First grade: first week of school: look at "family" by Van Gogh, Degas, and
Rembrandt to see why each artist did not have bright color in picture. (
Rembrandt was before they had a lot of colors, VanGogh was doing a poor family
eating at night and Degas was a picture backstage at a ballet recital.) I
have had parents come in to teach art history for twenty-five years. In first
grade, they introduce Seurat, Grandma Moses and Cave Art. For cave art, we
have four 3-D four by six foot walls made by a father who is an artist that
we set up like a cave. I have them enter this world through a forest made with
plants from all over school, and a tunnel made from brown bulletin board
paper. We sit in the library with the lights off, and a candle casts
flickering shadows on our cave walls. We tell how the little boys were
looking for their dog who had fallen. . .then go into use of every part of an
animal. . If one of them sees an animal on our wall, they get to trace it in
paint for the rest to see.
Second Grade: Rousseau and twenty-six shades of green, Miro and abstraction,
Matisse. . .
Third Grade: Picasso as painter and as sculptor, Calder; art from various
regions of America past and present. . .
Fourth Grade: Presentation of Kachina Dolls, regions of native American art,
arts and crafts of our state--New Jersey such as glass and pottery in
Fifth Grade: American: Currier and Ives for print making unit, the Peales,
Edward Hicks, This year I am making a game out of the page of American
Classics that one can get for a mere $6.40 at the (guess where) And they have
a little paragraph of information on the back of each sample. Also Jasper
Johns, Edward Hopper, and because we are here at Long Branch, Winslow Homer.
Sixth Grade is my History of Art Year: They have note books. We begin by
making an all-natural brush and painting on the sidewalk. We discuss WHY STUDY
HISTORY OF ART? How does a new period occur? What is a Universal Idea?
They take notes on the development of civilization :
Pre-historic: PALE-eolithic (the DAWN of civilization) to Neolithic
(communities, crafts, communication. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Medieval,
Renaissance. Then we go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Afterwards, we
touch on Baroque, Romantic, Impressionist.
Seventh Grade: Impressionist to Modern
Eighth Grade: Post-modern and thus, naturally, independent studio production,
this year, so far, Frank Lloyd Wright
Of course, there are many other opportunities in every lesson to bring in
history of art, like when the fourth grade reading series has a story about
Jacob Lawrence. I put Miriam Shapiro with Matisse. When we do quilts in
second, I bring in Faith Ringold and Amish/ Mennonite quilting.
Hope this helps you with your paper. Perhaps the only reason you haven't
gotten more "brief" responses like mine is that we integrate art history so
much that it's difficult to isolate. I will try to answer any questions you
have in regard to methodologies in more detail if you need such information
for your paper. Thanks for writing about such an important subject. Are you
going to share your thesis paper with us? I'd love to see it. We would
probably even be able to help you with a little copy-editing if that would be
Judy in Jersey