The following post is from Cindy from The Art Curator for Kids:
My goal as an art education blogger is to help parents become comfortable looking at works of art with their kids by giving them tools to make it easy and fun. One of the least daunting ways to approach art appreciation with your kids is to use the Charlotte Mason Picture Study technique.
Here’s How to do a Charlotte Mason Picture Study
Choose an artist. In Charlotte Mason’s plan, you pick one artist to focus on for 6 weeks. Pick an artist you’d like to cover. Then, find 6 artworks you would like to feature. I’ve listed suggested artists and resources at the end of this post.
In the first week, you can learn a little bit about the artist with your kids through children’s books, museum websites, and online research. You don’t need to know a ton about the artist, so just cover the basics. Where did the artist live? What time period? and so on.
Art Appreciation Activity:
Each week for 6 weeks, complete the following activity with one of the artworks you have chosen.
1. Give your child a copy of the artwork. This can be a computer print-out, a postcard, a book page, an image on a computer or tablet, etc. Having it on paper is best, so you can hang it in your house, or the child can hang it in his or her room!
2. Have the child study the artwork carefully. Tell her to notice all of the details and look until she can remember every detail.
3. Flip it over or turn off the device, and have the child describe the painting in detail. She should tell you all she can remember. Keep probing for more details.
4. Turn it back over to see how she did!
5. You can also add some other discussion into the mix as well if you’d like. What’s the story? What are the emotions in the art? Do you like the art? Why or why not? What’s your favorite part?
6. Optional: Some weeks, instead of having them tell you out loud, have them draw the picture or write about it. I don’t know what Charlotte Mason would have thought, but I think those would be very valuable learning experiences.
At the end of 6 weeks, you will have spent valuable time analyzing and getting to know the art of this artist. In just a few minutes a week, your students will feel connected to the artist and will be able to recognize their work. You will also enjoy seeing how they grow each week, getting better and better at the detailed looking exercise!
- Simply Charlotte Mason.com has a great lists of artists to choose from.
- Check out this post for a list of important artworks. Choosing artists from that list would be a good place to start.
Here are some great places to find images. These include affiliate links.
- I love the Dover postcard booklets for this activity. Each booklet is only a couple of dollars and comes with 6 art postcards. They have van Gogh, da Vinci, Kandinsky, Frida Kahlo, Picasso, and many many more!
- I’ve developed several Charlotte Mason Picture Study resources on my blog with artist information plus 6 artworks each already created for you in a pdf printable.
- The Taschen Basic Art Series of books is great. The books focus on individual artists or styles with big reproductions and not a whole lot of text. Plus, they are cheap!
Try it out with your children today, and let me know how it goes in the comments!
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|Cindy was once an art teacher and museum educator and is now a work at home mom of two lovely daughters (ages 3 and 5). She is passionate about the power of art in people’s lives and writes about how to teach art appreciation and art history to kids of all ages at the Art Curator for Kids. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.|
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