Virginia Lee Burton and the Folly Cove Designers


Each year the third-grade students in Essex and Manchester learn about Virginia Lee Burton and the Folly Cove Designers. Students learn about who Virginia Lee Burton was as an artist, author, and founder of the Folly Cove Designers.

This year was challenging due to COVID-19. Most of the year was taught remotely.

Regardless of the challenges of teaching remotely, Essex Elementary third grade teachers Adriene MacNeill, and Nicole Cucuru approached art teacher, Claudette Yutkins to find a way to combine resources to make sure the unit of Virginia Lee Burton continued.

The students’ classrooms were excited to be learning all about VLB. They learned how this mother of two boys wrote children’s books, illustrated them and founded the Folly Cove Designers. Her work as an artist was known not only over the Cape Ann area but worldwide.

Remote art classes continued the learning about VLB and how Virginia Lee Burton started the Folly Cove Designers. The Folly Cove Designers used their own hand- carved printing blocks as their medium to print intricate patterns and pictures onto fabric that would be used for clothes to curtains. In order to teach students a printing technique remotely, they were taught how to create a rubbing transfer.

The Little House was written and illustrated by VLB; it was the creative springboard for students to create their own “printed” little house. Students drew their own little house and transferred their design three times. The final project was a mirror image drawing of the students’ drawings.

The Virginia Lee Burton and Folly Cove Designers unit was continued in the art classes at Manchester Memorial Elementary School.

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