Please welcome Kym to my blog today. A displaced Canadian, lending a hand on my blog, helping to share one of her favourite art books. :) Pretty cool eh?
I'm so excited to be joining Annette today to tell you about one of our favorite resources that combines art and social studies. I discovered Geography Through Art by Sharon Jeffus and Jamie Aramini a number of years ago at a homeschool curriculum fair and thought it might come in handy at some point. What an understatement! It has turned out to be a great supplement for our social studies over several years , and provided inspiration for a co-op class I was able to co-teach. It could also be used as a full art curriculum or art-based geography curriculum. This book offers over 100 art projects using various media and techniques, and these projects are inspired by animals, landmarks, and traditional folk arts from all over the world.
The book opens with some general geography information and a couple of related projects - making an "aged" map, and a study of using negative space in art.
From then on, the projects are organized by continents and by the country that is the inspiration for each project. Not every country or culture is represented, of course, but the different regions of each continent are pretty well covered. Each chapter opens with a map of the continent, along with a summary of the geographical features and some other general information. The pages following give a little background information on the culture, history, or geography of the featured countries; and instructions for various art projects. The projects include sketching animals and landmarks; and other projects inspired by the folk art of the regions, so there is a variety of sculpture, painting, paper-cutting, print-making, collage, and carving. There are projects that are suitable for a range of ages and skill levels.
A feature called "Cultural Connection" appears throughout the book. These tidbits highlight how different cultures are related to each other in the folk art techniques. For instance, paper-cutting from China, from Poland, and from Mexico is discussed and the question of why paper-cutting is a popular art form across different cultures.
Whether you need an occasional art project to round out your geography or social studies coursework, or a year-long geography and art combination curriculum, I think Geography Through Art is worth a look. I hope you get as many great ideas from it as we have so far!
Kym is in her 19th year of homeschooling, and now has just one student, the oldest three having graduated. She and her husband of 29 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.