In my “April Showers” post, I mentioned one way to integrate art is identifying classroom concepts in art reproductions. Another is using lesson plans and guides provided by blogs and art museums. They often give a short description of an artwork, provide questions, suggest ways to integrate and sometimes provide interactive games. Short and sweet, these are a perfect resource for a busy classroom teacher. Today, using a flower (not necessarily a May flower) theme, I’ll share four of my favorite sites.
I’ll begin with Art History Mom, Kristen Nelson. She is by far my favorite art history blogger. Check out her Van Gogh Sunflower post: http://www.arthistorymom.com/post-impressionism/a-flower-delivery-to-you-and-your-kids-from- In an interesting way, she incorporates art and world history, geography, science and social studies. She includes questions for varying age groups and even provides flash cards. As I read her blog for the first time last year, so many ways of integrating kept popping into my head. I’m sad to say she hasn’t posted anything since last July. I hope she hasn’t quit. Kristen, come back. We miss you! Here are some of the ways you can integrate from her post:
Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – History, Geography, Friendship, Manufacturing
Science – Stages of a Flower
Language Arts – Color (Yellow)
Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin
Color, Symbolism, Paint Pigment
Art History Mom also provides a Van Gogh art activity post here: http://www.arthistorymom.com/art-projects/saltwater-sunflower-art-project-vincent-van-gogh-style/
The second place I like for arts integration is Art-to-Go from the Baltimore Museum of Art. Each month they highlight a particular piece of art. There is a page with a short description of the artwork and possible integration ideas. On a second page is a large reproduction for you to use in your classroom. Find Georgia O’Keefe’s Pink Tulips here: https://artbma.org/documents/atg/pdf/ATG_05-14.pdf I found the the two videos on tulips very interesting. Who knew the little ole tulip could cause Dutch Tulip Mania and an investment bubble?
It just so happens that my third favorite site, The National Gallery of Art’s An Eye For Art, also has an article about Georgia O’Keefe. You can find it here: http://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/Education/learning-resources/an-eye-for-art/AnEyeforArt-GeorgiaOKeeffe.pdf
Possible Classroom Concepts: Science – Flower Parts
Social Studies – Natural Resources, Economics
Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Georgia O’Keefe
Exageration, Drawing, Painting
The fourth great resource is from Concordia University Chicago. Debra Herman provides ten artist articles for each grade level, one through eight. The format includes an artist biography, art work description, directed observation and things to do. I have chosen to share with you the post about Maria Sibylla Merian, naturalist and illustrator. She wrote and illustrated a book about Spring flowers but is most famous for discovering and sharing the life cycles of many moths and butterflies. So you get more bang for your buck with this artist, she’s both a naturalist and entomologist.
“Spring Flowers in a Chinese Vase”
The Concordia University Chicago article can be found here:
Possible Classroom Concepts: Science – Flowers, Insect Life Cycle, Scientific Drawing
Possible Art Concepts: Art History -Maria Sibylla Merian
Art Careers (Scientific Illustration), Drawing, Painting, Color (Tints and Shades), Symmetry
You can find another short synopsis about Merian and electronic puzzles here:
Great examples of the artist’s work can be found here:
Here is a GREAT lesson combining O’Keefe’s and Merian’s work:
If you like these four examples, be sure to check out other articles and posts they offer.
See you soon!