Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Project for Kids

Seurat Art Project Using Chapter Book Liar and Spy

PickyKidPix and I love Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. She said it was a read aloud this past year for 6th grade English.

Since she was read to at school, I have a treat for you, my dear readers. I have Rebecca Stead reading from Liar and Spy! (If you haven’t read her excellent chapter book, this clip will set up the story).

Without spoiling the ending, I wanted to do an art project for kids that connects Georges Seurat with Liar and Spy. We didn’t use this (yet) for her 6th Grade Book Club, but it would work as an activity for a book club for kids.

I thought Georges Seurat was an interesting metaphor for the plot in Liar and Spy. The main character in the book, Georges, is a 7th grader who’s just moved to a Brooklyn apartment after his parents lost their house. Understandably, he’s not too happy about being the new kid at middle school.

He’s also not too happy about having an extra “s” in his name; the same spelling of his parents’ favorite artist, Georges Seurat. And there’s this whole idea of blurry lines: are you seeing the picture or the dots? Is what you see really what you think it is?

To fully appreciate the Georges Seurat connection, let’s take a moment to check him out.

Georges Seurat (December 2, 1859 – March 29, 1891) was a French painter and draftsman. His large work Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, his most famous painting, altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism, and is one of the icons of 19th century painting. From Georges Seurat

Georges Seurat Pointellism Art Project for Kids

Seurat’s famous painting, La Grande Jatte, also figures into Liar and Spy, and honestly, it is the only painting that I think of when I think of pointillism.

Here are a few more paintings by Seurat just to branch out.

Georges Seurat Pointellism Art Project for Kids

You can see why he is considered to be the father of impressionism!

Georges Seurat Pointellism Art Project for Kids


These two paintings are from our trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The impressionist area is our favorite room. We can sit there for an entire 10 minutes even! (Yes, my kids have a short attention span!).

Georges Seurat influenced a whole movement of artists but he didn’t do it alone. Here’s his friend Paul Signac who is lesser known.

Paul Victor Jules Signac was a French neo-impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style.

Antibes, The Pink Cloud, 1916 (Oil on canvas)

pointillism and impressionist art


And this painting by Claude Monet (sorry, I failed to capture the title), also has the same pointillism feel, don’t you think?


Seurat Pointillism Art Project Using Liar and Spy

Since Liar and Spy is about phobias so I thought the art project should be …

ta da …

George Seurat Pointelism art project for Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

  • Draw or paint your fear using pointillism dots.
  • The viewer of your artwork can then try to guess what it is.

George Seurat Pointellism art project for kids using Liar and Spy chapter book by Rebecca Stead

We used oil pastels and chalk pastels on paper but you can use any kind of paint, markers, dot dot paint or even dot stickers.

George Seurat Pointelism art project for Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

I recruited some middle school kids to help me with out with this. I have to admit that my middle school daughters are not easily convinced to create art for my blog so it’s entirely possible that money exchanged hands.

George Seurat Pointelism art project for Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

What did you guess for PickyKidPix’s creation? Hint: she does not like any kind of natural disaster!

George Seurat Pointelism art project for Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

Grasshopper and Sensei had a particular person in mind that she did not necessarily enjoy learning from. I’m not naming names.

photo (15)

A playdate was recruited for her artistic abilities. Her’s is a Biblical reference.

George Seurat Pointellism art project for kids using Liar and Spy chapter book by Rebecca Stead

There are certain creatures that get into our house in the spring that my kids do not enjoy encountering. I am the only person who will rescue these critters that are good for gardens and, under no circumstances, should be squashed!

Can you figure out what each artist is scared of?


Books for Georges Searat Art Project for Middle School Kids

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

In Stead’s chapter book, the dots are the stories of kids living in the same apartment building. There’s 7th grader Georges who has just moved in and attending a new school. Safer is the first friend he makes, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy who recruits Georges into investigating a mysterious neighbor.

Who is the Liar and who is the Spy? And when you stand back from the dots, what exactly do you see? Stead’s critics (perhaps only one annoying one) said that the story was subtle, perhaps too subtle. But is neo-impressionism too subtle? Not for the viewer who knows to look closely and then slowly back up and absorb the entire image.

Point by point. Dot by dot. Story by story. Liar and Spy does not disappoint. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Georges Seurat (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia

This non fiction book details the life of Georges Seurat and introduces kids to his art. [non fiction series, ages 6 and up]

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Georges Seurat Pointillism Art Project for Kids

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay the postage and handling for my giveaways.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I like this story and enjoyed hearing the author talk and read a portion of the book. I especially enjoyed your activities to help kids learn more about neo-impressionism and Georges Seurat’s beautiful work. I see a tornado, a spider, and the Neanderthal man. Not sure about the Biblical unless it’s the partin of the seas. Great post.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Half a Chance by Cynthia LordMy Profile

  2. Ann

    Very cool! I love your book club ideas! I used to have that Seurat painting as my desktop image and I could stare at it for ages. My guesses… Tornado, teacher, when the water turned to blood, spider. I like how the technique is a little different in each.
    Ann recently posted…The Adventures of Bob WhiteMy Profile

  3. I definitely want to get to the museum this summer. I\\\’ve never heard of Seurat. This will be a great addition to our summer reading list! Thanks for sharing with Creative Style.
    April recently posted…Have You Forgiven Yourself?My Profile

  4. I’ve always found pointillism fascinating. Such a detailed art form!
    maryanne recently posted…Celebrating DadMy Profile

  5. This is a really cool project! I think I recognize a hurricane in one of the pictures. I am looking forward to higher grades and more involved projects! Thanks for sharing with After School Link Up!
    Natalie PlanetSmartyPants recently posted…Open Ended Summer ScienceMy Profile

  6. Tina

    Great post. This is my favorite artist. Looking forward to reading the book!

  7. Seurat is awesome. I will definitely have to check out Liar and Spy. What a great extension! Thanks for sharing at the After School Linky!
    Deceptively Educational recently posted…How to Suspend a Ball in MidairMy Profile

  8. Sophia

    Great post! My 5yr old son was telling me they have been doing pointillism at school! I was amazed! And of course delighted. I will take him to London, to our awe-inspiring National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, and straight to Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières, a painting that has fascinated me ever since I was 13, on my first ever visit to the gallery. Thank you for your awesome blog!

Leave a Reply to Pragmatic Mom Cancel Reply

CommentLuv badge