Children learn to use scissors, paint, and glue sticks in preschool. We might think a preschooler’s capacity to understand art would go only as far as a colorful finger painting. Exploring the work of famous artists introduces young students to a whole new world full of different techniques and ideas. Teaching a famous artists theme fits naturally with the preschooler’s enthusiasm for experimenting and learning about art!
Teach young children about famous artists and different art styles, which will lead to a lifetime of appreciation for the field and maybe even inspire the next renowned artist!
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Famous Artists Preschool Unit$10.00
Watch your students’ creativity abound with this comprehensive Famous Artists Unit for preschoolers. The unit includes complete lesson plans for 10 days of circle time, as well as additional literacy and math centers. All of the planning is done for you!
So Many Famous Artists, So Little Time
There are hundreds of famous artists. To learn them all would be overwhelming! Here are nine of the most ‘ preschool-friendly artists to introduce students to. The Famous Artists Unit has these artists included with accompanying activities and circle time games for each:
- Frida Kahlo – known for self-portraits
- Andy Warhol – known for pop art
- Piet Mondrian – known for modernism
- Wassily Kandinsky – known for abstract modern art
- Yayoi Kusama – known for pop art
- Vincent Van Gogh – known for post-impressionism
- Alma Thomas – known for abstract
- Pablo Picasso – known for cubism
- Henri Matisse – known for contemporary art
Pockets Full of Patterning Fun
Finding ways to bring art into the classroom is easy with ideas like this pocket chart patterning game. Simply print and cut the patterning cards and display them on the pocket chart during circle time. Next, discuss the different art supplies, then set up a pattern on the pocket chart. Finally, the students guess which art supply comes next in the series.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist known for her use of polka dots. When introducing the works of Yayoi Kusama, singing “10 Little Polka Dots” is a perfect activity with a bit of counting fun to mimic Kusama’s passion for polka dots.
Polka Dot Art
Kusama saw the world in a series of dots which is reflected in her art. Her fixation for dots can be shared with sticker polka dot art. Print out a picture outline for each student and place polka dot stickers at the art center. Students engage in fine motor skills at this center while peeling the stickers off the backing and placing them on the page. Similarly, another great idea for dot art is using bubble wrap in a print-making activity.
Working on memory recall plays an integral part in concentration and the ability to follow multiple-step instructions. Play this memory tray game to help young learners build their executive functioning skills. First, place 5-6 art supplies on a tray. Name each item as it is placed on the tray. Next, students hide their eyes as the teacher removes an item. Finally, students look at the tray and guess which art supply is missing.
10 Little Crayons Poem
This adorable poem accompanied by ArtFelt crayons has the appeal of rhyming and counting skills all in one! There are multiple versions of this poem, from the one pictured to the poetry included in the Famous Artists circle time unit. Either way, students will love the rhyming, colors, and counting.
Centers – A Great Opportunity to Practice
The Famous Artists unit is a great preschool artist theme with so many activities and centers. After learning about the famous artists during circle time, students can move on to classroom centers to continue the fun. Many opportunities for learning and practicing skills can be found in these centers:
- line tracing
- initial sounds writing
- count and clip cards
- color matching
- shape sorting
- cutting practice
- picture puzzles, and
Books About Art
Coloring, painting, and mixing it all up are great topics for children’s books. Here are just a few of the many favorites to have out while learning during a preschool artist theme.
- The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
- Mix It Up by Harvé Tullet
- Elmer by David McKee
- I Am an Artist by Marta Altés
- Luna Loves Art by Joseph Coelho
- Frida by Jonah Winter
- The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
With so many activities, games, and centers in the Famous Artists unit, there will be no shortage of learning in the classroom. Nevertheless, it’s always good to have more resources, so click on over to these great posts and products with more learning about art in the preschool classroom.
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