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What Others Think

Comedy is sprinkled throughout the lessons. At first, I was a bit put off by the silliness. But then I realized it had two benefits – 1) my kids enjoyed it! It cracked them up and often lead to them asking me to reread certain parts (hello repetition!). And 2) because they enjoyed looking at the pictures and listening to the silly stories, they look forward to our next lesson. That in and of itself is a huge feat.

—JenniferThou Shalt Not Whine

American Art History, Volume I is much more creative than the title indicates. For each of the sixteen topics, Draeger creates fictionalized news reports, interviews, cartoons, advertisements, and other material that is often humorous.

All of the books are printed in full color and are heavily illustrated—very visually appealing.

The subtitle of this series is ‘Art History Disguised as Fun,’ and this course certainly lives up to that.

—Cathy DuffyCathy Duffy Reviews

This isn’t so much a book that you read aloud, as it is one you sit down with and just enjoy. Bug can read it independently, and Mr. Man likes to sit with me on the couch to look at it with me. It’s graphics heavy, beautifully designed, and fun. Since this is a book you just get to sit down and enjoy, there is very little teaching you have to do. You won’t find complicated lesson plans here. All you need to do is enjoy the reading and pictures in the main text, and then enjoy drawing the art with your kids.

—HeatherOnly Passionate Curiosity

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  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Grades: 3 – 8

The art history curriculum is academic, substantial and fun! It is designed to be used once a week for a 16 week semester; each week's lesson takes about 2 hours and is very easy to teach – very little preparation needed. There are three books for each semester. You simply:

  1. Play the bingo game
  2. Read the chapter in American Art History (includes games, faux newspaper articles/advertisements and much more)
  3. Draw the piece of art.

Only one set is needed per family.

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Sample Pages

In this Volume:

  • Prehistoric Art
  • Mound Builder Art
  • Native Southwestern Art
  • Iroquois Art
  • Taino Art
  • John White
  • Early Virginian Art
  • Colonial Portraiture
  • Matthew Pratt
  • Spanish Colonial Architecture
  • Benjamin West
  • John Singleton Copley
  • Paul Revere
  • Charles Wilson Peale
  • Raphael Peale
  • Gilbert Stuart

The Book

The book, American Art History: Volume I, is arranged chronologically and divided into sixteen chapters, each chapter introducing two pieces of art. One chapter should be read each week. Chapters can be read individually or aloud. Students often enjoy taking turns reading the articles aloud as a group. Teachers or parents can instigate discussions by helping to define difficult vocabulary or by asking students what is real in the article and what is added for comic effect.

The Forgery Game

Each chapter includes two Forgery games at the end. The games are simple: compare the real work of art to the “forgery” on the facing page and try to find ten differences. This game can be played by students individually or as a group in a classroom setting. In a group students often enjoy competing against each other to see who can find all ten differences first.The game allows children to enjoy studying art, and entices them to thoroughly examine each work of art. By spending time comparing two images, students spend time studying the art in close detail.

The Bingo Game

The American Art Bingo, Volume I provides an invaluable review, and should be played from the first through the sixteenth week. As the semester progresses the game both reviews what the art students have already studied in the earlier chapters and previews art to be studied in the future. As the teacher/parent holds up each image and calls out the name, location and date of the artwork, students inadvertently memorize the information about each piece.

The Drawing Projects

Finally, the projects in Drawing American Art: Volume I, allow students to kinesthetically examine a piece of art in minute detail. Provided with easy step-by-step instructions, all students can produce an impressive reproduction of one of the artworks from each chapter.