Georgie Story – The History of Art

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Georgie Story - The History of ArtWhen I started teaching the history of art to elementary children, I had some resources that are no longer available. My favorite resource was a book on the history of art for children published by Usborne Publishing Ltd. Using two copies of the book I made each Period of art into moveable materials. I removed the pages from both books and mounted each page on colored cover paper. Each Period was mounted on a different color, in order of the colors of the Bead Bars. Period 1 pages were mounted on red, Period 2 pages were mounted on green, etc. Instead of numbering pages within each period, I placed colored paper dots on the upper corner of the mounts, so the pages of similar content could be sorted and studied together. The first group of pages to be studied had a red dot on each mount, the second group had a green dot on each mount, etc. Each finished page was laminated both sides. All pages for each Period were presented in a separate container for that Period, and the containers were lined up in Period order on the shelf.

Note: The history of art is filled with artwork depicting nudes both male and female. I was told by my principal that I was to avoid using any image that included exposed breasts. She did not mention genitals but the message was clear. Check with your administration as to the school’s policy regarding such matters. If a painting or sculpture includes nudity, it is possible to present important details without showing the whole work.

Before you initiate this discipline in your environment, I suggest you go to your school library and then your community library to request any books about the history of art written for children.

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