“Above all other…the image is the immediate personal language of the senses” (Alive-O)

Why is art used in Alive- O?

  • It is a means of expression in an ever-changing world
  • It allows many stimuli such as aural, sensory and emotional, to find unity in expression
  • It allows children to express their reactions & fears without fear of correction and contradiction
  • It can be a meaningful record of an event, a sensation, an experience
  • It facilitates freedom and concentration as the children explore the world

Art as a discipline in Alive- O

  • It allows for the acceptance of children for what they are rather than what they might be or might know
  • It allows children to look at & assess their own vision when they express themselves in Art
  • It allows for contemplation, transfer from objective to the subjective & from the group to the individual

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Maria Montessori

Examples of Art within Alive-O lessons


Term 1, Lesson 9: “Belonging” Drawing a self portrait Each child is asked to draw, colour and label a picture of themselves. These pictures can be collected, discussed and displayed in the Sacred Space during prayer services. This art activity can help the children grow in awareness of belonging, of connectedness and of its importance for us as human beings.

Alive-O 2

Term 1, Lesson 4: “Getting Along Together” Group drawing A group of four is given one page and one crayon. Each child is given one instruction and then asked to pass the page and the crayon to the next child. This activity can help the children develop a deeper understanding of themselves as interdependent people needing co-operation and support from others, and with the capacity to offer this same support and co-operation to those around them.

Alive-O 3

Term 1, Lesson 6: “We remember Together” Story Cross Each child makes a Story Cross and the class collection of Story Crosses are collected to be used with the prayer service at end of week. This activity can help to make the children aware of the importance of remembering those who have died.

Alive-O 4

Term 1, Lesson 8: “Jesus – Teaching and Nourishing” Food for Thought Each child draws his/her own body outline and fills in the enclosed space with all the favourite things that they have learned by heart using words, cut-out pictures or drawings. This activity can help the children to identify the things they have learned by heart that are important to them…these things nourish our thoughts and imagination.

Alive-O 5

Term 1, Lesson 8: “What’s the Story? (2): The Sea of Galilee” The DVD/ video shows an artist working with a group of children on the story of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fish. The location of the filming is the National Art Gallery of Ireland. This DVD/video can be used to inspire a class to explore other bible stories in a similar way.

Alive-O 6

Term 2, Lesson 9: “Jesus’ Never-ending Love (Holy Week)” and Term 3, Lesson 1: “The Risen Jesus” Appreciation of Art The illustrations in the pupil text for these lessons were chosen from the collection found in the National Gallery of Ireland. There is a deliberate contrast in the type of pictures chosen. On the one hand, there is flat, non-perspective tradition of the icons and, on the other hand, there is the realism of the other canvases. These pictures represent high achievements of artistic representational work. Through them, we also introduce the children to the rich tradition of art in the Church. These pictures are examples of the way in which stories that the children now read were once read and portrayed by others. Those artists presented scripture stories in visual form. They are not just works of art; they are also works of reverence, scholarship and study.

Alive O 6 art [ Alive O 6, p. 39 ]

Alive-O 7

Term 1, Lesson 2: “The Call to be Prophetic” Making clay pots The children’s experience of moulding and remoulding clay throughout the week’s lessons helps them to develop the concept of God as Potter. God continues to shape and mould each one of us that we might become special vessels - dedicated and useful (Ref. 2 Tim 2:21). The process of working with clay helps to develop a concept of self as potter in one’s own life. It allows for a deeper understanding of our working in co-operation with God for the coming of the kingdom. In making art, the process of making is as valuable as the final product. This DVD excerpt that accompanies this lesson shows the potter, Fr Donagh O’Shea O.P., at work at the potter’s wheel. He explains and demonstrates how to throw a simple pot and reflects on his interest in pottery.

Alive-O 8

Term 1, Lesson 2 “In Relation to God’s Creation” DVD/video shows the Pavement Artist and the Wonder of Creation This DVD excerpt shows the artist, Paola Catizone, directing children in creating a piece of pavement art in their school yard! This pavement art project deals with the theme of God’s creation. The artist’s web address is This resource can help inspire the children to ‘see creation with new eyes’ and to deepen their understanding of the ongoing relationship between the Creator and Creation.