Inside: You don’t have to avoid art history for kids any more! HIGASFY has made it so easy and fun!
Art history for kids has always been a subject I’m not comfortable teaching in my homeschool. It’s an area I don’t know a lot about or have a background in. And not only that, it’s boring and feels like watching paint dry. Because of that, I shy away from it. At the same time, I want to expose my children to art and even be able to recognize some pieces when they come across them. So how do I do that?
I reviewed HIGASFY Art History Video Series and found the answer. It’s an online subscription to an art history program where Mrs. Beth does the teaching for you through videos. Mrs. Beth, along with her adorable sidekick Gasfy (a talking drop of paint), introduces children to art history in a fun and engaging way. You don’t have to know a thing about art! In fact, you can learn right alongside your kids.
What Do You Get with HIGASFY’s Art History for Kids?
Included in a HIGASFY subscription are four art eras: Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist. Through a series of 12 videos, your child will learn about the time period, how the art was influenced or changed, and three famous artists from that period.
The curriculum bundle includes the following:
Each video lesson is about 20-30 minutes long. HIGASFY is intended for grades first through eighth, so if you have younger children watching or one with a short attention span, you can split the video into two lessons if you think it will be too long. However, Mrs. Beth presents the lessons in a story format, which is why it’s called HIGASFY (Have I Got a Story for You), and they are very interesting. She does an excellent job of taking a subject that can sometimes seem boring and makes it fun.
While Mrs. Beth’s sidekick, Gasfy, appeals to the little ones, one thing to note is he only makes short appearances and doesn’t make this too childish for your middle schoolers. He’s quite funny at times. My seventh-grader had no problem with him and thought he was cute.
There is a complete set of lesson plans you can download from the for each era. A video corresponds with 12 of the16 lessons. The other four lessons focus on creating an art portfolio, free draw, activities and worksheets, and an assessment in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.
Most lessons include these four basic parts:
Objectives– Every lesson has a list of objectives which tells you what is covered.
Suggested Activities– Each lesson has a list of activities to choose from. The author includes links when it’s necessary for the student to look at different works of art online. There are also worksheets your child can complete for some activities. While the worksheets are beautiful, because many include the color version of the art, you will need to have a good printer that doesn’t cost a lot for ink to print them out. It’s worth it if you do. An option would be to leave them on the screen and have your student give the answers orally.
Some of the activities include:
- Using a variety of mediums to create their own art
- Taking pictures
- Arts and crafts
- Visiting an art museum online or in person
- Playing games
- Crossword puzzles
- Word searches
Critical Thinking– This section includes a set of questions to answer. There is no right or wrong answer to these. They get your child thinking and can also be used for discussions.
List of Vocabulary– All vocabulary words mentioned in the video are listed with their definitions. I found this list to be very useful. There are a lot of words your child may not be familiar with when learning about art and its history and it’s nice to be able to go back and reference them.
Writing Assignment– Most lessons include an opportunity for your child to write about what he has learned. Many of these are written for advanced or older students, but occasionally she gives different options so your younger ones can take part as well. You can choose what’s best for your student’s age and ability.
Besides those four areas above, geography, history, science, Bible, and group activities are also included at times.
“Name that Artist” Game
After a unit is completed, there is a “Name that Artist” game your child can play to see what he remembers about the different works he learned. It’s set up as a PowerPoint slideshow. It will show the artwork first for your child to guess who created it, and then he can hit the spacebar to reveal the answer. This is the perfect format to use with colorful pictures of art and you can use it with all your students at the same time or independently.
The bundle includes a set of flashcards for each era. You can print and laminate them to use for review. An easy way to store them would be on a metal ring. If you printed two sets, students could also use these for a game. There are two cards per page and they would require a lot of color ink to print so you will need a good printer with inexpensive ink. They are worth it if you can print them.
Our Experience with this Art Education
I was surprised by this curriculum and how professional the videos are. A lot of time and effort has gone into making them. My girls loved GASFY! He is an adorable character that adds some fun and humor to a subject that can be dry.
The stories are interesting and kept my kids’ attention. While the videos aren’t long (20-30 minutes) we split them into two sessions a few times because of my youngest daughter’s attention span. I wanted her to stay focused and if I thought she was getting tired, we stopped before she lost interest. This was helpful and kept her engaged.
Mrs. Beth does a great job of using vocabulary and art terms during the stories while also explaining them in a way children will understand. The list of vocabulary included with each lesson is also great to refer to if the students need to review them.
We enjoyed the Name that Artist game. My daughters did it at the same time and tried to see who was the first person to call out the name of the artist and/or work of art. I liked the fact that they could check their own answers.
This program really took the scary factor out of teaching art history for kids and made it enjoyable. I am thrilled to have found it. I no longer have to avoid teaching this subject and my kids can learn about art history in a fun way that doesn’t feel like watching paint dry.
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