Elementary Art Lesson Plan: "This Bridge Will Not Be Gray" by Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols

I was over-the-moon excited when I realized that one of my favorite authors, Dave Eggers, was writing a children’s book. I was even more excited when I realized it was about my new hometown-adjacent, San Francisco. The book, entitled This Bridge Will Not Be Gray, tells the history of the building and painting of the Golden Gate Bridge (GGB) in a fun and interesting manner. The illustrations, by artist Tucker Nichols, are (deceptively) simplistic paper-cut collage.

Immediately, I knew this book would make a great cross-collaboration for Literacy and Art in my 1st grade classroom. . . And, I want to share it with you! Bonus!! I’ve made a companion presentation that uses images from the book, images from Tucker Nichols’ process (from here) and of the real GGB. 
Here’s how I’m throwing this down. 
2. Go through the companion presentation (link here, presentation also embedded below). The companion presentation asks students to summarize the story, identify the location of the GGB, cite the colors most people wanted the GGB to be, the fancy name for color of the GGB, defines collage, defines landscape and seascape, and asks students to hypothesize how the illustrations for the book are made. 
3. Follow these pictorial directions to make the art. I should add – I don’t allow this to become formulaic. As I demonstrate and students draw I make statements like, “how can your line be different from mine? How can you make your artwork yours?” Yes, there are only so many deviations one can make before the GGB doesn’t look like the GGB, but I do think we should encourage the students to have the efficacy to make their own decisions regarding their own art. 

1 thought on “Elementary Art Lesson Plan: "This Bridge Will Not Be Gray" by Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols”

  1. You are so wonderful. You gave us everything we need to teach this today… it we want! You Rock. Thanks so much for sharing your creative brain with the world!!

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