Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Global Art from Gryphon House: Review

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There is nothing more fun for my girls than an art project. I've admitted it before...art isn't my favorite area of teaching. I like the outcome, but the effort to get everything going and be a frustrating point for me. The best art projects are ones I can use with all three girls at the same time, use your average art materials I already have on hand, and most importantly connect to their learning. I have found all three to hold true for Global Art from Gryphon House

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Global art is intended to use with elementary age students (k-5) but I have found the majority of these activities can be used as written or moderately adapted for younger children. Although I didn't use this with older students Art is typically adaptable to almost any age and I think many of these projects could work well with middle school students. This book costs $16.95 which is an incredibly reasonable price for the great number of projects ideas available.

Each project includes geographical, scientific and/or cultural information which brings all sorts of conversations to the table as the girls created their masterpieces. I love how easy this book is to incorporate with whatever history or geography we are studying. I simply look in the table of contents for the country or continent we are studying and choose which project we want to do. 

One of the projects we did was from Antarctica. We've been having quite the heat wave here in the South, so I thought thinking about cooler areas of the world would be fun! I adapted the project so all three were able to enjoy themselves. We first talked about where Antarctica was and why no one lived there. Then I read the short paragraph on how snowflakes are formed by small ice crystals. 

Then they got to work! First they painted snowflakes and then sprinkled them with salt. The idea is the salt would change and form crystals. To say the girls love to paint is an understatement. They spent a long time working on their creations and really enjoyed adding salt as they went along. 

First they painted a small portion of the snowflake and while it was still wet added the salt. 

Grace enjoyed this part! She kept picking colors that weren't very bright, but she didn't seem to mind!

Beth tried several different ways of doing this particular art project. She likes to see how things will work different ways. For some parts she put the salt on first and then painted. Sometimes she followed the directions. Sometimes she added a lot of water on top of the salt. She's my little experimenter! 

The effort all three of my girls put into this was fun to watch. They were focused and excited for the entire 30 minutes they worked. I loved listening to the conversation between them about how the salt was acting on their papers, how they liked each other's color choices, and what it might be like to live where there is always snow. I was once again reminded of the reason art is important. Creativity inspires learning and it was a lovely bonding moment for the three of them. 

The final project! 
Gryphon house has an abundance of resources and after reviewing just this one book I have been very impressed. Not only will I be using this throughout our homeschooling, I'm also looking forward to using it during missions lessons with the children at our church. As we learn about missions around the world and focus on different countries I am looking forward to using a lot of these projects. Art which engages and encourages learning is always welcome in our home!

Don't forget to check out the other reviews from my Crewmates!

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