Wednesday, September 25, 2019

HIGASFY Art History Video Series Review

Art History can be a hard subject to introduce to children, especially younger ones.  Have I got an Art History program to share with you today, the HiGASFY Art History Video Series by Mrs. Beth.

This is Mrs. Beth

If you are wondering about the name, so was I!  Mrs. Beth took the acronym for the phrase Have I got a story for you to create H.I.G.A.S.F.Y.  Mrs Beth and her animated drop of green paint and trusty sidekick, Gasfy, help show students various artistic time periods and artists - and in every episode you will hear Mrs. Beth say, "Hi Gasfy".  And that's how HiGASFY got it's name.
This program is perfect for students 1st-8th grade (for me that's B, C, D and E but A (10th) is enjoying it as well).  Originally this program was written as a 1 hour 16 week art curriculum that aligns with the state TEKS standards.  However, it can be used in public schools, homeschools or even after school programs - there's lots of flexibility for how you can use it.  I could even see if working in a CoOp situation.  We were provided with an online subscription to HiGASFY Art History Video Series but it is also available for purchase on DVDs.

There are four different video series available representing different art periods that highlight 3 main artist:  Renaissance Series (da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo), Baroque Series (Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer), Impressionist Series (Monet, Pissarro and Degas), and Post-Impressionist Series (van Gogh, Matisse and Picasso).  Each series consists of 12 video lessons (~ 22 minutes long), 16 corresponding downloadable lesson plans, downloadable flashcards and an assessment game to be played at the end of the series to evaluate the student's retention of the material.  

We chose to dive right into the Impressionist Series which focuses on Monet, Pissarro and Degas.  The general format for each of the lessons has an objective (sometimes objectives), suggested activities (you can pick and choose), critical thinking questions, vocabulary list with definitions, and a writing assignment.  Sometimes there is a history, science or geography question or two depending on the lesson.  And while most lesson have corresponding videos not every lesson has a video attached to it.  Some lessons are games and/or free draw opportunities for students to create an original work.  At the end of the time period study there are review games to help reinforce what was learned.

 Here the kids are watching Lesson 2

Another view from Lesson 2

Wow!  We really love the videos.  Mrs. Beth has such a great way of explaining art history.  I love how conversational and relatable she is to the kids.  She is great at explaining concepts.  I also really like how the videos show works of art and how she walks the students through different artistic elements of the pieces.  These videos are engaging and fun and we are really enjoying and learning from them.

The kids really enjoy the lesson activities as well.  In the Impressionist Series during lesson 2 the kids were asked to play an "I Spy" game by locating items (gourd, hat, cow, bare feet, eggs, etc.) within Adoration of the Shepherds by Francois Boucher.  It was a piece touched on in the video.

Finding the items

D having a closer look.

There is even a nice teacher key available that shows you the location of all the items.

Still life drawing by A

The Impressionist Flashcards

The Impressionist Flashcards are an amazing resource,  There are cards for 15 of Monet's works, 16 of Pissaro's works, and 16 of Degas' works.

Here is the flashcard for Water Lillies by Claude Monet.

Here is the back of the flashcard.

Here is the flashcard for The Ballet Dancers 1 by Edgar Degas.

Again, this is the back of the card.

HiGASFY's Pinterest Board

You will find images pinned on the HiGASFY's Pinterest board for you to color.  Above you can see the options of coloring pages for Monet.

I really like that there is a biblical application available for each lesson.  As I mentioned earlier these videos are really fun, engaging, and entertaining but they also get kids really thinking.  The lesson plans are chock-full of resources including suggested art activities, vocabulary words, writing assignments, and activities that incorporate other subjects like Geography, History and Science.  I'm a huge fan when programs use multiple subjects to help teach children!  I love the flexibility with this program.  You can choose to keep it simple and just have your students watch the videos (and they will get a lot out of just those) or use all the resources provided and make it more intensive or somewhere in between!  You pick.

Watch the fun trailer for HiGASFY below to get a real feel for this program and see Mrs. Beth and Gasfy for yourself.

You can also click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of HiGASFY to see what others in this awesome community have to say!

Have I Got A Story For You Art History Video Series {HiGASFY Art History Video Series Reviews}
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