Welcome to Reading Resources!

Reading Resources is an annual series of online teaching guides that supplement the free art books provided by A.R.T.’s Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program (D.U.C.).

About the Project


Reading Resources is an annual series of online teaching guides that supplement the free art books provided by A.R.T.’s Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program.

Reading Resources uses art making as a model for literacy. It proposes that artistic methods of thinking, questioning, and creating are valuable tools that can be applied within a range of contexts. It is a teaching guide that aims to facilitate the direct use of D.U.C. books in educational activities, and to equip readers with broader strategies for communication, critical inquiry, and social action.

Each guide is developed through a year-long engagement with our annual artist honoree:

2017: Lawrence Weiner
2016: Glenn Ligon
2015: Martha Rosler


Reading Resources was initiated in response to the question: What happens when a D.U.C book reaches a library’s shelf?

The deeper concern this question raises is: How and where does access begin? What information, concepts and tools do readers require to meaningfully engage with books on contemporary art? And further, how can these books be put to use?


Reading Resources is designed for use by teachers and librarians. Guides focus on the work of a different artist every year.

We suggest you begin with the Guiding Question and the artist’s Biography to understand the key concerns each guide poses. In Activities, you can find sample exercises structured for specific age groups, alongside learning objectives.

Please see Methods & Key Terms for our teaching philosophy and definitions of the guides’ specific components.

Methods and Key Terms

A.R.T.’s teaching method is modeled on the Understanding by Design framework developed by educators Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, and published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

The model emphasizes student understanding of big ideas through a ‘backwards planning’ method in which learning goals are outlined prior to classroom activities. Detailed information can be found through the Authentic Education Association as well as books published by the ASCD.

Guiding Question: Each guide is organized around one Question that focuses and structures units of study. Guiding Questions are designed to be:
Open-ended and thought-provoking prompts for discussion and debate.
Foster higher-order thinking, including analysis, inference, evaluation, and prediction.
Point towards important transferable ideas within and across disciplines.
Raise further questions and inquiry over time.

Understandings: Big ideas that integrate conceptual thinking and concrete knowledge.

Literacy: The ability to use language (including written, oral, visual, and bodily forms) to understand, question, and communicate concepts and knowledge within and between contexts. Literacy is not limited to the skills of reading and writing, but further involves the ability to expand one’s frameworks of understanding and transform texts through their active use.

Activating the Catalog

Reading Resources provides a model of literacy that is specific, but not limited to, D.U.C. books. The guides are designed for adaptation to a broad range of teaching materials and contexts, and foster transferable skills and concepts that are valuable across disciplines and social contexts.

We encourage you to use books in the D.U.C. Catalog as a starting point for broader inquiry. To help you locate books that are relevant to your teaching goals, our Catalog tags books according to their key themes. Look for the "Reading Resources" tag to identify books that are recommended for educational use.


Reading Resources is produced by Art Resources Transfer (A.R.T.) in collaboration with Wendy Tronrud (A.R.T. Education Consultant).

Web programming by Document Services with typography by Benedikt Reichenbach.

Copyright © Art Resources Transfer, Inc.

A.R.T. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

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