Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Exploration Co-op Curriculum and Lapbook

This is phase two of my curriculum creations for our co-op this semester. The ladies in our leadership group decided for our co-op to do an art class this semester. We did not want just any kind of art class. We wanted an art class that touched on art history as well as hands-on art activities. The curriculum and corresponding lapbook are my attempts to touch on all of the areas that these ladies wanted to explore in our art curriculum this year.

I decided to hit a few of the major artists- there are so many! I chose Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, and Pollock because of their vast differences from each other.

The lapbook and curriculum begin with mini books on the elements of art and mediums of art. The kids did a great edible color wheel project that I found on This is a great art lesson plan site. I found many of the hands-on activities that we will be doing on this site.

After this lesson, we get into the nuts and bolts, so to speak, of the art history. Every two weeks or so the kids learn about a new artist, their movement, and their famous works. I created mini books to go along with each of these aspects. One week they learn about the artist, etc and then the next week the create a masterpiece of their own based upon one of the artist's own masterpieces.

Here is an example of the kids' rendition of Monet's "Waterlilies".

We are culminating our co-op study with a visit to the local art museum for a Da Vinci exhibit.

Here are some of the web sites that I found during my research that are just awesome! I hope you have fun exploring!:)
Art Exploration - great lessons (we incorporated some of them) plans Museum of Modern Art audio tours Van Gogh blog with a lot of great links on Da Vinci Da Vinci activities and games encyclopedia of artists and movements drawing class links to other art sites - blog with great art projects - art links lessons on famous paintings notebooking pages 36 week art curriculum famous American artists lessons - Rembrandt Teaching Project Rembrandt lesson plans - bookmarks to more sites bookmark to more sites Art Takes Time Picasso Complete Courses K-12 Complete Course adaptable K-12 List of units based on the What my “nth” grader needs to know book series.
· Collections of Lesson Plans
1. K-12
5. Key term art returned 16000+ activities lessons and units
6. 213 lessons
7. Activities designed to meet specific Standards!
12. with
25. Search for Art got 61 results mot with usable sample pages.
26. Some activities require membership.
· Individual lessons
1. Starry Night

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Co-op Classes- Dissection

This semester at our co-op we are doing dissecting and art with our elementary age kids. It is an awesome opportunity for our kids to get inside a few animals and learn about art masters while painting a few masterpieces of their own! Well, to be honest, the dissecting idea received an all around "yuck" in my house- even from the boys, which surprised me. What boy doesn't want to touch something slimy and gross? Mine, obviously!

After searching the Internet for hours and coming up empty, I put together a few things to use for our curriculum and I thought it would be nice to share in case anyone else out there could benefit. For the younger elementary kids I thought that a lapbook would be more fun than traditional "worksheets". I found a treasure trove of mini books that I could incorporate at ( Since the specimens that we are doing are an earthworm, frog, perch, and sheep's brain, I used related mini books for each of the animals for the lapbook. For example:

Earthworm: Tunnel Travels @

You get the idea! I just searched for mini books that would go along with the animal we were studying and/or classification. Our co-op moms wanted to include a comparison of human body systems to those of the specified animals, so I included mini books and the body systems and brain.

For the older kids, I created "worksheets" to go along with the curriculum. For each specimen we begin by discussing classification, then the specific ecosystem of the specimen, and finally the body system that we will focus on for the specimen. The worksheets reflect those aspects. I also included a KWL sheet for each specimen and a T-chart that focuses on the similarities and differences between the animal body system and the human body system. I would like to post these in a file somewhere in Internet land so that others can use them but I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet!:)

While gathering all of my information, I found these web sites that could be used as supplemental material for a dissection curriculum. I hope they are helpful for you. - classification notebooking pages - classification class (ongoing- join anytime) - animal notebook - animal videos - human body systems human body lesson plans blog with free human body lapbook - squidoo lens on human body biomes and ecosystems - we used some of this book in ours classification lapbook - virtual dissections, labs, and field trips Literature based unit studies provide a memorable reference point from which to teach your students the basics of the Animal Kingdom's Classification System. animal games - animal videos frog life cycle Ecosystem compatision- Desert and Rainforest every kids of virtual dissection desert animals lapbook animal classification hangman game classification games - sheep brain virtual dissection sheep brain virtual dissection ecosystem diorama plans frog life cylce - virtual zoo - This is a virtual earthworm dissection. - The website below has over 80 videos on dissection. Be aware that most of the videos are on dissecting a human body. However, they do have dissection videos on the eye of a cow, frogs, a sheep brain, chicken wing, the heart and lungs of a lamb, a cat, a shark, and a salamander. -Gross things unit study including dissections