Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Artist within ...

For the last couple of terms, the girls have been learning about World Famous Artists.

I am using a unit study that I obtained from the Confessions of a Homeschooler blog. Erica is a homeschooling mother of four beautiful children, who lives in the States, and somehow manages to find time to produce some great homeschooling products.  Best of all this generous woman let us download this study, for free!

This has been my girls favourite subject since they started it. The unit study works in conjunction with a series of books (see below) which we purchased through The Book Depository.

These books would have to be my best find of the year. Every opportunity the girls get, they are dragging these books out and showing them to visitors. They love the fact that Mike Venezia (author and artist) puts wee jokes and cartoons in them along with some of the artists paintings. I also read them to them with an accent (a really, really bad accent) depending on where the artist originates from. I really shouldn't have started this because now I am not allowed to read them normally and sometimes they want me to read them in front of guests!  We only have eight of the artists books so far, which is all that is needed to complete this program but, we have more on our "book wish list" to purchase. We have also purchased one book from Mike's music series,  Tchaikovsky, which we used when we studied Russia in our geography session.

We have tweaked Erica's program slightly as we've gone along to suit our personal needs better.  For example each girls is also making their own book to display their works rather than the lapbook suggested, as the girls decided they wanted to display their paintings in it too.

The front cover of the Fashionista's booklet.
There are holes on the left of the page which they want to tie ribbons through to put the book together with.

For each artist we spend a couple of sessions reading the book about the artist and choosing a picture to "copy". I found if I left choosing til the day we were going to paint it, then a certain Fashionista spent most of the session trying to make a decision and left no time to paint.

In the study there is a "flip book" to complete (the girls cut out then, fill out some details on five paintings) and another time they cut up a puzzle that comes with the study also. Agent Smelly cheats as after she has cut up her puzzle she files it away in order so that she can simply remove it from it's pocket and lay it out. We thought she was rather brilliant at putting them together so very quickly til we caught onto her ... little rascal! 

The next to last thing we do is to make up and complete a wee "artists" card. On one say is the artists name and on the other side they fill in some details (see above). They all go into the pocket which we'll add to a page towards the end of the unit.  We are still fine tuning and tweaking a few things.

Am not sure this is what Erica had in mind but when asked what the artists are famous for (possibly their most famous painting?) for my girls come up with some different responses which amuse me. The above is Agent Smelly's response to what Van Gogh was famous for.

This is what Picasso is famous for apparently ... and when you think about it they are probably right. Incidentally both girls had the same answers for both.

We end our study on a particular painter by painting something, whatever they like, in the manner of that artist. They have to think how he or she would think and create that particular picture.

It has been a great study. They sit and go through their own wee books aswell as Mikes and have retained the information on the paintings too. They also like to get on the web and look at further of the artists pictures. They even get excited when they recognise a comment on TV about an artist they recognise, or when we are out and they recognise a piece of work. They even ask sometimes if a certain piece they see could be a "Picasso" or "Monet" etc. Actually I get a little excited when they do that too ... 

Check out for further info on this unit study, it's under printables.

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