Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Theme Weeks - Art Week

This is the first summer I have done a week dedicated only to Art, usually I incorporate art into whatever theme we are studying that week. I was inspired by two things:  my friend Holly's art blog hollysartcorner.blogspot.com and the fact there is a Picasso exhibit at the Kimball Art Museum near our home. I had a lot of fun with this week. It was not as organized as I like to be, but I found some wonderful art books and got a lot of ideas that I plan to work on for next year.

It was interesting to see what my kids came up with during their projects.  My oldest, a rule follower and not a great lover of art projects, gamely attempted everything I came up with, but was upset when some of his projects did not turn out exactly the way he hoped.  My daughter, who loves art and could do art projects all day long, had a great time the whole week.  My youngest, is a free spirit who doesn't like to spend too much time on any kind of project--which is reflected in his art works for the week.

Here are some of the art books we used:

Dickins, Rosie and Mari Griffith. The Usborne Introduction to Art. New York: Scholastic, 2003. -- A good very broad overview of art with internet links included

J's Japanese bridge
Venezia, Mike. The Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist Series. Chicago: Children's Press, 1988. -- A series written in easy reader format with cartoon drawings interspersed with the text and photos of the original artworks.

S's circle study
Laurence Anholt. A series featuring various artists: Leonardo and the Flying Boy, Picasso and the Girl with the Ponytale, Degas and the Little Dancer, and Camille and the Sunflowers. -- A great series told in a picture book format using many of the artists original works. Each story uses an actual event in the artist life and brings it to life in an enganging way kids will enjoy.

Littlesugar, Amy. Marie in Fourth Position: The Story of Degas' "The Little Dancer." New York: Philomel Books, 1996.

Mayhew, James. Katie's Picture Show, Katie and the British Artists, Katie and the Spanish Princess, Katie Meets the Impressionists, New York: Scholastic.  --A picture book series featuring a young girl who visits various art museums.  In each book she jumps into different works of art and meets the people in them.  A bit contrived, but an easy fun way to intoduce kids to great works of art, artistic periods and artists.

Our still life pictures.
The Dot and Ish  by Peter Reynolds. --Two fun picture books showing how easy it is to produce art.  Wonderful wimsical illustrations and a great message for kids, especially those who think nothing they make is good enough.

Other Activities:

I especially loved J's still life showing
off his free spirit!

My kids loved art week so much we are planning another Art Week later this summer to spend more time on modern art.


  1. Wow! This is great Tara! Glad the kids enjoyed your art week. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for the modern art week. :-) And thanks for the link love!

  2. I love the still lifes! Such personality!

  3. What great ideas, Tara. I've sent your link to our local homeschool groups. You've motivated me to try to do more this summer with W.