Thursday, August 16, 2018

ARTK12 American Art History Volume 1 Review

Remember my review on Kristin J Draeger's Draw The USA?  Did  you know that Kristin J Draeger has a whole American Art History Curriculum?  The ARTK12 art history curriculum is truly art history disguised as fun!  There are three parts to each volume:  American Art History, American Art Bingo and Drawing American Art.  And there are three separate volumes.  Each volume set is equivalent to one semester.  I had the privilege to review the complete Volume 1 of this curriculum.  It is designed to be used once a week for 16 weeks.  Each week's lesson is approximately 2 hours of teaching and there is very little prep.  Not only will it work well at home but this program would also be a great fit for a homeschool coop class as well.  You could adapt it as needed to suit your time allotment.  Just a thought.

It's recommended that each week you read the chapter in American Art History, play the bingo game, and draw the piece of art.  That's it!  Or you can play the bingo game, read the chapter, and draw the piece of art - that's what we did.  This program is designed for grades 3rd-8th.  I did the majority of this curriculum with A (14), B (12), C (11), and D (8); however, E (6) and F (4) participated in some and loved it!  E and F joined in on some of the bingo games.  E was also able to complete several pieces of art (although they were more challenging for her).  I just printed out extra templates and had them available for her and let her complete as many as she wanted - one of the beauties of homeschooling a large family.

American Art Bingo Volume 1

I love that this curriculum is put together for you.  There is very little prep.  I'm so picky about taking care of my books and curriculum I wanted to preserve it as best as possible.  So, I took apart my American Art Bingo book so that I could laminate the bingo cards and pieces of art for the bingo game.  This way, we can play it over and over again with little wear.  You can also use the cards as is or put them in slip covers.

 Here you can see a view of inside the book.

 And here are our laminated bingo cards!

There are 10 double sided bingo cards so there are 20 total varieties but only 10 can be used at one time.  And there are 32 image cards, these are the paintings and artifacts that you will be teaching your children about using this curriculum.  Every week your children will hear the information about the cards and by the end of the semester they will be able to identify the title and creator of the 32 works of art.  This review every week is invaluable.  I love that my kids have fun while inadvertently memorizing each piece.  You will need to find something to use as bingo markers: pennies, rocks, goldfish, etc.

Playing bingo!

 Here are C and D playing bingo.  We used M&Ms this time.

B with a bingo.

Here is the 1st image in the set.

And here is the last image in this set, image 32.

American Art History

Each week after we played the bingo game, we read a chapter in the American Art History book.  This book is arranged chronologically into 16 chapters and introduces 2 pieces of art each week.  This volume contains prehistoric art, mound builder art, John White, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart just to name a few.  We chose to read the chapters aloud as a family but they can be read individually as well.  You can also have your students take turns reading the articles to each other.  One of the highlights of this curriculum is that it makes your students think - they need to be able to distinguish between reality and facts within the articles and what was added for comic effect.

An example of inside the book

 the next page

Every chapter has forgery games at the end.  Students compare the real work of art to the forgery on the opposite page and try to spot the ten noticeable differences.  You can hold a race and see who can find all ten differences first.  This is a great way for students to develop an eye for detail as the spend time comparing the two images.  There is an answer key in the back of the book.

Example forgery game - Find the ten differences between the original and the forgery

Answer key so you can check to see if you found all ten differences.

 Drawing American Art

After we played the bingo game and read the weekly chapter we drew the piece of art in the Drawing American Art book.  Volume 1 contains instructions and templates for 16 pieces of art.  The purpose of the template for each piece is to give every student a good start on drawing the piece.  It has good reference points for sizing and gives the students a better chance of successfully completing each piece of art.  You can photocopy the templates contained in the back of the book or you can download them from the ARTK12 website.  Only the book will have the lessons and instructions.  I really love the step-by-step instructions.  They contain drawings for each step highlighting each addition in red allowing students to see each pieces of art in minute detail.  This makes it so easy to teach and for the students to accomplish each task eventually leading to a finished piece of art!

Printed templates on cardstock

I printed the templates on white cardstock to give the kids a more durable surface to work with.  Each week your students will need the appropriate template, pencil with eraser, ultra-fine black marker, and colored pencils (you could use markers or crayons if desired).

A, B, and C with templates for drawing Prehistoric Art

Prehistoric Art Piece

Prehistoric Art Template (you can see reference points on both sides)

 Working through instructions

After pencil drawing is complete you trace the drawing in black marker.

B's work after using black marker

 Final step is coloring your work of art.

 A, B, and C's finished works of Prehistoric Art

Mound Builder Piece

Here is an example of one of the direction pages.

Working through instructions

 B's finished piece

 E's finished work (She did everything except the outlining in black marker)

 D's finished Mound Builder Art

Another lesson

 Working on Desert Southwest Art

 A's finished work

 The Art of Paul Revere

The older four kids finished works.

I'm not going to show every weekly drawing but I wanted to show several so you get a better idea of what is included.  The kids loved making their drawings and I think this is truly a highlight of this curriculum.  If you can't tell by now my family is thoroughly enjoying this curriculum and I would highly recommend it.  If you are still planning your homeschooling year or need to add an art or history supplement please consider this one.  The planning is already laid out for you and I have a feeling you will enjoy it as well.

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to ArtK12 for selecting me to review this curriculum for free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.


Dana @ The Art Kit said...

Wow!! This looks really neat! Love all your pictures!

Kathryn said...

Thanks so much! This curriculum is a lot of fun.

MaryAnne said...

So cool! I love her map drawing books.

Kathryn said...


Those are really fabulous too! My kids enjoy them as well.