Publisher: Geography Matters
Authors: Sharon Jeffus, Jamie Aramini
Illustrator: Kathy Wright
Price: Softcover: $19.95 - Purchase Here
Other Notes: 189 pages.
Homeschool, curriculum based or unschooled, it matters not, if you want your children to learn and remember world geography, this is an innovative way to incorporate knowledge about the world into your child’s awareness.
Geography Through Art: International Art Projects for Kids may serve as your geography lessons or as the basis for a personally designed curriculum. This remarkable work is friendly to whatever your children’s learning style or your homeschool philosophy.
Preparation is the key to learning so many things and art is no different. Preparation is the key to using this book to its fullest. To best prepare the reader for using this book, the authors have given the reader/teacher 10 pages of introduction and instruction. There are particular points of interest within this book including Quick Sketch, Artist Profiles, Culture Connection, Internet Resources, Country Menus, and Difficulty Level indicators. Creating a geography notebook is highly recommended and can be made from a three-ring binder to include maps (mapping ideas and suggestions), world fact sheets, and notes from suggested resources. Art tips include reminders about color wheels, drawing, oil pastels, chalk pastels, painting, watercolor, tempera, modeling clay, other types of clay, and general safety tips. Teaching tips include ways of thinking about the process to excite the kids as well as expand the learning experience. Still more teaching tips provide a way to use this text to teach medium to large size groups of students. The supply list for a well-stocked art class is invaluable. All this great material before the learning even starts.
Beginning with the world as a whole, the young artists will enjoy learning about the globe on which we live with fun facts that will stump most adults. The art lessons include paper-mache, and positive and negative space.
Africa, the second largest continent, had a variety of art to imitate from masks to animal effigies in the archetypal tradition. Remember Egypt is also on the African continent, so there are lessons on hieroglyphics, drawing style, and reliefs.
The various geographic areas found on the continent of Asia have such a long fascinating history that students will be inspired as they experience Chinese paper cutting, attempt tangram puzzles, and admire the terracotta soldiers of China. India is also on the Asian continent with lessons including batik fabric design, as well as, architecture appreciation focusing on the Taj Mahal. Just as Asia is expansive, so are these lessons as they also include Japanese and Russian art projects.
Australia always serves as the example of how different life can be on our planet and the artwork from that continent reflects the natural wonders of Australia. Make boomerangs and didgeridoos or draw some of the unusual animals like the anteater or kangaroo.
Europe has a bit from each of the prominent cultural areas: England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine. Edible art is always popular with students. They’ll enjoy building a gingerbread house and eating this particular recipe that uses graham crackers for the walls. European stylized art especially signage for innkeepers or cobblers harkens to a pre-literate time that used symbols instead of script to communicate. Kids will appreciate how our society has come full circle using some of the same imagery in computer icons to communicate similar messages.
North American indigenous art techniques from Mexican, Guatemalan, and Eskimo cultures show the variety of cultural art before Europeans arrived on the continent. You’ll also explorer the cultural art forms that flourished after the Europeans arrived, including the Pennsylvania Dutch Symbols, American fabric art of the patchwork quilt and farm girl cornhusk dolls. What look at America would be complete without a look at city life through structure and cityscape?
The final section devoted to South America includes nature art, as well as cultural art of Brazil and Chile among others. The statues of Easter Island make an interesting study of perspective and distance. Teachers need not be crafty themselves, just willing to follow directions and let the students go for it! Lots of fun and learning can happen using Geography Through Art as your guide.
Review by: Kate O'Mara
Kate O'Mara writes about history and other fascinating tidbits from a place she lovingly calls "the dungeon." When Kate Blogs