Sunday, September 1, 2013

Discovering Great Artists

Every year I love to teach my class about different artists with this book:
The book introduces each artist and provides an activity for children to imitate that artist's work.
It is s.i.m.p.l.e.   and SO much fun.  I started WAY back with my own children.  At that time, we studied an artist and listened to different classical music as we did our project.

 In second grade, I modeled the lesson and then had the art lesson as an independent center. The children loved it and did such great work!  One of my favorite memories in second grade after studying the artists was when we went to a theater for a play at a University near our school.  The ceiling was of course very high. One of  my little boys said, "WOW- Michaelangelo would LOVE this place!"  Then, another little boy described a friend from the playground (Let's forget the part where he was trying to get his 'friend' in trouble...), and he said, "His shirt looks like Stella."  WHO says that?! ha!  The little friend's shirt was striped with different designs in each stripe, by the way.  In spite of the tattling, I was so proud. 

In Kindergarten, I introduce each artist, show different samples of his work, share our little poem about the artist, and demonstrate the lesson.  I have the children rotate through the art center during free choice time a couple days of the week. It usually takes two days, which is good, because if someone is absent they can make it up the next day. They really do NOT like to miss the artist.  :)

In my book, I found this paper that I made when I was using it for my own kids!  I sketched out  my lessons and what I would need for each one .  I thought I would just put it on here- and show you- simple stuff and easy to prepare ahead of time. :) (No- I am not THAT old... typewriters had been invented... I just love writing things out- still.  Plus, I wanted to remember Botticelli painted in a circle, and Picasso was all over the place. :)
Here is my art center box, all ready to go for 8 artists! (I didn't do Magritte or Giotto for my Kinders last year.) I have all my supplies together for all the artists- ready to go- and it only takes up one bin of space. Each week, I will just change my artist and information, put up samples of his work, and pull out what I need for the center. 

 This is my box for my VanGogh project.  I read those two books, put up and talk about the different art work- and have the "real" sunflowers and some pictures of real sunflowers up for the children to paint. 

I save all of the kids' artwork in a little portfolio, so I send it all home together after the 8 weeks.  This way, we go back and review the artists to help remember them- and when they take home their work to show everyone, it is all in one place.

I made these informational sheets with our little memory reminder for each artist that I put in their portfolio before their artwork:
(The children look at themselves in mirrors and practice drawing their different expressions for Rembrandt.  I also have out my Ed Emberly drawing faces books.)
 (The children make lines with rulers on their paper and then fill each space in with different textures and designs for Stella.)
 (I do two activities for Michaelangelo.  I tape paper to the bottom of the table and the children paint on their backs under the table. They LOVE this!  I also let them paint in wet plaster of paris- fresco- like he did.)
 (The children make pictures with ... dots!  I have them draw outlines of something- like a tree- and fill it in with dots-paint on cotton swabs.)
 (I print out a picture of each child and let him/her cut it up and glue it onto another paper for an original Picasso-like masterpiece!)
 (I cut large construction paper into circles for the children to make their Botticelli piece.)
 (I cut lots of pieces of shiny paper- and aluminum foil- for the children to create artwork like Angelico.  Rainbow Fish is a good book that could be used to go along with him. )
NO PREP Art History for Little Ones K-3 (100 pages) *Top Seller!* This year, Susanna, at Whimsy Workshop bundled together her NO PREP Art History for Little Ones. 
She makes it so easy to teach art to children- everything you need to say and use for projects is RIGHT THERE!  It is fabulous. The artist above can fit right into the timeline so easily. 
NO PREP Art History for Little Ones K-3 (100 pages) *Top Seller!*
Children LOVE to learn something "grown-up."  When I tell them that they are learning something they can teach their parents, they puff right up.  When I hear them compare something they see to an artist we have studied, I puff up, too- because it expands their world and their thinking in such a creative way.   Have fun!

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