements from the book to make a visual connection to the book.

Continuing with color, Mrs. Skylas and Ms. Tritschler also wanted the fourth graders to learn how to change the lightness and darkness of color different media. First, they had students create a black and white value scale using ebony pencils.

Student #2

During this same beginning time frame of the project, in the visual art sessions with Mrs. Skylas and Ms. Tritschler, the students learned about creating visual symbols and color symbolism.

student 1

journal 1The fourth graders also painted a monochromatic value scale so they could begin to understand how to control the value of a color through the addition of water to paint.color value scale

Student #3


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Student #1

Literary Devices: Similes & Metaphors

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Student’s beginning sketch of the simile

When the fourth graders began to work on creating imagery for the literary devices of similes, metaphors and personification in the art sessions, we found that they found the concepts were a bit challenging. So we asked students to do the same simile as a practice before they chose their own. From Tuck Everlasting we chose “The Earth opened up like a flower ready to blossom.”  This students sketch above is her first draft of the simile.

Student #2

“The Earth opened like  the petals of a flower ready to be picked.”

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Student’s beginning sketches and finished watercolor image of the simile.

This student shows her original sketches in her journal-sketchbook for the simile. She also displays her watercolor pencil practice. Students practiced using the watercolor pencils in their journals so they could learn to control the both the intensity and value of color.

Student #3

earth opened 3This student shows a range of values and intensities in her first watercolor painting of a simile.



For the final art sessions with Mrs. Skylas and Ms. Tritschler, the students were asked to choose a their favorite simile, metaphor or personification example from the novel. Students began by sketching their ideas in their journals and then completed a final watercolor.

The overall idea behind reading the novel Tuck Everlasting was to identify the theme of the novel. The ability to identify the theme of story also challenged the students to better understand the Big Idea behind reading the novel. The students were asked to analyze the theme of the novel in order to make sense of the significant changes made by the characters of the novel. The students were given the opportunity to evaluate important changes they noticed throughout the story.  The evaluation process gave the students the chance to respond to a writing prompt provided by the teacher before illustrating their final art work.  The students used their writing samples to drive how their art work would look. The student used textured art paper, and oil pastels to create their master pieces.  The classroom teacher and the art teacher collaborated about how to effectively use the textured art paper, and oil pastels.

Student #1

ALisha drawing 1Alisha watercolor 1Then in the classroom with Mrs. Bennett, the final project for the fourth grade students relied heavily on their ability to identify the overall theme on the novel Tuck Everlasting. The students were asked to use visual art to create a vivid illustration that identified the theme. The student used ideas and information from the novel to create constructive ideas about the novel, the illustrations were then brought to life simple by drawing the images and adding oil pastels as a final touch.

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Student #2









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Student #3

QUILTswinging from a treejournal metaphor swingin from a tree

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