A is for Apples and Artists

Fridays in our house are dedicated to art and Shakespeare. It's my ahhhh at the end of the week. Our Shakespeare studies are outlined here. Look for that whole page to be re-designed. I had trouble following it last week;-)


In our framework for lessons here in the heart of my home, Along the Alphabet Path, art is definitely an every age endeavor. There is more than enough here for everyone. Using Museum ABC as a spine, we have an introduction to 26 great works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. For the letter "A" we studied Cezanne's apples.

The Met website does a fabulous job with this particular piece, with a wonderful online lesson. There is an online biography of Cezanne with plenty of information about the artist and his place in the art world. 

There are online games and activities and there are suggestions for "on paper" games and activities.

That would be plenty.

But wait, I have more;-).


Remember Degas and the Little Dancer? We love her. Laurence Anholt has written a whole series of books like that one. These are painstakingly researched books which bring to life the stories of real children who knew the artists. Cezanne's story is one of his son, Paul, and the friendship father and son develop when they are reunited on a painting expedition in the mountains of southern France. 


And, there's an app for that! Well, almost. Anholt's Van Gogh and the Sunflowers book has been developed into an iPad app. It's a truly lovely app, at that:-) I look forward to seeing more of his books broadened this way.

We also really enjoy Mike Venezia's series, Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists. His volume on Cezanne offers plenty of biographical detail so that children can create a notebook page and lovely reproductions that expose them to much more of this artist's work. 

Artist activity book

The Met site suggests a simple hands-on still life activity. Laurence Anholt's Artists Activity Book poses a charcoal challenge in the spirit of Cezanne. Anybody else find that charcoal is most challenging for mothers? Ah, the mess. Let them make a mess. Say it with me. Maybe we'll believe it. There are activities in the Artists Activity Book for each of the books in the artist series. This book is a keeper!

Then, pulling books off my shelf, I found a more detailed still life activity and a lovely biography in Monet and the Impressionists for Kids. In Discovering Great Artists, MaryAnn Kohl offers still more still-life instruction. Clearly, there's a theme here.

Finally, for the child who is just super stuck and can't get anything on paper, there's a coloring sheet in Masterpieces: A Fact-Filled Coloring Book that provides the basic forms and lets kids focus on color. .

For more about our Storybook Year, please visit here.