Summer is the time when I work on a plan for the next school year. If your plan includes art but not a formal art class, another great book you can use is Discovering Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl and Kim Solga.
While it’s not an instruction book in drawing or painting, Discovering Great Artists is full of art activities for students in the elementary and early middle school grades. What makes this such a good resource is that all of the activities are centered around famous artists and their works. Over 70 artists from around the world are included, beginning with the early Renaissance painter Giotto and continuing all the way through cartoonist Jim Davis.
Every page or two features a different artist and includes the dates the artist lived, a line drawing of the artist, and a brief biography. The page also includes either a black and white image of the artist’s paintings or an image of a child’s artwork in the same style. An activity using a technique similar to that of the masters reinforces what the students learn. For example, for the lesson about John James Audubon, students make a nature notebook, while for the lesson about Grandma Moses, they draw a folk art scene.
And that’s not all. The last section of the book, “Make It and Play It,” includes even more activities you can do together. Instructions are given so you can make Great Artist Cards to play card or matching games, create your own puzzles or scrapbooks, or make your own Art Dominos. There are also directions for cookies, coloring pages, and a timeline.
While this book could stand alone as an art resource, you could even couple it with other books to create a unit study about a particular artist or style. You can use artist biographies to supplement it as well. Either way, it’s a good way to discover great art!
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell
Screenshot from Bright Ring Publishing