It's Fun to go Green! Art Programming (Age 5-12 emphasis)

 Art Projects with the Environment in Mind for Teachers


Course Title-Itís Fun to Go Green!   Art Programming (Age 5-12 Emphasis)

Course Description-This class is for teachers, homeschool teachers and parents  who are looking for new art program and project ideas that incorporate an appreciation for the environment and the use of recycled objects for their Age 5-12 audience. Taught by Valerie Colston author of  Teens  Go Green! Tips, Techniques, Tools, and Themes for Young Adult Programming (Libraries Unlimited 2012,) the workshop teaches simple to follow and easy to implement going green basics. Topics include: A) How to use the most common throw away materials to create art B) Teaching children to appreciate nature through art activities C) Easy to follow art projects and programming that are economic and eco friendly D) Showing off and marketing your green programming. E) Developing a portfolio of ideas.


Instructor Valerie Colston, M.A. is an author and art professor with many years of experience developing and teaching art programs in libraries in San Diego, California.  She has also successfully taught librarians from libraries across the U.S. and other countries in her online Art and Crafts for Youth Librarians workshops.  Ms. Colston, the facilitator of the workshop was an art consultant to the Wyland Foundation Ocean Challenge program for elementary teachers.  Her book 200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills published by Barrons Educational Series has received outstanding reviews appearing in School Library Journal, National Art Education Association newsletter, and more. Her It's Easy to be a Green Teen  appeared in the youth librarian publication Voices of Youth Advocates magazine. She recently received a recommended review from Teacher Librarians magazine for her Teens Go Green! Tips, Techniques, Tools, and Themes for Young Adult Programming published by Libraries Unlimited.   Her artwork was exhibited in a group exhibit titled "HOME" at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

Course Objectives

Participants who take this class will learn teaching techniques for working with the 5-12 age group, they will also learn simple techniques for creating art projects and programming using recycled materials.  Participants will also gain a portfolio of creative programming ideas that deal with environmental themes which can be easily incorporated into their events immediately.  Participants will stretch their creativity and skills while having an expert at hand to help them as they develop confidence in their own abilities.


The workshop is offered completely online and takes 12 hours to complete.

The enrollment fee is $125.00

The online class is 4 weeks in length, online, and 12 hours overall.

Week 1-Basic Supplies, Tips for Working with Children, Themes

This unit outlines the supplies you will need to get started.   Tips for working with this age group will be discussed.  You will learn the basics for developing themes and ideas, and share resources for creating a variety of green art projects and programming. How to use recycled materials to create puppets, dinosaurs, and other items that can be used in story times, and to enhance reading, and displays will be introduced.  Making gifts and items for celebrations and holidays are also included.

Week 2-Creating Projects and Programming with Environment in Mind

This unit presents hands on projects and programming that focus on the natural environment.  Garden, Oceans, and other natural wonders will be the emphasis of the projects this week.  Budget friendly materials will be introduced. Get inspired and begin to create your own ideas.  Finding and using resources will be included.

Week 3-Money Matters and Green Themes

Budget will be the focus of this unit. Participants will learn how to create projects under $1.00. Tips for creating a portfolio will be included.  How will you use these ideas in your own library? Find recycling materials in unexpected places.

Week 4-Make It and They will Come

This last week will be a busy week with many projects and programming ideas.  Learn simple marketing techniques to reach out to the community and bring them back to your library.


Here's what youth librarians said about past art workshops with the instructor:

This class has planted the seeds for many ideas, and provided resources that I can go back to when I'm stumped. I would recommend this class to people who are looking for fresh ideas and new resources, or for people who are new to programming.

In working on this workshop I have worked also on my Summer Reading Program for our library. Week 3 gave so many ideas to use that it was fun to do them and discover which ones would work well for our young patrons. I now have crafts for at least 2 of the 4 books we will read in my Youth Discussion Group. I am well ahead of the game.

I really enjoyed answering the questions about the piece of art in the museum. I want to use some of the questions I learned this summer when we read "Chasing Vermeer" because the book deals with a piece of art.

Thanks for all the help with one of my books for the Summer Reading Program.

Well, I had not thought about bonding art and books together in one reading hour before, so I got new and interesting views of what to do. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.
I had a great time brainstorming ideas and reading the suggestions everyone had!
I feel I learned how to study a painting in more depth. That a painting is made up of many facets. The lines, colors and textures all blend together to make one painting.

I gained lots of great ideas from everyone. The ideas were great and I will incorporate some of them into my programs.

I will keep a copy of the different things I have learned in this session of the class to apply it to painting I encounter. It is exciting.

I bookmarked several of the sites presented in the lessons which will come in handy when I get stuck for ideas. It also helps reading the other's experiences in working with library patrons in crafts events.

Finding ideas are hard to find and this is a wealth of information for myself and the library.

Thank you very much for the wonderful and interesting web-sites, you mentioned. There are so great ideas.

I was delighted to find some new web sites for inspiration - many of my students love to draw and I hope to integrate some of the cartoon drawing lessons in to our weekly book club meetings, possibly in the creation of bookmarks, etc.

It has been great having so much information all in one place. I enjoyed browsing through the many websites & links. Many are new to me. I appreciate all of your suggestions for organization, supplies, storage, recycling, and art tips & resources.

Where do I begin! I have learned about so many resources. I really liked the online scavenger hunt, what a great idea. I also really loved the letter writing with beads.

This week gave me a great many resources to use in our library. I really had to think for the scavenger hunt but I love the idea and did work our a hunt. I also thought the "wanted" poster was fun as well .  .  .

There really are a wealth of information and ideas to explore.

I would recommend this class to others. After all I took this class because my supervisor recommended it to me.

I have definitely learned a great deal in this course and would recommend it to others.  I am a new librarian, and I did not know what to do with arts and crafts. 
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