Thursday, October 29, 2015

Our kids spend so much time learning to read and to calculate in elementary school. There is hardly enough time left to explore art, geography or history. This is why we supplement many subjects at home, and today I want to share a Pablo Picasso mini-unit incorporating reading, art, history, and geography. This post is written for Teach Second Grade blogging team where the topic of the week is Great Artists
An artist study for elementary school
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Read a Book

Second graders are expected to be reading biographies and learn about people who changed the world. Depending on your child’s reading level, I can recommend three different books about Pablo Picasso.
Picasso Girl with a Ponytail
Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail by Lawrence Anholt is a picture book about an unusual friendship of a famous artist and a young girl who becomes his model. It’s an engaging story about how artists see beauty around themselves and how they transform the world through their paintings.
I found Who Was… biography books when Smarty was in the first grade, and she really enjoyed them. She explained to me that these books don’t just tell what the person did, but also give “fun facts” about this person.
Venezia Picasso
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists by Mike Venezia is another great biography series which features playful cartoons highlighting the story. I actually enjoyed this book most because it included pictures of Pablo Picasso’s art.

Look at the Map

Pablo Picasso was born in Spain and spent most of his life in France. It’s a good opportunity to look at the map of Europe and find these countries.  We talked about capitals of both countries and about the famous art museums of Madrid and Paris, Prada Museum and the Louvre. We also talked about the languages and how many people in Europe speak fluently more than one language.

Discuss History

Pablo Picasso was “blessed” with living through turbulent times of Civil War in Spain, two world wars, and the Cold War. Biography books mention these events and you can dive into them as deep as it’s comfortable and interesting for your kids. Smarty found it fascinating that Picasso was a passionate critic of wars and a member of Communist Party, just like her Dedushka (Grandfather).

Make Art

Of course, talking about Picasso and his innovations in art is impossible without making art yourself. Smarty enjoyed making her self-portrait in Picasso style.

More Picasso Inspired Art Projects for Kids

Follow my Pinterest board Learn About Great Artists

Your Turn

An art unit study for elementary school: Pablo Picasso

Who is your favorite artist?

Teach Second Grade

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Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

This could become an awesome unit!! I love all the rescources you included!!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Funny, I was just watching a Ted Talk by Fred Penner, a chilren's entertainer we used to love, talking about the importance of music and the arts in children's education. It was challenging, and right along this line.

Great biography choices!

Ticia said...

We were just doing some artist studies these past couple of weeks.