Teaching English Through Art makes a fun supplement for an upper elementary language arts program. The idea is an excellent one—to get away from language arts worksheets that really cannot teach either writing or creativity. Many of the writing assignments are inspired by black-and-white art that is reproduced in the book. One section requires writing different types of paragraphs based on pictures or artwork. Suggestions are included to make a writer's portfolio, which is an excellent record keeping technique as well as inspiration for the budding author.
Some of the writing ideas have a moral aspect. For example, instead of writing just any type of business letter, the author suggests writing a letter of appreciation to a famous person.
As with other books from Visual Manna, the authors need to be more careful in proofreading their text. Some of the directions could use a bit more explanation. One assignment is to write a poem from a picture, using "as many mood capturing words as possible" with no discussion of what these words might be. There are also no guidelines for critiquing the student's writing. Because of these limitations and the fact that the book is not complete in its coverage of topics, I would use it only as a supplement. Despite this caveat, there are enough unusual or inspiring assignments to recommend it. I envision using Teaching English through Art on a Friday as a respite from more traditional work. (reviewed by Kath Courtney and Cathy Duffy)