Family Celebrations!

Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – Families – What They Do Together, How They Are Different, Egyptian History, WW II History

Language Arts – Storytelling

Science – Animals

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Norman Rockwell, Egyptian Art, Carmen Lomas Garza, Jan Steen, Tom Miller, Faith Ringgold

Portraits, Illustration, Story Quilts

In my Mother’s Day post, I showed Mary Cassatt’s vision of some activities mothers do with their children. In this post, we will look at some other artist’s view of things families do together.

As we honor those who gave their lives for our country this weekend, a lot of families will take advantage of this three day weekend for a family trip. Check out Norman Rockwell’s thoughts on a family outing in the painting, “Going and Coming”, here: and here:

Have a look at this family outing from long ago:

Families often celebrate a special occasion with some sort of meal. Here are some different interpretations:

Norman Rockwell”s “Freedom From Want” (probably the most famous painting of a Thanksgiving dinner) can be found here:

                       Look here for Mexican American artist, Carmen Lomas Garza’s “Tamalada”

Jan Steen's The Dancing Couple

Jan Steen’s “The Dancing Couple” shows not only a couple but also families celebrating in this lively painting found here: and here

I’m from Maryland so the next painting has meaning for all of us who live around the Chesapeake Bay. Celebrations in Maryland often incorporate a crab feast. Tom Miller’s “Maryland Crab Feast” isn’t advertised as a family affair, but do you see the baby? If this were a family crab feast who would be the mother? The father? To see Miller’s crab feast look here:

When my family gets together for holidays, we often play games. Henri Matisse created two paintings of families playing board games. “The Family of the Artist” can be found here:  “Pianist and Checker Players” is here: Did you see The Monuments Men movie? This painting was one of the saved paintings. Read about it here:

Horace Pippin’s “Domino Players” is another example of a family playing a game together and can be found here:

Here is a GREAT project for students to share their special family meal or game. African American artist, Faith Ringgold’s “Tar Beach”, is another good example of a family get together. Find the lesson here: and Tar Beach here and here:

Related Books:

Norman Rockwell’s Americana  ABC by George Mendoza

In My Family/ En Mi Familia by Carmen Lomas Garza

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

Enjoy your Memorial Day!


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