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Smart Art Bites: A Class Act Series

We are thrilled to announce a collaboration between PLDL and the Rozsa Center that offers unique online learning opportunities for K-5 students this year.

Smart Art Bites offers digital bite-sized arts lessons for families and teachers to incorporate the arts into everyday learning. Each episode focuses on a different art form taught by professional artists.

Kids can learn and practice each bite-sized arts skill again and again, away from the screen. Each episode comes with a list of books (find them here at PLDL!) to help young learners dive deeper into each topic.

Smart Art Bites will be posted on this site every two weeks beginning on January 12, 2021. You can also find the series on YouTube and on the Rozsa Center’s website.


Let’s Make Some Puppets with Trish – Episode 4


In this Smart Art Bites episode, Trish Helsel makes puppetry fun by showing us how to bring shadow puppets to life! Make your own puppets and put on a show!

Did you know shadow puppetry is considered the oldest form of puppetry in the world? It’s an ancient form of storytelling that has origins in China, India, Nepal, Greece, and Turkey.

Want to learn more about puppetry? Check out these PLDL titles about shadows and puppets:

Let’s Make Some Music with Janna – Episode 3


In today’s smART Art Bites episode, Jana will teach the song, Great Big Stars, followed by the sign language for the song. The song is traditionally in the lullaby style, and Jana will demonstrate how adding a beat, some bass and harmonies can completely change the style of a song and make you want to dance.

Jana Nyberg is a band director/music educator (K-12 license) and jazz/neo soul/pop singer who also plays flute and piano. After teaching in the schools for 11 years, Jana is now focusing on her performance career, as well as educational clinician work and teaching privately.

Want to learn more about sign language? Check out these titles from the PLDL shelves:

Let’s Draw Cartoons with Terri – Episode 2


In this episode of smART Art Bites, Terri Frew shows us how to draw a cartoon dog – woof woof! Terri’s fun approach with cartooning will engage learners of all ages.

Note to educators: Terri Frew holds a Master’s of Fine Arts degree and is an artist and educator. She is a Professor in the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Michigan Technological University.

Want to learn more about drawing for children? Check out these titles from PLDL:

Let’s go BOOM with LA – Episode 1


In this smART Art Bites episode, LA teaches a beat using a low sound and high sound that you can play on objects in your home. Watch as LA jams out for a drum set performance and see how the beat he taught evolves into something totally different – and totally awesome!

Want to learn more about drumming and music for children? Check out these titles from PLDL:

Note to educators: Arthur LA Buckner is a Minneapolis-based performer and educator with a Master’s Degree in Drum Performance. Whether teaching or performing, his infectious personality and passion for music immediately draw you in. He co-hosts the PBS series Sound Field. Find more about the Rozsa Center’s Class Acts Program here.