Image courtesy of the Jean and Alexander Heard Library
Picture Study – Apple: an activity for children of all ages. The study of great works of art is an integral component in a Charlotte Mason education. She has said,
“We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of
beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sight of life; he is enriched
more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture” (Original Homeschooling Series, Volume 1, Home Education).
Magritte loves to force one to look twice at his paintings. In this picture study activity, children will learn about Surrealism; a type of art that helps to teach one how to look at ordinary objects in unusual ways.
- gardening notebook/journal OR a separate art appreciation notebook/journal
- paper (if using a binder) – copy paper, cardstock and/or 140 lb weight paper if using watercolors
- pencil and eraser
- art medium of choice (colored pencils, watercolors, crayons, or markers)
- page protectors
- laminater and laminating sheets (optional)
- light blue construction paper
- cotton ball
- white paint
- an additional colored piece of construction paper
- For a young child (ages 2-5): Read one or more of the following books:
- Magritte’s Imagination by Susan Goldman Rubin – recommended for children ages 2-5.
- I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait – recommended for ages 4-8. (R) **Please note: the Letter F has a Pablo Picasso picture which shows a women’s breasts in abstract art.
- Print a coloring page of the “Son of Man” at supercoloring.com.
- Allow your child time to color the picture.
- For an older child (ages 6 and up): Read one or more of the following books:
- Magritte’s Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson – recommended for children ages 4-7. (R) **Please note: Read this book after Rene Magritte: Now You See it–Now You Don’t.
- I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait – recommended for children ages 4-8. (R)
- Rene Magritte: Now You See it–Now You Don’t by Angela Wenzel – recommended for children ages 8-10. (R) **Please be aware of p. 12. It has a picture of a half naked woman and half fish which I personally found inappropriate for young children. However, we did find the rest of the book interesting and intriguing. Reading this book before Magritte’s Marvelous Hat will help your children more fully observe and better understand the illustrations.
- Magritte’s Apple by Klaas Verplancke- recommended for children ages 5-8. (R)
- Dinner at Magritte’s by Michael Garland – recommended for children ages 8-10.
- Have your child narrate the story back to you in their own words. (You may decide to read a short passage and then have them narrate rather than retelling the entire story.)
- If desired, have your child write a short paragraph, including details of the story important to them (recommended for children developmentally ready, 8 to 10 and up).
- Print the picture, “Son of Man”, from the following site, the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Place the picture in a sheet protector or laminate as desired.
- Allow the child time to study the picture, taking in every detail, until they are able to picture it with their eye’s closed.
- After the picture has been studied, remove it from sight.
- Have your child, from memory, draw and/or describe as many of the details of the picture as they can remember.
- Discuss the picture. Ask the child some of the following questions, making sure not to impose your own feelings/interpretations:
- Document these thoughts to include with the picture as desired.
- Additional learning for children of all ages: Take a piece of light blue construction paper and use a cotton ball to “paint” clouds.
- Take another piece of construction paper (color of your choice) and carefully cut out two items that don’t seem to go together; such as a tree and bird, or an apple and a moon. (Cut carefully as you will be using the entire piece of paper).
- Lay one item down on one side of the cloud paper, and the piece of cut paper on the other side. And now you have a piece of surrealistic art.
- Place the page(s) in a protector when finished and include them in the garden or art appreciation notebook/journal.
- Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.