From Garden to Harvest

Possible Classroom Concepts: Social Studies – Seasons ( Summer, Fall or All Seasons)

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Pieter Breughel, Grandma Moses

Landscape, Perspective ( Foreground, Middle Ground, Background), Atmospheric Perspective, Moving People, Narrative Paintings


Pieter Bruegel’s “The Harvesters”

In my last post, I talked about flower gardens and how the blooms will soon be fading. Along with this also comes harvesting time. A great example of harvesting is Bruegel’s “The Harvesters”. A concise kid friendly explanation of the painting can be found here:

I found two informative biographies on Bruegel the Elder. The first talks about his paintings showing multiple people doing everyday things.

The second clues us in that there were wedding crashers as early as the 1500s, Ha Ha!,%20Krull.pdf

“The Harvester” not only shows wheat  harvesting, but also apple harvesting. “I Spy” the upper right hand corner of the painting and you will find an apple tree. One boy is hanging upside down from his knees up in the tree (my guess is picking the apples) and the two boys on the ground are collecting apples.

Years later, Grandma Moses also painted seasonal rural landscapes containing lots of people. One such painting is entitled “Apple Butter Making” You can find this painting and other examples of Grandma Moses’ work here:

Look here for information about “Apple Butter Making” on page nine of this post.

You can find a concise Moses Bio here:

Now, you can approach these two artists in one of two ways. Approach it from the late summer early fall aspect or use them in a four seasons unit, whatever works best for your unit of study.

You might want to compare and contrast Bruegel’s and Moses’ works. (painting styles, clothing worn, etc.)  Brainstorm what people of today do in late summer and early fall. ( play football, play soccer, rake leaves, go to corn mazes, hay rides, pick apples, etc.) How do we dress? Students can illustrate a person performing one of these tasks. Students can cut the figure out and put it into a class mural. With all those people, it will be just like a Bruegel painting. You might also try illustrating all the steps of a fall task like in Moses’ narrative paintings.

A moving people guide can be found here:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s