Teaching Art History to Kindergartners


Art history is an expansive subject, comprising everything from cave drawings from millions of years ago to modern computer-generated art. Covering all of this history in a kindergartenhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png class would be impossible and over the heads of many of the students. However, you can introduce some simple art history concepts and let your students get involved in a few small aspects of art history.

Cave Drawings

Cave drawings are simplehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png but expressive pieces of art that can easily be emulated by your students. Show them pictures of cave drawings and discuss how the drawings were made and who made them. Give them each gray pieces of construction paper. This will simulate the look of the walls of caves. The students should crumble the paper up into a ball and then flatten it out. This gives the paper a wrinkled cave-wall look. Give them black crayons to color pictures. Tell them to focus on things that happen in their lives and things they enjoy doing. Explain that this was why cavemen drew cave drawings

Realism vs. Impressionism

Realism is an art movement that tries to replicate reality as closely as possible, while impressionism uses blurred colors and imperfect shapes. Even your young students can learn to identify the differences between the two styles. Briefly discuss the two different styles, describing realism as "looking real" and impressionism as being "fuzzy" or "hard to see." Show them examples of the two different styles so they grasp the concept. Place a picture on the overhead and ask them if it's "real" or if it is "fuzzy." Go through multiple pictures and then give them all printouts of the pictures to take homehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png and share with their parents.

Abstract Art

Teach your kids about abstract art while giving them a chance to make their own. Show your children some abstract art and explain that abstract art doesn't resemble anything. Give them art supplies such as crayons, markers, construction paper or even clay. Let them create their own abstract piece of art. Have each child show her art to the class and have her explain how it makes her feel. After everyone has shared his work, explain that abstract art can evoke feelings without looking like anything.

Famous Artists

Introduce your kindergartners to a few famous artists. Hand out worksheets with a picture of each famous artist next to a picture of her most famous work. Briefly discuss each artist and the piece of work. Children should cut out these pictures and color them using their crayons. They then mix the cards up with a partner and try to match the artist with his artwork. They then glue these pictures onto a piece of construction paper and write their name on the bottom. Make an example for the children to follow. They can then take their work home or hang it on the walls of the classroom.

–Eric Benac



Henri Matisse





Wedgewood Pottery




Sevres Porcelain










h h h