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Art Appreciation for Grades 1-2 – Art with Joymarie – Digital Download Review by Wendi Kitsteiner

LightHome Publications sold via CurrClick

Art Appreciation for Grades 1-2 is a very affordable, $10 digital download. What you get is a 57-page PDF featuring 36 lessons which introduce children in early elementary grades to fine art through family-friendly paintings by famous artists.

For example, page six in this document features artist John James Audubon.The description that follows is written in very simple language:

John James Audubon was a French man who moved to America and painted birds. He wanted people to know what American birds looked like and what they acted like. He made a field guide with his bird paintings. Many of the birds in his paintings are shown doing different kinds of

things like flying, building nests, feeding their babies, and making a lot of noise.

Later, a picture of one of his drawings of a raven is presented. The text that accompanies it reads:

This is a raven. It is like a crow but it is bigger than a crow. Crows say, "Caw! Caw!" Ravens say, "Rah! Rah!" in a deep rumbly voice. What color is the raven? Noah let a raven out the window of the ark to find out if the flood waters had gone yet. In another story in the Bible, ravens came to Elijah with bread for him to eat when he was starving. God sent the ravens in answer to his prayers.

You can tell from this passage that you have been presented with the opportunity for you and your child to discuss each painting. In addition, a Biblical view of the art is also included.

The subjects of all of these paintings surround children and nature. There are many of children and pets. Each painting, as discussed above, includes a single paragraph of simple questions designed to get kids to appreciate art and work on their observation skills.

You could print this document out – but it would take a lot of paper and a lot of ink. So we chose to look at it on our computer screen. Upon completion of this course, you can jump ahead to a grade three to four document which goes a step further by introducing art terms and concepts through higher level discussion questions.

We enjoyed this product. I thought that the price was very reasonable and it fills in a gap that I think often gets left out of many children’s education: art appreciation. I did this with my pre-kindergarten daughter through second grade boys with good success and feedback. Even my three-year-old participated in some of the discussions. I plan on allowing my boys to work through it again on their own since they are now independent readers. If you don’t have an independent reader, you need to do it with them.

My only suggestion about the product was that I would have liked the artist’s name included on every painting. Sometimes it got a little confusing who the artist was, and even for my own knowledge, I really wanted to make sure I knew who the artist was.

Otherwise, I truly can’t recommend anything else, and I think you will be very happy including this in your curriculum.

-Product review by Wendi Kitsteiner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April, 2017