Saturday, February 20, 2021


Aesthetic appreciation is probably not one of your standards, but I enjoyed introducing famous artists to my students. And the parents always got a kick out of their children talking about Picasso or Van Gogh.  These strategies could easily be adapted to any teaching situation.

Art Appreciation 101


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?

So, a funny thing happened because I was going to end this blog with an idea about Michelangelo. I was going to suggest you tell the children how he painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on his back. Wouldn’t it be fun to tape paper under the table and let the children draw like Michelangelo? Well, guess what? That’s a myth. He actually stood up as he painted and then they attached the panels to the ceiling. You learn something new every day, don’t you? 

I still think it would be fun to tape paper to the bottom of a table and draw!