I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the greatest art teacher. My creativity is better expressed through a mouse and keyboard than with traditional art supplies; however, I want my children to be artistically more well-rounded than their mother.
Spears Art Studio offers Christian-based art curriculum for both K-8 and high school level. They can be purchased in either CD-ROM format with PDF files (works for both PC and Mac users) or hardcover in a three-ring binder (printing is in black and white). Sample PDF lessons are available for download on the website.
One of the most impressive things is the organization of the lessons. For instance, in the K-8 program there are weekly themed lessons for a September–May school year consisting of 269 art activities. Wow! The program includes a comprehensive list of skills addressed; a “Student Evaluation by Teacher” rubric; and instructor preparation materials for teaching art, such as “How to Analyze Artwork,” and “Art Appreciation and Art History;” and a detailed Scope and Sequence for each grade level. The introduction includes sand, clay, and glaze recipes, as well as tips about various art mediums and techniques. The appendix contains a comprehensive supply list for the year (color-coded to indicate which materials are needed for the beginning of the school year in September) and a six page visual arts glossary.
It is recommended that one of the following (included) evaluation forms be used for each lesson:
- Rubric – teacher’s evaluation sheet in the Introduction
- Student Evaluation – students self-assess to determine if lesson objectives were met
- Class Critique – students choose artworks from a class line-up that meet the objectives
- Written – students write about their art piece.
Follow along with us as we complete one of the December week 2 lessons. Here is an overview from the PDF files. The first page is the December week 2 overview, the second is the specific lesson we did:
For my preparation, I gathered and sharpened colored pencils; printed the coloring sheet (blank page with Joy to the World lyrics printed on it); searched our art library and the internet for recommended images list (we found three of the four online); and located Joy to the World online for listening (I chose Faith Hill’s version from her new Christmas CD – see bottom of post to listen).
We studied the recommended art images and discussed them: How did the artist use lines, shapes, color? What is the strongest part of the picture? What mood or emotion is portrayed? The Bible verses for this lesson, Luke 6:38 and 2 Corinthians 9:7, are about giving. We talked about the reason we celebrate Christmas, the motivation for giving, and the concepts of a cheerful giver and giving without expectation of return. I like the multi-faceted nature of the lesson, an art lesson and Bible/character study rolled into one.
Next we talked about the lesson: illustrating a Christmas hymn. We listened to Joy to the World, paying careful attention to the lyrics, and then the kids did their artwork. I liked the fact that not only were they to illustrate the hymn, but also the frame area, too.
Spears Art Studio is packed with lessons of varying difficulties and seasonal themes for a September–May school year. Teacher resources are plentiful, just be sure to have the recommended art supplies as well as well as art books on hand to show the recommended images for each week. For us, there are enough ideas here to spread easily over multiple school years.