Using Art to develop Creative and Critical Thinking

Learning Without Limits:
Using art to develop creative and critical thinking

By Tony Hurlin

Learning Without Limits explains how to challenge and involve children of all abilities by teaching the key skills of critical and creative thinking through paintings, pictures and prints.

How can art be used to enrich the basic curriculum for all children? Children have become used to looking at more and seeing less and inattention has become the norm for many of them. Visual enquiry is an essential part of the 21st century curriculum and the paintings chosen for each unit of Learning Without Limits provide a range of techniques enabling teachers and children to look at the spiritual, moral and emotional themes that arise, together

The components of Learning Without Limits have been designed as a practical coaching pack that helps teachers and children understand and apply the core principles of critical and creative thinking. It is most suitable for use in the Art, English, PSHE or Media Studies classroom.

The pack contains seven full colour laminated A4 images, a 94 page teacher’s handbook and a CD with step by step approaches, suggestions and guidance for studying these images with children in the classroom. The images are also available on the CD, and can be viewed and presented to the class on a whiteboard for group discussion. Each image has its own range of Teachers’ Questions. Images include:

A Street in Clitheroe by L S Lowry
My Parents by David Hockney
Soft Watch by Savadore Dali
The Woodsman’s Daughter by Sir John Everett Millais
Moi et le Village by Marc Chagall
Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso

And for comparison exercises:
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Jane Ray
Adam and Eve by Lucas I Cranach

Suitable for children at Key Stage 3-4, but adaptable for Key Stage 2, the materials in this pack will help teachers to:

  • Connect children directly with a picture or painting
  • Give them a personalised starting point for learning
  • Get them asking authentic questions (the questions they really want to ask and answer)
  • Encourage exploratory talking and thinking
  • Start the processes of critical and creative thinking
  • Build confidence in making judgements, taking decisions and making choices
  • Refine and adapt the techniques to meet the needs of specific groups of children including able learners

Apply the core principles of critical and creative thinking to lessons you have already planned, within and beyond the National Curriculum. Open your children’s eyes to a whole new way of thinking and seeing. Look, look and look again!

Learning Without Limits – Price: £55.00
Includes a whole school licence so you can place it on your virtual learning environment!

To order click on the link below to go straight to our online Teaching Times Bookshop

or call Customer Service on 0121 224 7599 or email:

We all make decisions all the time. And then, having made them, we defend them – no matter how awful they were.

No matter how bad that decision looks in retrospect, it takes a very confident and self-possessed individual to say, “yes I got that one wrong.”

Instead the blame is put elsewhere. It was “not my fault”. It “couldn’t be helped”. “Events conspired against me.” We blame the environment, the individuals around us, and society, but rarely do we blame ourselves and the decisions we took.

Yet the fact is that it is quite possible to improve our reaction to the society in which we live, and through that our decision making – if only we can practice.

Which is why the copiable volume, “Life Games” exists.

The volume contains 50 different decision-based games that can be played in the classroom with anything from eight to 40 players from Key Stage 3 to the sixth form.

Each game is presented in the form of a single page of copiable teaching notes – normally with a separate set of student notes also provided. Each also focuses on a theme, ranging from the working of the media to lifestyle balances, from government decisions and consequences to healthy eating, from stress to addiction.

In short, there are enough activities in this volume to provide more than a year’s worth of citizenship and PSHE education, taught and explored in a way that the students will find refreshing, engaging and meaningful.

Life Games is available as a photocopiable book or on CD Rom, and individual activities can thus be readily copied and distributed to students as required. The copies can also be shared with colleagues or given to supply teachers, without any fear of the original book being misplaced.

An extract from Life Games, ISBN 978 1 86083 718 0, order code T1730EMN, is available at


  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…

When ordering the book please quote the reference T1730EMN.