About a week ago I shared my strategies for homeschooling with a newborn. One of the strategies was to use unit studies. For the next month or two, all my kids will be participating in an Ancient Art and the Orchestra unit study.
In order to make planning easy for me, I am using Harmony Fine Arts Ancient Art and the Orchestra Unit Study plans. These plans are targeted for middle school (though she does have fine arts plans for all ages.) I also added Harmony Fine Arts 9th grade art appreciation plans in order to make this unit count for my highschooler. For my kindergartner on down, they participate on their own level. They usually listen to the music we are studying and also create art projects with us.
The music portion of the unit uses The Story of the Orchestra as the main book plus a list of other supplemental books dealing with specific instruments in the orchestra. The art portion uses Prehistoric Art by Susie Hodge and Ancient Greek Art by Susie Hodge plus a couple DK Eyewitness books. Barb also includes an option of including Artistic Pursuits Grade 4-6 curriculum in this unit study. This unit is designed to be a year-long unit, but we will be completing it in a couple of months since it will be one of our main subjects every day during our “getting used to a newborn” phase of schooling.
Each week we study a featured work in art. We read about it, look at various examples on the internet and then try to complete a project or sketch of the type of work. Then the older children also complete a notebooking page about the piece and include it in their unit notebook.
The art topics covered in this unit are:
Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Greek Art
Ancient Roman Art
North American Art
Here is our prehistoric art project. We studied cave paintings and then each child drew their own version of a cave painting. We improvised a little because it was suggested to draw them on a crinkled up brown paper bag. I didn’t have any on hand so we just used art paper. These projects will be included in their notebooks.
This is a 2yr. old version of a cave painting. If you can’t tell– it is a spider. 🙂 Yes, this is how we incorporate the little ones. They might not understand the assignment, but they love to experiment with art supplies along with us! I love how all ages were working at the table on this project together.
Since my 9th grader is also doing this unit study with us, I added the 9th grade art appreciation plans so that we can count this course as an elective study for her. My 9th grader will be using Sister Wendy’s The Story of Painting book, Sister Wendy: The Complete Collection DVD’s, and The Annotated Mona Lisa as spines for her art study. She will study Prehistory-3rd Century: Prehistoric, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Pre-Columbian, African, Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic.
The Orchestra Music Study
It’s a little harder to photograph what we are doing for the music study portion. We are listening to a lot of classical music! The Story of the Orchestra comes with a CD that we have been using along with music online. Each of my kids have a music section in their notebook where they write about what we are studying. The notebooking pages are included in the Harmony Fine Arts lessons with the exception of the composer notebooking page featured above. I downloaded that from The Notebooking Fairy. Here’s what the music portion covers:
Johann Sebastian Bach
George F. Handel (Hen-del)
Joseph Haydn (Hide-in)
Peter Tchaikovsky (chi-Cough-ski)
Richard Wagner (Vahg-ner)
Claude Debussy (de-bu-See)
Antonin Dvorak (D-Vor-zhack)
I am so thankful that Barb has done all the planning for me! Her lesson plans are complete and easy to implement. This unit requires minimal planning and preparation on my part– which is just what I need at this point in my life. You can view a sample of the lesson plans here. If you need to add a fine arts component to your homeschool, be sure to check out all that Harmony Fine Arts has to offer!
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