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I have been asked by the 1st and 2nd grade teachers and the music teacher
to participate in their Great Masters unit. These teachers want to provide
an introductory experience about the great masters and the different types
of music and art of the renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, jazz,
Broadway, and rock & roll periods. In June there will be a Night of the
Great Masters for students and families. I sure could use a few ideas!
The 1st and 2nd grades are combined in one class, so I have 35 students
ages 6-8. We meet in their regular cramped classroom, with an aid, once
each week for 80 minutes. We will have 5 classes in which to do the whole
Their definition of 'great master' fortunately isn't limited to white
males, so it includes women and other cultures, but the added flexibility
makes deciding on who and what to cover in six lessons just that much
harder. The following is a short list of ideas. Expansion tips as well as
elimination ideas would be great.
I want to introduce daVinci then show them The Last Supper fresco. From
there they can do fresco like paintings on joint compound spread on dry
wall panels, just to get a feel for it. I might ask them to make a painting
of their family at an important meal...like Thanksgiving?
I want to introduce them to Rembrandt, with special attention to his many
self portraits, then have them do self portraits. I have mirrors, but at
this age they seem to just know what they look like.
For Michaelangelo, looking at the Sistine Chapel would be fun, followed by
painting 'ceilings' on paper taped to the bottoms of desks! These can be
displayed on the real classroom ceiling during the great masters parents
I'd like to do something on Seurat's dots, but how can pointillism which
actually shows visual color mixing be accomplished with this age group and
in only one class period? A group marker painting? Q-tip painting? Ideas?
Artists I'm also considering are Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassat, Henri
Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Henri Moore, Georgia O'Keefe, Jacob Lawrence,
Jackson Pollock, Romare Bearden, and I'd like to represent Asian art
somehow, but obviously I can't do them all and I've left so many important
Help! My list is long on thoughts, but short on developed ideas. I'd love
to hear from any of you who have suggestions! Did I mention that they want
to begin the unit next week?
Thanks again. You people are great! I don't know how first year teachers
ever got through with out this list!
1-8 Art on the Cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031