Review of Global Art from Gryphon House

I had never heard of the publisher Gryphon House before I did this review. But the description of the Global Art book really caught my eye.
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I received for review Global Art, a paperback book that sells for $16.95. There is not a grade level listed with the book, but there is a section to click and find out what state and Common Core standards the book conforms to, and the standards listed are for kindergarten. I did the activities with my 7 and 9 year olds, and they enjoyed it. I would think any Kindergarten or Early Elementary child would really like this. Even my 14 year old participated in one project. (But she loves arts and crafts!)

 photo GH_18827_zps7156a47e.jpgThe book is filled with art activities that go along with cultures from different continents. It is organized by continent. Each activity has a brief description about the culture it comes from, a list of materials, and instructions for doing the activity. There is also a picture- drawn, not a picture of the completed project- for each activity.

I really liked the idea of this book because I thought I could use it as a resource to pull out anytime we were studying a particular country. The art activities in this book would be a good supplemental way to learn more about the country.

I also liked it because it fit great with a class we offered in our co-op last year for the younger grades- Cultures. In this class, the children learned about a different country each week. They ate food from the country and did an activity from the country. I thought if we offered the class again, this book would be a great resource for that.

There were quite a few things I liked as I used this to do some activities with my girls:

* Most of the activities were fairly simple. They were not multiple steps of having to do this, let it dry, come back and do this. A couple of them were a little more involved, but most of them were not.

* Because of this, many of the activities could be finished in a short time. I like to be able to choose a project, gather the materials, and then be able to complete the project in a short amount of time. The younger the child, the more important this is. Little children do not have long attention spans to work on a project.

* The activities seemed age appropriate. Keep in mind that I was doing them with kids at the upper range of the age level. But, I have had kindergartners. I have taught kindergartners- mine and others. And these activities seemed to be appropriate. There were some gluing skills, some cutting skill, some painting, some working with clay. All of these seemed age appropriate.

* Many of the materials were things I had at home in our craft supplies. Another caveat here- I keep a very LARGE stock of craft supplies. So if you don’t keep lots of craft things on hand you will especially need to plan ahead. I did need to purchase some modeling clay- which I don’t know why I didn’t have!- and some fabric scraps (for which I used felt sheets so we could use them for other things also). There were the standard- glue, scissors, paper, cardstock, crayons and markers, and a few times things like tempera paint or paper mache were required.

* The activities were varied. There was a wide range of things to do so that every activity wasn’t the same old things.

* I liked the way the book was divided by continent. Because there were quite a few activities for each continent, you had a choice. If you were studying a certain country and looked for an activity, there would be choices, so you could pick one that you had supplies for and that was age-appropriate for the kids doing it.

We weren’t studying a particular country this summer. So I chose activities that came from the places that we have missionaries from our prayer list. Our church supports many missionaries, and I am generally involved each year during our Missions Week. So the kids have met many missionaries over the years. We add these to a prayer list and pray for different ones each day in our Bible time. I like to teach the kids a bit about the places that each missionary lives. So I chose activities from those cultures.

One of our favorite activities was this Fiesta Mask from Peru. We have two missionary families in Peru that we pray for. My younger girls did this activity, and it was the one my older daughter wanted to join in.

In this activity we used modeling clay to shape a mask. The information in the book told about how these masks were used for various celebrations in Peru.

We had lots of fun with these activities, and I have big plans for using this book in the future.

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You can read what other Review Crew members thought by clicking below.


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