Honoring the Eldery with Art

For the 4th-7th Grade Level Student – Honoring the Eldery with Art

Created by educators Naomi Baumgarten & Curricula team. Lifeforce in Later Years; | T.917-775-1199

Warm-Up Activity

Write on the Board, “Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother”. Ask students if this idea should be expanded to include older seniors in general and why.

Focused Activity
Read one of the books included HERE about a cross-generational relationship. Write a sentence that captures a main learning had by the reader about seniors. Then, create illustrations, using one or various media, that might capture this idea. The sentence should be printed beneath the finished work of art. The class could create an exhibition for the school and for viewing by families, including senior members. Photos of the submissions can be sent to Lifeforce in Later Years web master ( for inclusion on its website.

Literature: Books for reading, responding to in writing, and discussion about Cross-Generational Relationships

For 4th to 7th Grade Level Students

Created by educators Naomi Baumgarten & Curricula team. Lifeforce in Later Years; | T.917-775-1199

Mrs. Katz and Tush- Patricia Polacco- an intergenerational friendship between elderly Jewish lady and young African American neighbor.

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox- a little boy who helps residents of retirement home.

The Secret of the Red Shoes by Joan Donaldson- a woman tells her great-granddaughter about her life through shoes.

Loop the Loop by Barbara Dugan- a friendship between an elderly person and a young girl.

Say Hello, Lily: A Book About Children and the Elderly by Deborah Lakritz- a young girl visits an assisted living home.

The Lemon Sisters by Andrea Cheng- an 80-year-old woman narrates the story of memories sparked by seeing three young neighborhood children playing in the snow.

How Does It Feel to Be Old? By Norma Farber- a grandmother tells her feeling about growing older to granddaughter.

The Two of Them by Aliki- tells of the relationship between a girl and her grandfather and how she continues to take care of him even when he gets sick.

Maxie by Mildred Kantrowitz- learning that Maxie, an elderly woman, is feeling lonely the community decides to make an effort to connect with her.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant- an elderly woman who names inanimate objects she knows she can never outlive as a way of protecting herself against loss realizes its worth it to form a living relationship.

Grandpa’s Song by Tony Johnston- tells of the relationship between a grandfather and his grandchildren and how that relationship continues even after the grandfather begins to have memory lapses.

Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo- 7-year-old Naomi finds a friend in her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Lumbago
Gramma’s Walk by Anna Grossnickle Hines- a boy and his grandmother go on imaginary trips together.

New York City’s Elderly


  • In 2010 over 1,400,000 New Yorkers or 17.1% of population were seniors and their numbers are rising.
  • In the year 2050, the number Americans 60 and over is expected to double, and one in every four New Yorkers will be a senior.
  • The number of New Yorker City residents 85 years and over grew by 16.2% since 2000, now totaling over 140,000, according to the 2010 census. This rapid growth is taxing the healthcare system that is currently in place, with emphasis on the need for long-term care.
  • Over 71% of seniors 85 and older are female, raised in a time when females were often less educated and less likely to manage family finances than male counterparts.
  • 57% of those 85 and over live alone.
  • The median income of seniors in 2010 in the U.S. was $25,704 for males and $15,072 for females.
  • According to the National Institute of Health, a number of life changes can increase the risk for depression for frail elderly Americans. Some of these changes are:
  • -Adapting to a move from home to an apartment or retirement facility;
    -Chronic pain;
    -Feelings of isolation or loneliness as children move away and their spouse and close friends die;
    -Loss of independence (problems getting around, caring for themselves, or driving);
    -Multiple illnesses; and
    -Struggles with memory loss and problems thinking clearly.

  • 50% of those 85 and over need assistance with daily activities, like food preparation.
  • LiLY’s Morningside Village program in Morningside Heights is making a difference for approximately 70 seniors, the majority 85 and over, including a few centagenarians!