ARTistic Pursuits Grades 4-6 Book One, The Elements of Art and Composition
(I was sent a complimentary copy as part of the TOS Review Crew in exchange for my honest opinion.)
Okay, first for the confession... I am not "artistic" by nature. I can't draw, paint or sculpt. How on earth, am I going to teach this to my children (when I am so inept?) Anyone with me out there?
Here's our solution - ARTistic Pursuits! They have a complete art instruction and art appreciation curriculum for ages Preschool to Grade 12. You can do it! (maybe not on your own..., but with their help.)
I love how easy this series is to use. I have previously used the Elementary series (I even "taught" an art class for some friend's kiddos and mine...) with these books.
I was sent the Grades 4-6 - Elements of Art and Composition, Book 1 for this review.
I was not disappointed! Each lesson is clearly laid out, I was able open the book and start sharing it with my students. The Lessons each covered an element of art (line, color, shading, etc.) with a clear explanation. But, you get way more that just that - art history and art appreciation are woven seamlessly into each lesson, giving your students the "complete" picture. Technique explanations with real-to-life projects are a part of each and every lesson - where your student gets to practice the concept.
This book covered:
Line and Shape
Form using Value
The Shapes of Natural Forms
Proportion, The Face
Media Introduced: Ebony pencil, white pencil, black markers with point and wide tip, scratch art paper and silhouette
When I researched their website - I was impressed. I love their philosophy for art instruction being like a bookcase.
"A complete study of art should include the subject matter shown on each shelf in this illustration. The K-3 program covers the elements of art and compositional ideas suited to the age within the context of art history. Techniques are shown as new materials are introduced. In this way even the youngest students experience a complete study of art. Grades 4-12 get a complete, in-depth study of the elements of art and composition based on a variety of applications. Each application offers a different way of thinking about the topic, helping to expand awareness of the visual world."
First and Second Shelf, The Elements of Art and Composition
LESSON ONE - part 1, CONCEPTUAL APPLICATION (Building a Visual Arts Vocabulary) The first page of each unit begins with an introduction to one of the elements of art or a compositional arrangement. These are concepts foundational to a successful work of art. They are the topics for the units in each book. Each element is what artists focus on as they draw. Children learn to visually sift the element out from other information that they see.
part 2, EXPRESSIVE APPLICATION (Observation and Creative Exploration) These assignments guide children to observe the topic of the unit within their own environments. Introduced to a variety of approaches to exploring their world, each child uses creative thought, arriving at personal visual solutions within their art.
Third Shelf, Art History
LESSON TWO - part 1, PRACTICAL APPLICATION (Looking at Art) This activity broadens understanding of how each element of art or compositional arrangement is used by observing it in a work of art by the masters.
part 2, ART HISTORY (Learning About Artists, Art, Cultures, or the Times) The art history addition helps students to gain a broader view when looking at art and to understand that the ideas of people affect how the art looks. It gives a child the language he needs to do well in art history and introduces him to many artists in biographies. The assignment deals with the topic shown in the artwork of the masters as discussed in Lesson Two part 1.
Fourth Shelf, Media and Techniques
LESSON THREE - TECHNICAL APPLICATION (Art Materials and How to Use Them) Developing varied and essential skills for seeing and for applying materials, a child considers both traditional methods and experimentation. She gains a broad experience with materials most commonly used by artists.
LESSON FOUR - PRACTICED APPLICATION (Original Work) A final project allows children to bring together the main idea of each unit (explained in lesson one of each unit), its expanded use as seen in the master work of art (explained in lesson two of each unit), as well as new techniques for using materials to create an original work of art (explained in lesson three of each unit.)
And, it's worth mentioning that ARTistic Pursuits has won numerous awards to back up this philosophy. It really works! (even if you aren't artistic yourself...your kiddos can be.)
You can get it online at your favorite curriculum distributor or Here for just $42.95 - a great value that can be used over and over!
I'm not afraid to jump into Art now, and if it can work for me, it will work for you too!
See what the other members of the Review Crew thought about this product here.