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Se7en of the Best Art History Resources for Kids.

September 12th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This post follows from the previous post: Se7en of the Best Art Appreciation Resources for Kids. When it comes to teaching art history and art appreciation we have a two fold attack. Immersion mentioned in the previous post and practice, which I am going to talk about here. We usually have a painting of the week balanced on our school display spot (on top of the tumble dryer!) and an associated great artist.

Firstly we do a small project once a week and we take a masterpiece painting from one of the resources in the previous post and rather than just copy it we make a small project of it: If it is a watercolor, well we do something with watercolors and if it is a sculpture we may sculpt and so on – just to get a feel for the work and it helps to fix in our minds who the artist was and a couple of facts regarding the work. This is really relaxed and something I wish had been part of my education.

Resource 1: Apart from the resources in the previous post, a book we totally love and make use of a lot is another Sister Wendy book:

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Think of this as a timeline of Art History – it is a lovely, lovely book with heaps of great works and lots to read. In typical Dorling Kindersley Style it is written in a snippet format, great for younger readers to read, but the information is not particularly geared for kids and is really interesting for all readers. Every couple of pages there is a blow-up of a painting and you can have a look at the details of a masterpiece close up.

Secondly, I just put an age appropriate art history book onto their pile of school reading for the week and off they go: one or two pages a day and like most of their school topics before you blink they have covered a whole lot of work. They keep track of what they have learnt in their journals – these are not great masterpiece just notes to themselves to help them remember the points they need to remember.

So here we go: A look at what they are doing:

Resource 2: Hood #1 is in grade 5, is using this book:

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This is a beautiful book winding its way through the history of art along a topical timeline. The information in this book is dense, no word is wasted and the amount of information is amazing. The kind of book you can easily read a couple of times and still be learning. He is marching his way through it, two by two pages. Here is a page from his journal on the differences between Romanesque and Gothic Architecture. The comparison is between a Romanesque Church: St Trophime, Arles, France and Reims Cathedral, West Facade, France.

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Resource 3: Hood #2: is working through this book: Which is full of masterpieces from the National Gallery in London. The works are gathered together in topics following the development of art through time. This book is internet-linked to some great sites, which really appeals to this gadget boy.

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This is his version of an International Gothic Clock after reading about The Very Rich Hours: May, by the Limbourg Brothers.

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Resource 4: A slightly younger version of this book, which is also based on the National Gallery in London, is this one. It has slightly less detail but is fabulous – just enough to read on a two page spread and keep younger children interested.

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Resource 5: Hood #3: is in grade 1 and we are reading through this book together: It is lovely. Great and entertaining works that she wants to know more about and she is usually inspired to write something in her journal on her own.

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After reading about Henri Matisse’s Snail, she did her own blocky flower with a yellow sun and some blocks of blue sky.
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Resource 6: Hood #4: is working through Sonlight’s Pre-K course this year and we are looking through this fabulous book:

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This is his rendition of Pablo Picasso’s The Sailor (1938):

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Resource 7: Finally another resource for Art History would be the internet. Most art galleries have a good fun interactive kids section. For instance The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC has a brilliant site for kids. And Graph It also has a great list of projects relating to great works of art.

I really wish that I had learnt more about great art and artists when I was at school but I am having so much fun learning about it now perhaps it is better that I didn’t!!!

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Tags: Art · Brilliant Books · Se7en at School

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Tammy // Sep 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Love that sailor!

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