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Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Artists Review by Kathy Gelzer

Amy Pak
Home School in the Woods
3997 Roosevelt Highway
Holley, NY 14470

Here is a fun, interactive, multi-sensory way to learn about more than 30 artists and their works plus a whole lot more. The completion of a Lap Book is the result of this CD, which includes all the instructions, masters, and background information you need. You may make multiple copies for your family's use only.

What all is covered? Students will be introduced to 33 artists, learn vocabulary specific to art and media, learn about the various art periods (from 14th through mid-20th centuries), do imitative art based on specific styles, make a file folder game, and create a sketch book. This is accomplished through various hands-on projects which all fit onto the Lap Book--except for the "Art Gallery" file folder game and the student sketchbook, which are bonus projects designed to enrich the student's art knowledge and experience.

Amy Pak incorporates her Christian worldview into the text, giving examples of art/creativity in the Bible and encouraging children to draw closer to God through artistic expression.

The "Artist Exhibition" project invites students to do some research into various artists: where they were born, their style and technique, and their famous works. Amy Pak sensitively cautions parents to preview art websites for appropriateness of the art for the particular student/family, since some artists painted nudes.

The "Art Gallery" file folder game contains specific works of art and asks students to identify four specifics about the work: who the artist is, the year it was created, the title of the work, and the medium used. Players can adjust the game to different levels by requiring anywhere from one to four of the parts of the information requested.

"My Personal Art Sketchbook" provides directions and masters for making a 21-page sketchbook, each with an artist's quote at the bottom of the page for inspiration.

The suggested grades are 3-8. I think you could widen this bracket. Both older and younger children would enjoy and benefit from this thorough art-appreciation curriculum. Younger children may need help with some of the assembly and research. I would suggest making all copies before you start so you don't have to stop in the middle when the momentum is going.

This Artists Activity Pak would be a fun addition to your history studies or an excellent project to do over the summer. It would also be an ideal "show and tell" for grandmas and grandpas

Product review by Kathy Gelzer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC November 2009