Arts Education

Visual Arts

Visual Arts by Education Librarian

Listed below are selected teacher resources, picture books, and non-fiction related to the visual arts.

Teacher Resources

Teaching primary art

by Jean Edwards

Grades: K-4

An introductory textbook for those training to teach and support learning in art in the primary school. First explores the philosophy and pedagogy of teaching and learning art, including why we teach it; planning and assessment; and teaching and support strategies. Then it covers the practical aspects of teaching art, including a list of useful vocabulary to encourage talk around art and links to cross-curricular learning.

Studio thinking from the start: The K-8 art educator’s handbook

written by Jillian Hogan, Lois Hetland, Diane B. Jaquith, and Ellen Winner, illustrated by Nicole Gsell

Grades: K-8

This publication shows how the eight Studio Habits of Mind and four Studio Structures can be used successfully with younger students in a range of school environments. Includes classroom examples, visual artist exemplars, templates for talking about works of art, mini-posters, and more.

Teaching and learning in art education: Cultivating students’ potential from pre-K to through high school

by Debrah C. Sickler-Voigt

Grades: K-12

Teaching and Learning in Art Education explores essential and emerging topics such as: managing the classroom in art education; artistic development from early childhood through adolescence; catering towards learners with a diversity of abilities; integrating technology into the art field; and understanding drawing, painting, paper arts, sculpture, and textiles in context. eBook only.

The art teacher’s survival guide for secondary schools: Grades 7-12

by Helen D. Hume

Grades: 7-12

Ten chapters which provide detailed instructions for both teachers and students, along with lesson plans and practical tools such as reproducible handouts, illustrations, and photographs. Includes 75 fun and creative art projects.

Picture Books

Beautiful oops!

written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg

Demonstrates the many ways that torn, crinkled, and smudged bits of paper can be transformed into various shapes and images.

I am an artist

written and illustrated by Marta Altés

A little boy can’t stop creating art! He loves colours, shapes, textures, and is inspired by everything around him: his socks, the contents of the fridge, even his cat. But, his mum isn’t quite so enthusiastic. In a bid to win his mum over he has plans to create his finest piece yet and on a very grand scale.

Whale shines: An artistic tale

written and illustrated by Fiona Robinson

Encouraged by his sidekicks, the glow-in-the-dark plankton, a self-doubting whale learns that anyone can be an artist and everyone has something unique to contribute.

The artist who painted a blue horse

written and illustrated by Eric Carle

Rather than use the same old colors, a child paints animals and objects in a variety of different hues, including a blue horse, red crocodile, and an orange elephant. A playful book that encourages children to use their imagination while learning about colours, animals, and art that bends reality.


Starting art series

by Irene Luxbacher

Grades: K-2

Starting Art offers clear step-by-step illustrated techniques for creating fun art projects that encourage play and experimentation. Introduces art concepts such as color, form and texture, which are then reinforced and put into practice through the creative process. Books in the series include, 1-2-3 I can Make Prints!; 1-2-3 I can Paint; 1-2-3 I can Sculpt!; 1-2-3 I can Build; 1-2-3 I can Draw!, 1-2-3 I can Collage!.

How artists use series

by Paul Flux

Grades: K-3

A series of books that shows students how artists throughout time and place have used different concepts in their work. Books in the series include, Pattern and Texture, Line and Tone, Color, Shape, and Perspective.

The Usborne book of art skills

by Fiona Watt

Grades: 4-6

Full of creative art projects, including collage, drawing, pastels, printmaking, water colours, and more, which feature easy to follow step-by-step instructions.

Get into photography

by Rachel Stuckey

Grades: 4-6

Takes readers through photography basics and photo editing techniques, giving them the skills to creatively picture their world. Exciting photography ideas and tips encourage readers to refine their skills and create personal photo projects. For more in the Get into it series, click here.

Maker projects for kids who love printmaking

by Joan Marie Galat

Grades: 4-6

From creating their own art tools to making a screen print unique to their personal style and vision, this title helps readers express their creativity through the various forms of printmaking. Using clear methods, engaging photographs, and non-toxic materials, readers will learn the techniques of printmaking and be inspired to experiment with their own designs and ideas. For more in the Be a maker! series, click here.

Finding More Resources

To find more resources in this area, try the following:

  • Search using the General tab on the UBC Library website to look for material in all UBC Library branches.
  • Search using “Search Education Resources” box in the left hand bar on the Education Library website to limit your results to materials in the Education Library.
  • Use specific search terms to narrow your results, such as “Art–Study and teaching (Elementary)”, Art–Study and teaching (Secondary)”, “Art–Technique”.
  • To find lesson plans, include “lesson plans”, “lesson planning”, or “activity programs” in your search terms.

For more help with searching, please visit the Library Service Desk or e-mail

Story written by Education Librarian


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