We do not usually do artist study separate from our regular studies. With our intertwining of Charlotte Mason (CM) and Waldorf, artist study is usually incorporated into a short CM-style lessons themed to accommodate our main lesson. Since we do history chronologically, this means most of our artists have reflected what we were studying in history for that year.
However, when we reached the 1800’s and 1900’s, the world moved a little faster, and it was challenging to cover the artists and art movements that I really wanted to cover. To rectify this, after our study of World War I, we had a Waldorf-style block that was dedicated to art and artists of these two centuries.
The rhythm of our work was slightly different than the norm. Usually in our homeschooling, we have a Waldorf-style main lesson combined with two different loops of CM-style lessons. You can see some details of our regular rhythm in the blog post Fourth Grade Year in Review. For this block, we did very little of our enrichment CM-style loop with exception to art study and art. Both of these were done daily. The artists that we did art study for this block included:
- Van Gogh
- Jacob Lawerence
- Frida Kahlo
- Faith Ringgold
- Henry Matisse
The spine that gave us an overview of the art movements during our time period was DK The Arts: a Visual Encyclopedia. This book is filled with wonderful information accompanied with fantastic visuals. We did not read the entire book, but stuck mostly with paintings. The book also covers dance, music, and sculpture, which we did not cover this block. To accompany the spines, I selected a collection of picture books from various artists or groups of artist. I was very pleased with the selection. Some were simple, offering a short story or basic information about the artists. Others were more detailed or imaginative, like the series with Miss Katie, who has all kinds of adventures as she hops into various paintings at the museum, or the book about Faith Ringgold that was loaded with wonderful information about her life and her work.
Our Read Aloud for this block was Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald, and it quickly became our current favorite read aloud. This book was fabulous! Not only was one of the main characters an unschooled homeschooler, but Fitzgerald does a wonderful job with quirky, and interesting character development, causing us to fall in love with the characters and laugh hysterically at times with how their quirkiness lead to some funny situations. In addition it is infused with art history within the mystery of the novel in such a way that you don’t even realize how much you are learning. The book was well written with lots of literary devices that I was able to take several passages from the book for our copy work and language arts lessons. It really is beautifully written. See our other favorite Read Alouds HERE.
Another aspect of our block was art games. The first, which is not so much a game, but a card collection is Usborne’s 30 Famous Paintings. This was a wonderful collection for us to look through and compare to what we had already read. On the backside of each of the cards is a collection of facts about the artist or the art piece. The second was BirdCage’s Go Fish. They have several different art card sets. We used their Impressionists, Van Gogh and Friends, and Modern Art. These are all great for exposure to these artists. The third game, which includes the most strategy of the three, is Master’s Gallery. This game has 5 artist, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, and Renoir. Like most commercially produced games, I found these lacking in diversity.
Most of our art projects came from Wadorfish’s Weekly Art Program: Foundations that I purchased several years ago for my oldest. In this program, they have several projects that replicated the style of various arts within the two centuries we were studying. The projects they had were
|Van Gogh (2)|
We were not able to do all of them, but finished a good number. We broke the lessons into two days to maintain interest, and worked on art daily for this block.
Below are the books and games that we used. Each picture is linked with an affiliate link, so if you would like to know more, just tap on the picture to read the discription.
This was a wonderful collection for us to look through and compare to what we had already read. On the backside of each of the cards is a collection of facts about the artist or the art piece.
BirdCage’s Go Fish have several different art card sets. We used their Impressionists, Van Gogh and Friends, and Modern Art. These are all great for exposure to these artists. Each set includes several card for each artist and cards going over that art movement. Each card has a picture of a piece of art, usually a close-up of the painting. A book accompanies the set that goes over each of the artists and each of the pieces on the cards.
Master’s Gallery has 5 artist, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, and Renoir. This game has the most strategy and is the most interesting to play, but not necessarily the best for artist or art piece exposure.
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