Monday, March 21, 2016

Dancing with Degas: Artist Study

The kids and I have been so engrossed with science lessons over the past couple weeks, that we've been neglecting our Art and Music studies.  I found some fun (and free) art lesson plans from the Getty Museum.  We had a fabulous time with the one titled The Art and Depiction of Dance, about Edgar Degas.

On the first day, the kids learned some ballet moves.  I asked them to think about the shapes that the dancers make with their bodies.  Since the kids were learning about verbs for Language Arts (Grammar Island), I asked them to think of synonyms for "dance".  We took turns writing them down (I wrote down the ones that H, age 4, came up with, and the twins, age 6 wrote their own.

On the second day, we watched this cartoon about Edgar Degas.  I showed the kids some of Degas's sketches to demonstrate that he was observing the shapes the dancers make with their bodies rather than trying to get all the details in right away (this was especially important for E, who is a perfectionist, to see).

I showed the kids photographs of dancers in various positions and invited them to sketch the shapes of the dancers just like Degas did.  I love how each artwork turned out unique...

I wasn't sure H would participate in this activity, or if he would find it too "girly".  He did a wonderful job (I wish I had a better photo)!

L turned her sketches into a "flip book".  She's great at drawing caricatures.

E went for realism, of course.  She usually draws animals and nature, so this was a stretch for her.  I can't wait to incorporate more artist studies into our homeschool.

For more learning and fun be sure to check out the LaLaLogic Critical Thinking Curriculum for Preschoolers which I developed.

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