Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: Global Art

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It's no secret that my kiddos are art lovers. It mixes in with every subject they learn. So I was excited to get to do a review for Gryphon House of their book "Global Art: Activities, Projects, and Inventions from Around the World." This 189 page book sells for $16.95 on their site and is geared for Kindergarten through 5th graders, although I think that it is good for older than that too.

This book is different from other art books we have. First off, it is divided up by continent. How cool is that? I love anything that helps me to integrate subjects and this book does just that. Each continent chapter has many different art projects to chose from, and is broken down into countries or regions. There are more than 130 projects in all. Another thing I like about this book is that the projects are open-ended. Meaning that they don't show you one concrete end result, but instead they teach you how to do something. It might have to do with a custom or celebration that happens in a certain location, or be something they are known for in their area. The kids enjoyed this. They don't like to be told exactly what the project needs to be all the time, but prefer to be creative on their own.

Each lesson has a supply list, then explains the process. Then there is a section called "Did you know?" that tells more about the area and briefly ties it into the project. There is also a picture of a globe on each page with a star on where the activity takes place. That's cool to me too. I had the kids look up each place on our big globe and we talked about what is around there, or what happened there on our timeline. At the top of each page, there are three little squares with icons in them telling about the experience level needed for the project, art technique, and how much planning and prep work you mom will need to put into it. Sometimes there will be a 4th icon for caution: you need parents help!

The back of the book has some great indexes that should probably be at the front of the book. ;) The front just divides it by continent, but in the back, they show you lists of projects (and pages) divided by medium (ie. collage, construction, drawing, sculpture, etc), experience level, and how much prep work is involved in the projects. They might add one on how much clean up is involved for mom after the kids complete the project - lol!

Our church has a mission team in Africa right now, so we chose some activities from there so we could "connect" to them. We also studied Africa in Cycle 1 CC last year, so they were familiar with the locations. I love reinforcing things they have learned by bringing them up again months later.  We started in Africa but did something from each continent while we reviewed this. The time each project takes project and by child. Sometimes they would want to spend more time and do it really well, or do more than one. And other times, it could be completed in 15 minutes and they moved on.

Here are some of the favorite projects we made.

handmade soap

Face painting - tempera paint and lotion - who knew?!?
Quilled Paper Art

Drinking straw flutes

I should mention that they also loved making thaumatropes, but the pictures wouldn't come out. The camera sees faster than the eye ;) I have one of the ones they made hanging over my computer now. It was fun to use all different supplies each time to make such a variety of crafts. We have really enjoyed reviewing this and I think there is something for everyone in there. For the price, this is a great deal. You could use this for several years without repeating your crafts. I plan to match them up to the area we are studying in CC this fall and let them kids pick one or two to make each Friday. I think they will enjoy this addition to their school week.

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  1. We used this book a few years ago with My Father's World curriculum. We loved it. I may just have to dig it out for next year.

    Great review!


I would love to hear your thoughts!!