Friday, October 18, 2013


As a follow up to yesterday’s blog on visual literacy, I had an “Ah ha!” moment in the middle of the night.  I read an article years ago in YOUNG CHILDREN on aesthetic appreciation, or helping children to appreciate beautiful things.  It dawned on me that this would be a way to integrate standards with “Art 101.”  You probably feel overwhelmed right now with conferences and lesson plans, but tuck this idea away until January or February.  Talk about raising the bar for the geniuses in your classroom!  And, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two as well!

Each week choose a famous artist – anyone from Vermeer to Rockwell to Picasso.  You can go online and download prints or check out books from the library.  On Monday, give a little background about the artist and show one painting and give the title.  Explain that artists always give a “name” or title to their work.  “What title would you give this painting?”  “What do you see?”  “Why do you think the artist painted this?”  “What do you think happened before?”  “After?”  “What do you think the people are saying?”  “How does this painting make you feel?”  “What materials did the artist use to create this picture?”
On Tuesday show another picture.  “Do you remember the title of yesterday’s painting?  What do you think is the title of today’s painting?”  Compare and contrast.  “How are they alike?”  “How are they different?” 

Continue introducing a different painting every day.

*Use paintings to introduce new vocabulary words.
*Use paintings as springboards for writing stories or poems.
*Paintings can also be used for informative writing where children describe details.
*On Friday let children graph which painting they liked best.  Why did you like that one?  Is there one you did not like?