Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vincent Van Gogh Unit Study

Most boxed or packaged art programs are just too expensive for most homeschooling families. Give up the idea? Never! All you need is your computer, a nice enough screen for viewing art online and a printer for dashing off lesson plans, activities and coloring pages. If you have a little time, you can print out pages before teaching and save them in a notebook for your own personalized art book.

This month's featured artist:


Note: Before Studying Art

Please check out these excellent resources for looking at art with children. You can
print out questions that will inspire reflection and conversation. (I laminated this page and added it to our art shelf.) MOMA also has a downloadable PDF for looking at art and provides examples of how to do so.

Biography & Online Art
Here's a brief child-friendly biography. You can click on the images of his painting for a more detailed look.
Online gallery of Van Gogh's Sunflowers
The amazing, definite online gallery of Van Gogh's work
National Gallery of Art's virtual tour of its past Van Gogh exhibit
Van Gogh Museum

"Visiting Van Gogh" (Adventures in Art)

A very readable, short but informative biography of Van Gogh

"The Yellow House: Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gaugin Side By Side" by Susan Goldman Rubin: Vincent so longed to form an artists' colony in Arles and thought Gaugin would be the first of many painters to join him there. This book explores that creative yet explosive time in these artists' lives. It is done very well. The paintings of Gaugin and Van Gogh of the same subject are gorgeous.

Study a comparison of two Van Gogh's self-portraits.
Take an Inside Art Adventure of a Van Gogh painting.
The National Galley of Art has provides teaching activities for Language Arts, Geography and drawing exercises.
Examine the characteristics of a Van Gogh piece.
Make a Van Gogh-style portrait.
Sunflower activities for little kids
Van Gogh coloring pages -- just print and color!
Have your child do a narration page of a biography then draw an accompanying picture.
Make your own mini-gallery. For this, I copied Van Gogh images from different Websites and copied them into a Word document. Then, I did an accordion-style fold of paper. The kids then cut out the pictures and arranged them in the folder like a little museum of their own. The names of the children were the name of the museum. A child can decorate the folder with pictures of people observing the art or whatever flourishes and swirls they want to add.
Discuss a self-portrait of Van Gogh. You can find detailed questions and additional activities here.
Additional Resources
Guidelines for your own Van Gogh unit study
Notes and pictures of a mini unit study of Van Gogh

No comments:

Creative Commons License ... and please do NOT offer my works as downloads from your site.