Friday, October 17, 2014

September and October Artists Study

One of the Loopers gave the idea to study other subjects besides literature using the Five in a Row approach. I thought this was an excellent idea. My idea for artist study was to begin with a set of cards of 30 famous paintings from Usborne. I planned to read about the artist of the week, look at paintings and other art from that artist, and read the information on the card each day for about a week. I expected that we would soon be adding another card while we were still reading about a previous artist, but with the goal to learn an artist each week.

The Lambs had other ideas. They wanted to learn all the cards as quickly as possible while still reading about the artists. It wasn't exactly the 5 in a Row approach that I expected but it worked even better than I planned!

So far the Lambs know the names and artists for these paintings. They learned them in approximate chronological order-many times artists were alive at the same time. Lamb 1 and 2 know all of these, Lamb 3 knows most of these.

The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck
Primavera by Sandro Botticelli
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Buonarroti
Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueghel
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio
The Maids of Honor by Diego Velazquez
Self Portrait by Rembrandt
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Jan Vermeer
The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai
The Fighting Temeraire by Joseph Turner
Ophelia by John Millais
Dance at the Moulin de la Galette by Renoir

We owned a few biographies about da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt and we have been reading those. My new plan is to try to have them learn the names and artists for all 30 paintings before Christmas. Then we will go back and study some of the artists in more detail after Christmas. After Christmas we can go back to the Five in a Row approach and look at art from one artist each week. We can also get more books from the library about these artists after we read what we already own in our home library.

I am very pleased with how this art study has gone. Lamb 3 gets so excited when he knows both the name of the painting and the artist! We have only spent a few minutes most school days and they already know 13 out of 30. I bought these cards a few years ago and I had no idea then that we would only need to spend a few minutes a day and it would work so well.

One reason this has been successful is Lamb 1 is a visual learner and Lamb 2 is an auditory learner. Lamb 1 learns it by looking closely at the paintings. Lamb 2 learns it by listening as we talk about the painting. I don't know how Lamb 3 learns yet, but this is much more difficult for him than it is for the other two Lambs. So we try to help him by not shouting out who the artist is right away, giving him time to think and answer when he is able to. I think that doing it daily is going to be how he learns it. That part of this artist study has been interesting to me. Also Lamb 1 and 2 are very competitive and this is something that they can compete against each other to learn unlike other subjects with a lot of reading that Lamb 2 couldn't keep up.

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