07 October 2010

Our Artist and Composer Appreciation Study: the First Month

(On our morning board: our composer and artist pages from Practical Pages)

Well, we completed our first month's study of artists and composers. For September we studied, you guessed it, Van Gogh and Bach.

There was nothing formal about this study~ It was purely appreciation! The kiddos loved it, too! Above are the books we used in our study of Van Gogh. The two on the right are simply books about him with lots of prints of his paintings. We would browse through these as we talked about him. The book on the left, the coloring book, was an awesome $1 find at a library bookstore. It always pays to check those out. This is definitely one of my coolest finds!

It doesn't actually contain his paintings turned into coloring pages (which can be found easily on the web and are nice, too), but it has his actual pre-painting sketches. We photocopied several (because I couldn't bear to actually color in this amazing book from 1971) and the kiddos would color those. They loved comparing the sketches to the finished painting and seeing the little changes he made along the way. It was like a game for them.

(colored sketches of Cafe at Arles)

Another book we used in our study~and will use even more~was this one: Paint Like a Famous Artist. It was a gift to The Princess from a friend and I just had to save it for school:)

This very fun book came with its own paints, brushes and palette.

Plus a book that talks about different painters and their styles and techniques, along with lightly sketched papers to paint.

Each week we would talk about a different painting of Van Gogh's and the kiddos would color it, using his originals as guides.

(coloring Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles)

They absolutely loved looking at his paintings and coloring them! We didn't have a set *artist* time in our school schedule, but would simply work it in a couple of times a week. It seemed like more of a reward than work for them, they enjoyed it so much! We are also doing a notebooking page on each artist that we study. At the end of the year, I plan to put all of their coloring pages and journaled pages into a kind of lapbook or notebook.

(Starry Night, with crayon)

The last painting of Van Gogh's that we studied was his Still Life of Twelve Sunflowers in a Vase. We painted this one instead of coloring it, after studying some of the technique in our Paint Like a Famous Person book (the book only came with one paint page for it, so I found a coloring page online for Mr. B to paint). This was a very fun day!

For our composer study of Bach there didn't seem to be as many resources or activities, but we really enjoyed our study anyway. Before school started I had picked up several cd's at a local store (for $2-$3 each) of different composers. So we would play our cd of Bach everyday while we did our school work. The kiddos loved it and would request it if I happened to forget about it.

We are also using The Stories of the Great Composers which is a fun guide. I also found a great little book at the library about Bach. I hope I can find more of the series for the other composers. It was a very enjoyable and informative read.

We also notebooked about Bach using some pages from NotebookingPages.com and we will be putting all of our composer studies together at the end of the year into some sort of a lapbook or notebook.

This study was a huge hit for the first month and we are excited about our next month's study!


Gwen Toliver said...

I'm a classical music nut and was a piano major in college, so it's easy for me to introduce music to my kids in a passionate way. And I have lots of material to teach it with.

However, I'm NOT an artist and it's much harder for me to teach this. So I'm always looking for ideas! This material you talked about looks really good - thanks for this great suggestion!

Gwen Toliver said...

And I just saw you put me on your blog link list! You're so sweet :) It's great to learn from each other!