Sunday, January 11, 2009
This week in art class we looked at Raphael. Among his many great paintings, he painted St.George and the Dragon. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to get the boys excited about what they were drawing. In the study of Renaissance artists, there aren't all that many subjects for boys to get all that exited about that are also appropriate. Lots of portraits, religious paintings, and nudes. Dragons on the other hand are perfect for boys and girls. All the kids who tried this one did really well. I have omitted a few of the steps above just because of space. If you'd like the in between steps just leave me a comment and I'll get them to you.
As always, I like to let you know about ways you can expand these lessons to incorporate other aspects of a curriculum, and this lesson again can serve as a gateway to a wealth of learning...
Science: Dragons, could they have been another species of dinosaurs? What else could they have been? Explore the myths and legends surrounding these great mythological creatures.
History, Social Studies and Geography: Where and when are these legends coming from? What country and time period seems to have generated the majority of dragon lore? Learn about the Chinese New Year and what role dragons play in Chinese culture.
Language Arts and Literature: Read St. George and the Dragon, Retold by Margaret Hodges and Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman or Droofus the Dragon by Bill Peete for younger kids.
Write dragon poems and stories. Create your own dragon legends.
Math: Estimation; how many scales might have a dragon have? How big is a dragon and how many square inches does a scale cover, then estimate how many scales it would take to cover the whole dragon.
Art History: Learn more about Raphael at Art Smarts4 Kids or at Garden of Praise and try drawing your own dragons. The illustration at the beginning of this post was done with regular markers and blended with a blender marker.