Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Picturing America: Paul Revere Week

If you do not have access to the Picturing America pictures, you can still do a unit study using this wonderful art.  One way to do this would be to pull up the pictures on the computer and study them.  You could also order prints, but that might get expensive.  There are many online resources available to aid you in your study.

Our second week of co-op, we studied Paul Revere.  For this co-op, we studied the painting of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley, the painting "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" by Grant Wood, and  the print of "Silver of the 18th, 19th, and 20th Centuries".

We first talked a little about Paul Revere's life.  Then, we studied the painting of Paul Revere, using many of the suggestions in the Resource Book chapter for this unit, which can be downloaded.  We talked briefly about John Singleton Copley, including things about his life, his style, and his history.  Then, I read a short biography of Paul Revere.

We studied the silver pictures while talking about Paul Revere.  We compared the two silver teapots pertaining to Paul Revere- the one in the Paul Revere portrait, and the one in the silver print.  We talked about reasons for people wanting to own silver, and the attributes of two different pots.

We then looked at the painting "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."  After we talked about it for a bit, I read the poem, using the picture book Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, pictures by Ted Rand.

After reading the poem, we discussed why some people might have considered the painting to be disrespectful, and other aspects of the painting.

For our art project this week, I decided to have the kids paint a landscape.  I am not an artist, and most of these children have no art background.  So, rather than attempting to paint a cityscape, or a portrait, I opted for a simple landscape.  I found this project at Art Projects for Kids.  I am loving this website.  I have found so many art projects that I am planning to do with my children.  I am also planning to use several in our co-op.  She has all the steps laid out to do this project.  I will not co-opt her work by repeating them.  I will tell you the process we used in order to do this at co-op, though.

Our co-op lasts approximately 2 hours.  We want to do projects that will be ready to take home by the time we leave.  Keeping that in mind, we started our painting as soon as we arrived.  I had the students do steps 1 and 2 immediately.  Then, we did the first part of the art study, while we waited for the paint to dry.  We then did step 3.  Then, we did more art study, then step 4.  After the students finished step 4, I used a blow dryer to help the paintings dry more for easy transport.  This worked very well, and all the students were able to finish their paintings during the amount of time alloted.  To view more of them, please visit our gallery at Artsonia.

Here are a few examples of our landscapes.
The first one is the 'teacher' example.

The second is my 6 year old son's.

The third is my 8 year old son's.

Enjoy this unit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Picturing America: Pottery and Baskets and Mission Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion

For our first co-op, we studied the Pottery and Baskets: c. 1100 - c. 1960 print and the Mission Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, 1775. These are 1a and 1b in the gallery. If you go to their website, you'll see that they have a lot of resource links for this.

You could go a lot of different directions with this. What we focused on were the similarities and differences between the different art pieces- specifically the Anasazi Cylinder Jars and the Sikyatki Bowl.

We talked about geometric shapes, cliff dwellings, what you can make bowls and jars out of, and how to harden them. We discussed the concept of trade versus money, and talked about the impact that the white man had on the Native American civilization in relation to trade.

We then discussed the the Mission Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion.  Here, we talked about adobe, the reasons for Spanish expansion, the part missions played, and why Indians might have wanted to convert.  We talked about the architecture of the mission, and its similarities to the grounds of a castle.  We talked about the artwork in the mission, specifically the painting in the dome.

After we finished our discussion, which was admittedly short (we have a lot of young children in our co-op), we did some art work. We painted bowls.

Here is what we did. I bought paper bowls, paint, brushes, etc. The kids painted the insides of the bowls to mimic the artwork done by the Anasazi (which was technically on the outside, but we were looking at the geometric shapes, here), the nature related artwork of the Sikyatki, or the sun inside the dome of the mission.