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HiGASFY Art History Video Series – Renaissance Period Review by Renita Bentz

Mrs. Beth Oakes
HiGASFY Art History Video Series
Located in Ovilla, Texas

HiGASFY Art History Video Series – Renaissance Period is a 16-week art history curriculum for grades 1-8. The DVD set is available for $150.00. Other art periods are available: Impressionist, Post-Impressionists, and Baroque. Individual/Homeschool subscriptions give you access to all videos in each series for just $15 per month for up to 9 students.

This 12-episode, DVD curriculum contains in-depth study of three Renaissance artists – Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. HiGASFY stands for “Have I Got a Story for You” which forms the basic teaching method of this curriculum. Each artist and some of their most famous creations are introduced and discussed by the author Mrs. Beth in an engaging storytelling manner. She makes the artist’s work come to life with her stories along with her animated side-kick, GASFY, the paint drop.

The DVD set includes a full 16-week lesson plan on PDF. This curriculum is designed to appeal to all learning styles. In addition to the 15-30 minute video, each lesson includes important vocabulary terms, critical thinking questions that get your student to really engage with the time period and what the artist is trying to communicate, and writing prompts. Each artist study includes suggested hands-on art activities to create after watching the informative videos. Projects include creating a portfolio, free drawing, and fun group activities like creating your own live version of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper Painting.” Other projects involved creating reliefs with clay, sculpting with soap, and even painting while lying on your back. Geography, history, and science activities are included in each lesson along with suggested research ideas for your more advanced students. In addition, each artist featured has fun worksheets like word searches and crossword puzzles to use as review of the vocabulary terms and to reinforce the learning.

This comprehensive series can be used as a stand-alone, supplemental or enrichment curriculum. You get to pick and choose the activities that best suit your students.

We enjoyed listening to Mrs. Beth as she introduced us to these masters of the Renaissance. Her engaging style kept us enthralled. My children enjoyed her stories and sprinkled throughout the videos are detailed explanations of the artist, and the historical period. By the end, you and your students will be able to instantly recognize each artist’s unique style and some of their greatest works. Mrs. Beth is an exceptional teacher. We found the animated GASFY to be an unnecessary addition, and it made the videos seem to be tailored to younger audiences than the 1-8th grade recommendation.

The program is filled with options! I like being able to pick and choose which activities we have time for, and which are fun for my students. The videos are very well produced and filled with information. The PDF lesson plan gives you plenty of options. Artist Flashcards you can download and print are included on their website along with a handy “Name that Artist” PowerPoint review. You can visit the HiGASFY Pinterest boards and YouTube channel for additional ideas. So many choices!

Overall, we were impressed with the quality and depth of this series. We discovered art and history brought to life in an unforgettable way. We can’t wait to learn about the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Baroque periods with HiGASFY.

-Product review by Renita Bentz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2018