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Art History Thanksgiving Project!

  • November 20, 2018
  • By Donielle
Art History Thanksgiving Project!

Turkey artworkHappy Thanksgiving!  I am sending out this post early this week, so you have time to do this Thanksgiving art project.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

I never do art projects for their cuteness. It is part of my efficiency rule. Projects have to have some educational value or brain development benefit. And just today, from the brain of my brilliant friend, Meegan, a gorgeous, fun, and educational Thanksgiving art project has come to my attention. I just had to share it!  Here is an Art History or Appreciation project to grace your Thanksgiving table.

The Art Project

We used markers, watercolors, and pastels.  You can do this as simply or as elaborately as you wish!  We used sturdy paper to handle watercolors.  You can use what you have on hand.  As we have been studying art history in our co-op, we have taken a look at each of the artist’s styles.  The kids were tasked with creating a Thanksgiving turkey in several distinct art styles.  Most of them fit about six turkeys on a page.  Think about it:  If Van Gogh were to paint a Thanksgiving turkey, what would it look like?  How about Picasso?  Meegan had some examples to share, but mostly she let the kids run wild with the timeline of artists they have studied.

I always recommend the highest quality art materials that you can comfortably afford.  Low quality colored pencils, like Crayola or Rose Art are very frustrating.  We like Prismacolor pencils (affiliate link)!

035967: Prisma Primier Colored Pencils Tin (Set of 12 Colors)Prisma Primier Colored Pencils Tin (Set of 12 Colors)

The Artists

The student example pictured made use of (starting with the top row) Picasso in its deconstructed cube turkey, Van Gogh in its turkey made of swirls, Frank Stella in its funky, primary colored lines and geometric shapes, Jackson Pollock in its turkey made of splashes and splotches, Britto in its brightly colored, mosaical turkey, and finally, Georges Seurat in its pointillism turkey made of tiny dots.  Other kids drew Degas turkeys in ballet skirts, Magritte turkeys with apple faces, Dada turkeys with a banana for a body, or blurry Monet turkeys.  There were ideas thrown around about Mary Cassatt mama and baby turkeys and Giotto turkeys with halos.

Adapting the Art Lesson

Of course, this art lesson can be adapted for other occasions and holidays.  Melting Dali Christmas trees or black and neon Easters eggs in Warhol sets of four, anyone?  Cubist pumpkins or impressionist Valentines hearts?  Oooooo, the possibilities are endless! Check out our Art Styles Valentines Tutorial below:

Everyday items that are drawing standards for children can take on new life, like Munch family portraits, Matisse houses, and Dutch Master puppies.  You can do what our co-op does on a regular basis and keep a timeline of each artist studied, by writing the artist’s name in his or her own style!

You may find my posts on teaching art helpful: Making Art Museums Fun and Babies Love Art.  This is a cute little project for your fridge that is definitely worth the time.  It will reinforce art lessons previously taught, or be a vehicle to explore art styles with your students.  I am thinking of laminating them for Thanksgiving dinner placements.   I would love to see the results, so post them in the comments!

By Donielle, November 20, 2018
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