Tea Time with Rene Magritte

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Photo from renemagritte.org

Rene Magritte was born in Belgium on November 21, 1898.  He attended art school when he was in his late teens, but didn’t begin to paint in the surrealist style for which he is known until his twenties.  When he was starting out as an artist, he took on other jobs to make ends meet, like designing wallpaper and making advertisements.  Magritte and his wife, Georgette, moved to Paris in 1927 to work with other Surrealist artists, but he didn’t get along with the others well and eventually they moved back to Belgium.  Magritte passed away in 1967.

Books We Read

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If you’ve read any of my previous tea time posts, you know I’m a big fan of Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know…series.  These kid-friendly biographies are a great way to introduce artists and give a good overview of their style.  There are also some great picture books out there based on the works of different artists and I like to share those when I can, too!

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Magritte’s Marvelous Hat is a really cool book that includes several overlays that change the pictures.

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The first view…

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And then when the overlay is moved, it looks like this!  My kids thought this was pretty cool–and with some overhead transparencies, it might be fun to try your own!

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In Dinner at Magritte’s a young boy visits his neighbor, Magritte, who has Salvador Dali over for a visit.  The pictures in this book pay homage to some of the artist’s paintings, like the one above and this painting.  My kids enjoyed looking at the details in all of the illustrations and trying to figure out which of Magritte’s paintings they matched.

Projects We Tried

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The first project we tried was this fun positive/negative space activity from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.

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My kids really enjoyed making these self portraits (inspired by this painting).

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I liked the idea this blogger had to recreate “The Future of Statues“, but I wasn’t sure about where I could store two styrofoam heads, so we improvised and made our faces from Model Magic and then painted them.

If you’re looking for a fun artist to really draw your kids in, Magritte is a great one to study!

Tea Time with Shakespeare

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April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day!

What a fantastic opportunity to enjoy Tea Time with William Shakespeare.

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William Shakespeare, the greatest of English poets, was born at Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. He is supposed to have been educated at the free school of Stratford. At 18 years old he married Anne Hathaway. Four years later William and Anne moved to London, where they initially struggled with poverty. William got his foot in the door at local theaters, first by holding horses at the doors, then becoming an actor, and then a successful playwright and theater manager. During the years 1593-1594, the theaters were closed due to the plague, so William spent his time writing and publishing poems.

The next twenty years he spent in London as an actor, and in writing poems and plays, later becoming a shareholder as well as an actor. His works consisted of approximately 38 plays, ranging from the lightest comedy, through romance and historical narrative, to the darkest tragedy, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Having gained not only fame but a modest fortune, he retired in 1611 to live at ease in Stratford until his death on April 23, 1616 at the age of fifty-two.

Activities:

Read:

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Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E. Nesbitt

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Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield

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Tales From Shakespeare by Charles & Mary Lamb
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William Shakespeare and the Globe by Aliki

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 Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley

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Shakespeare – His Work and His World by Michael Rosen and Robert Ingpen

Watch:

Any one of Shakespeare’s numerous plays put on film. Many full length films can be found for free on youtube.com. (Caution: some include mature themes)

Complete:

Shakespeare Plays Notebook Pages

Notebook Pages for many of Shakespeare’s major works are provided for student to complete independently. These can be used along with the original plays, the plays in story form, or the plays in movie form. Read and/or watch the plays with your child, and then let him complete report on his own.

Record what you learn about William Shakespeare on:

Shakespeare Notebook Page

Extend your Tea Time with:

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Resources from Homeschool Share’s

Renaissance and Reformation Connections page

talk like shakespeareActivities and resources from Talk Like Shakespeare web site.

For a Tea Time Treat:

Have an English tea with hot tea, cream and sugar, and scones.

 

Tea Time with Great Poets

Tea Time with Great Poets from the Homeschool Share Blog

Sometimes it’s hard to find a way to introduce poetry to your students–especially when you don’t really enjoy poetry. We have made your job a little bit easier here on the Homeschool Share Blog by giving you lots of Tea Time ideas. If you browse the list below, you will find biographical information, books to read, ideas for tea time treats, and some printables pages, too.

You can simply present the poets and poems to your student by reading to them while gathered round a table with some candles, tea, and treats. Delightful!

You can also take the ideas in the list below and easily turn them into a Tea Time with Great Poets class for your homeschool co-op.

Tea Time with Great Poets

Basho (1644-1694)

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878)

Mary Howitt (1799 – 1888)

Lydia Marie Child (1802 – 1880)

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882

Edward Lear (1812-1888)

Robert Browning (1812-1889)

John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886)

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)

Joaquin Miller (1837-1913)

William Dean Howells (1837-1920)

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)

Edgar Guest (1881-1959)

What poets would you like to see in future tea time posts?

Tea Time with Great Artists

Have you tried Tea Time yet?  Brew a hot pot of tea (or mix up some cold lemonade), light some candles, read some books together, eat a delicious snack, and then, if you are inspired, try an art activity. Tea Time can be a special memory making time in your homeschool.

Tea Time with Great Artists (would make a fabulous homeschool co-op class!) from Walking by the Way

Another way to incorporate Tea Time is to facilitate a class at your local co-op. If you don’t have co-op, find a few families and take turns hosting Tea Times. Once you try it, you will probably be hooked! It won’t be hard to start a Tea Time with Great Artists class because we already have ideas ready for you; check the artists list below to find biography information, book title suggestions, snack suggestions, and art project ideas.

Artists –

Michelangelo (1475 – 1564)

Raphael (1483-1520)

John Singleton Copley (1738-1815)

John James Audubon 1785-1851

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

Van Gogh (1853-1890)

Grandma Moses (1860 –1961)

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944)

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Paul Klee (1879 – 1940)

Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 – 1986)

 Norman Rockwell (1894 –1978)

Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976)

Rene Magritte (1898 – 1967)

Jackson Pollock (1912 –1956)

Roy Lichtenstein (1923 – 1997)

Andy Warhol (1928 –1987)

Enjoy learning about these amazing artists while at the same time inspiring yours!

Tea Time with Roy Lichtenstein

Roy_LichtensteinRoy Lichtenstein by Eric Koch

Roy Lichtenstein was born October 27, 1923 in New York City.  As a child, he was interested in science and art, and after studying art in college, he became an art teacher.  At this time, Abstract Expressionism was very popular and much of his early work was in this style, but one day he made a large painting of a cartoon with Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse.  Not only was this painting very different from his previous work, but he tried very hard to make it look like a printed image instead of a painting, even going so far as to paint Ben-Day dots on the picture.

Lichtenstein made more paintings based on comic books and advertisements and took his work to an art dealer.  Right around this same time, an artist named Andy Warhol also brought his work to the same dealer, who realized this was a big change for the art world!  Lichtenstein’s work was not well received at first because most people didn’t understand Pop Art and what he was trying to do.  As time passed, though, people began to see that these weren’t just copies of comic book panels; they were original creations that were interesting and fun to look at.  By the time he passed away in 1997, Roy Lichtenstein was a very successful artist.

Lichtenstein BooksThere are some great books on Roy Lichtenstein that are geared toward kids.  We enjoyed:

3We tried making comic balloons following the plans at Kids Artists.  The words took a fair amount of time, so we did this project over two sessions.

4We made Lichtenstein-inspired landscapes based on this activity from Rainy Day Mum.  Instead of dot markers, though, we used pencil erasers in ink to make nice, uniform dots.

5My favorite project was the Lichtenstein Style Portraits from Art Projects for Kids.  There is a template there to download, so you just draw the picture and color in the dots.  It is time consuming–you can see I never got mine completed!–but it was fun to do.

6This is the one my five year old did!

If you’re looking for more project ideas, try this low prep activity at Art History Kids.  All you have to do is print the page and go!

7I always like to take my kids to see some of the artist’s work in person if I can, so when we studied Roy Lichtenstein we took a trip to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  If you are ever in the area, this museum is full of amazing artists.  We love it!

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And if you’re not near any museums with Lichtenstein’s work, don’t worry!  My son came back from the restroom at Red Robin one day and informed me that there was a Lichtenstein in the back hallway and sure enough, there was!  I’ve made a point to look at every location we’ve visited and I’ve always found at least one, so take a lunch field trip and see if you can find one!