Sprite had complained recently that artist study was getting a bit repetitive. “All we do is look at the painting, and I narrate it. I want to do something different sometimes!”
Hmmm…. good point, Sprite. Simplicity doesn’t have to be boring.
It just so happens that I had a great resource tucked away for our American history studies —Child-Size Masterpieces – Transportation in America. The book is actually a set of postcard sized art cards printed on cardstock, meant to be cut apart.
The back of each card has the title of the art, the artist’s name, the date of the painting, a paragraph or two about painting itself, a bit of information about the artist, and a timeline date of what the painting depicts (often different from the date it was painted).
Using Transportation in America, I added these assignments to Sprite’s schedule. (Of course, at each step, there was plenty of discussion going on about the art and the history portrayed in the art.)
- Day 1 — Take the book apart, and cut out all 40+ cards with the guillotine cutter.
- Day 2 — Without looking at the backs, try to put all of the cards in timeline order. Check the order against the dates on the backs, and fix any mistakes. Stack them in order, and put a rubber band around them.
- Day 3 — Look at all the cards again, and sort them by mode of transportation. Make sets and put them in the clear sleeves. (Affix the tiny art on the front as labels.)
- Day 4 — Let’s talk about the railroad cards.
On Day 4, I asked Sprite to arrange the only the train cards in chronological order. Then she chose one painting to focus on for narrating back orally. It was wonderful to tie our art into the history we’d been studying. I asked her, “What do you see in the painting that reflects aspects of our history study?” After she shared, I read the back of the card to her. And art study was done for the day.
I think we’ll continue working through the train cards before we move on to another mode of transportation. It’s not strictly a Charlotte Mason artist study as Miss Mason directed, but I am a firm believer in variety. How do you spice up artist study when it gets a bit dull? Have you ever used any of the Child Sized Masterpieces?