American Art History

As you begin to plan for next year’s curricula I wanted to share with you a series that I love! I think you will want to add this to your list of books to purchase.

American Art History by Kristin Draeger is a unique curriculum since it is written from a perspective of  fictional newspaper reporters.  Some lessons are presented as though the artists are interviewed, others, as if the reporters discovered details of the artist’s works and life through historical documents and careful study of their work.

Each volume has sixteen artists and is designed to be used once a week for students in grades 3-8, but you could adapt it for  younger and older students too. Because of the wealth of information and fun activities that are given for each lesson, I believe one lesson could be studied for two weeks. The lessons are suggested to supplement your American history curriculum and considered to take two hours, but you could do a little each day if you don’t have that much time. This curriculum would also be a fantastic co-op class. There are three books that are part of the American Art History volumes.

American Art History Volume II begins with Federal architecture and finishes with Georgia O’Keefe. Lesson one features the White House and its architect, James Hoban. This particular study interviews Mr. Hoban and has a treasure trove of information that I never knew before! The lesson has facts, photographs, and entertaining cartoons as well as a Spot the Forgery activity. Here your child looks at the forgery and compares it to the original. The purpose is for him to become familiar with the works of art and study them in greater detail in a fun and engaging manner. Here are pictures from the study of  Winslow Homer:

American History Art Bingo is a review game for the artwork you study throughout the year. Each student is given a unique bingo card with individual works as the bingo mat. You hold up the larger image of the artwork and call out the artist’s name, location, and date of the piece. The cool thing is that students memorize these facts without even realizing it! 🙂 You know what is remarkable? Once you have studied these pieces,  she will start seeing them all over,  in advertisements, movies, museums…

american-art-bingo-vol-two-457x600extra-american-art-history-bingo-cards-for-volumes-iii-iv-47-125x161

Drawing American Art Your child by this time will be itching to reproduce the artwork that you have been studying. He can interact with the artwork and can repeatedly practice if he enjoys a particular style. This book gives step-by-step instructions for a drawing project that corresponds to each chapter. You begin with a template that can be located on the website: artk12.com/downloads or photocopy the templates that are in the book. After the drawing  is completed, place the artwork in a plastic sheet protector and file them in a three-ring binder. Label your binder along with the year. This is a great keepsake and if you repeat the course in a few years you can look at the previous year’s binder to see the improvement that has occurred.

* All pictures are from the ARTK12 website.

I have received a free copy of these books from ArtK12 in order to review them and did not need to write a favorable review. Please go to their site to see more fantastic products! ARTK12 You can save as much as $54.00 if you order the book sets directly from their website. 

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