Surrealism art is an art form that reunites the world of dream and fantasy with everyday reality, a mix of conscious and unconscious realms.
Artist Rene Magritte’s surrealism artwork challenges others, in an unexpected manner, to view his art not as it appears to be, but as it appears not. For Magritte, what is concealed is more important than what is open to view.
This art by Rene Magritte looks like a pipe but its translation is “This is not a pipe.”
Creative Thinking Prompt: If this is not a pipe, what else can it be?
Brainstorm alternate uses for this item. Develop a new name for this “pipe”.
In Wonderfall readers discover how a tree changes through the four seasons. Author/illustrator Michael Hall’s creative free-verse poems substitute the word fall for the suffix –ful to show each change. Colorful illustrations depict each new word.
Event + fall = Eventfall
Force + fall = Forcefall
The back of the book provides additional information about the animals featured in the book as well as the relationship between squirrels, acorns, and trees can be found.
This book promotes creative, inventive, combination, different perspective, and originality.
AUTHOR: Michael Hall
ILLUSTRATOR: Michael Hall
PUBLISHER: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2016
AGE GROUP: 4-6
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative, inventive, combination, different perspective, originality
1) Close your eyes. What do you imagine when you hear the word Fall? Open your eyes and jot down words describing what you imagined. Remember to use your five senses. Write a free verse poem about Fall. A free verse poem does not follow any rhyming patterns or meters.
Here is a website that shows how to write a free verse:
2) Pick 5 words that end with suffix –ful. Change them into –fall words like author Michael Hall did in his story and draw what each word would look like. Example: colorful -> colorfall What does Colorfall look like?
To learn more about author/illustrator Michael Hall, visit:
One day Dog follows Legs (who becomes his owner) home from the park. Dog cleans up the floor after Legs and licks his hands clean. They make a great pair until Toes comes home with Legs. Dog doesn’t know what to think about two more feet. “I guess there’s room for four feet,” Dog thinks. Then Boots shows up. And then more feet show up. And more. What’s a dog to do?
From beneath the dining table, Dog tells of his growing family life from his dog-eye point of view. Full of humor and rhyme, read to discover the surprise ending.
This book promotes creativity, originality, and different perspective.
AUTHOR: Leslie Helakoski
ILLUSTRATOR: Leslie Helakoski
PUBLISHER: Boyds Mills Press, 2013
AGE GROUP: 4-8
CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, different perspective, originality
1) Pick an animal and “see” the world through its eyes. Remember if it’s a small animal the world will look enormous and vice versa for a larger animal. Roleplay – behave like that animal. Now pick an object. How might that object “see” the world around him?
2) Challenge yourself to keep an open-mind when you come across something that you don’t think you’ll like. For example, I didn’t think that I would like to eat baked asparagus with cream cheese but I ended up really liking it. Now it’s a favorite of mine. But if you end up not liking what you try, it’s okay. You experienced it!
To learn more about author/illustrator Leslie Helakoski, visit:
Knolling is defined as arranging objects at 90 degree angles from each other and then photographing them. American sculptor Tom Sachs uses knolling as an integral part to his process. He describes the process of knolling in his 2009 studio manual, 10 Bullets.
Scan your environment for materials, tools, books, music, etc. which are not in use.
Put away everything not in use. If you aren’t sure, leave it out.
Group all ‘like’ objects.
Align or square all objects to either the surface they rest on, or the studio itself.
Object Arranger Artist Adam Hillman creates his artwork using knolling. By carefully arranging items, he makes colorful compositions and then photographs them.
Create an alternate storyline for Dorothy and the Wizard.
Pretend you are Dorothy and you are traveling the yellow brick road to see the wizard. The road isn’t yellow, it’s ______ (color) and it’s made of ________. Why do you need to see the Wizard? As you travel you come across four travelers: ___________, ______________, ____________, and _________ who also need to see the Wizard. Why do they need to see the Wizard? When you meet the Wizard, what does she/he look like? What power does the Wizard have to grant your wish? Will your wish be granted? If not, what happens next? If yes, what happens next?
What if Dorothy and the Wizard switch places and the Wizard visits Dorothy because she has the power to grant wishes?
Write a letter to your best friend who is another animal in a different country.
Explain what is like to live where you live, what do you eat, how do you get food, what’s your home like, who are your “friends,” what’s your favorite thing to do, etc. Include a picture of yourself and your name. You could mail your letter to a friend or a family member and see if they write you back as an animal.
Actual Size written and illustrated by Steven Jenkins brings readers face to face with the actual size of an animal’s physical trait. Some featured animals and their traits in this book are a bear’s head, a dwarf goby fish, an anteater’s tongue, and a crocodile’s snout.
Readers can visually compare themselves to the animal by placing their hand against the page to compare and contrast similarities and differences.
Each page informs about the animal’s length, height and/or weight. Back matter includes facts about each animal.
This book promotes creative non-fiction, imagination, and discovery.
1) Pick an animal and one of its body parts that you can compare and contrast. Draw that part to its actual size. This activity could also be made into a classroom book.
2) How could you creatively present information about your favorite animal? With a group of friends pick different animals to research. Then write a play or song using the facts you learned. Present your play.
To learn more about author/illustrator Steve Jenkins, visit: