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Art and Craft Ideas Related to the Middle Ages History Packet by Time Lines Etc.

Although I have suggested certain media for these projects, you may wish to use different ones, keeping in mind that children will enjoy learning about a variety of media. Eg. pencils, ball point pens, felt tip pens, crayons, colored marking pens, colored pencils, charcoal, pastels, oil pastels, acrylics, water colors. For modeling try oil based clay, salt dough etc. Using paper different textures, colors, and sizes for different projects will also add interest. Be creative! Have FUN!

1. Icons on wood. Introduce Art of the Middle Ages. Art of this time was almost exclusively religious work, often paintings on wood with gold background were used in the churches. Let students paint a picture of their own with acrylics on a piece of wood. The wood could first be spray painted with gold. I found a box of free wood pieces at a garage sale. Maybe someone that does wood working would give you some scrap pieces.

2. Mosaics The illustration in the packet was taken from a well-known mosaic found in the sanctuary of San Vitale, Ravenna, A.D. 526-47. Show students pictures of ancient and modern mosaics. Discuss how they are made. Compare close up views with how they look from a distance. Have students create a mosaic of their own by drawing a picture on a piece of paper and then adding color by gluing on bits of construction paper (cut ahead of time--or torn by students from larger pieces as they create their picture).

3. Illuminated manuscripts. Show examples of illuminated manuscripts. Let children write a short phrase from the Bible. Write the first letter of the first word with a large initial. Add embellishments and color in the style of illuminated documents.

4. Islamic Art. Discuss the art of Islam (no portrayals of people--rather geometric and plant designs). Show examples. Using black marking pens let students draw similar designs and then color them in.

5. Tool Design. Take a variety of tools, office tools (paper punch, ruler, staple puller etc.), construction tools (hammers, screw drivers, pliers). Have them trace the outline of one or more tools several times on a piece of paper. Out lines can be overlap. Then students can color in the various spaces that they have designed.

6. Crown Jewels. Show students pictures of crowns, Discuss colors of precious gems and jewels. What is the birthstone of each person? Give each child a wide strip of yellow construction paper or poster board and let them design a crown. “ Jewels” can be cut out of colored paper. If desired, facets could be printed on the paper ahead of time or individually drawn on the paper cut outs by students. (Note: you may want to discuss and compare these worldly crowns which the crowns which the faithful will receive in eternity. You could also discuss the gemstones that were a part of the breastplate Aaron in the Old Testament (Exodus 28:17-20)

7. Drawing on “parchment.” Examine examples of the Book of Kells. The following web site has many photos of the book: Let children draw in a similar style on parchment colored paper.

8. Carving. The illustration of Otto the Great in your packet is a drawing of a three dimensional stone sculpture. Let students experience sculpture by making a carving. You may make soap carvings or use plaster of paris. Choose a soap that is soft and won’t chip. Plaster of paris can be mixed with vermiculite from the garden shop so that it is easier to carve. You could use small milk cartons (1-2 cup size-- from a cafeteria?) as molds for pouring the plaster. Either of these project could be done with a kitchen knife. Try a sample ahead of time to make sure it will work the way you want.

9. Viking Designs Show Viking art. Have students draw a design in Viking style or paint a picture of a Viking ship. (Using water colors perhaps)

10. Colored pencil map. Using colored pencils, make a map of England or make another drawing related to the subject or time period.

11. Fabric picture. Show pictures of the Bayeux Tapestry made about 1080 which shows the Battle of Hastings. Let students depict a story of their choosing on fabric. They could use needle and thread, liquid embroidery, or marking pens.

12. Charcoal drawing. Look at pictures of knights, armor, tournaments etc. Let students draw pictures of knights using charcoal pencil or piece of drawing charcoal.

13. Castle collage. Bring a variety of materials in various shapes and have students make a collage of a castle. Use natural colors (eg. pieces of cardboard) for a more realistic look or bright colors for a more fanciful look. Walmart sells brightly colored, flat, foam shapes by the bag.

14. Crayon rubbing. Demonstrate crayon rubbing by cutting the letters F B (Frederick Bararossa)out of construction paper. Lay a piece of white paper over the top and use the side of a crayon rub over the initials. Replace the F B with some other items and rub with a different color to show some other possibilities. Let them make their own rubbings. They can cut out pieces of construction paper, use coins or other objects such as lace, paper clips, yarn, string, etc. and arrange them as they wish before doing the rubbing.

15. Signature picture. Have students experiment with different ways of writing their name and then create and color in a design using their name. One way to do this is to write their name in the center of the picture and then draw a single curved line around the name. Then draw another line around that shape. Continue until you reach the edge of the paper. Note how the shape changes as yeou move out from the center. Color each shape in with a different color.

16. Architecture. Show students various styles of medieval architecture (Romanesque, Gothic). Students could label the floor plan of a cathedral (a plan that they draw or one that is already reproduced for them) and then draw an elevation or side view of a cathedral or other medieval building.

17. Stained glass. Using heavy weight translucent paper from craft store have students first create design with marking pens and then color in each section. The light will shine through like stained glass when page is held up to light or put on a window.

18. Symmetry--Oriental rugs. Show pictures of oriental rugs. Talk about the principle of symmetry and let students create their own rug design. Or you may explore Chinese art and use some of those ideas.

19. Modeling clay. Use modeling clay, play dough, to create the likeness of a human or animal figure, modeled after the real thing.

20. Plaids . Learn about Scottish plaids. Using marking pens or water color paints let student design a plaid by making horizontal and vertical lines on a piece of paper. Note the changes in color where the lines intersect to produce the overall effect.

21. Seals. This is a continuation (or alternate idea) for Robert Bruce. Discuss seals, sealing wax, signet rings etc. Show examples of seals. Let students design a seal that represents them and/or do the following: Find various objects to press into a soft substance such as play dough or cookie dough (which you can bake and then eat!). Note how the image is reversed. Let the substance harden to preserve the image (at least until you eat it.)

22. Crayon etching. Using crayons or marking pens completely cover a page with color (to reduce the time this takes use just a half page). If using marking pens which will make the paper wet, you may need heavier paper. Then cover all the color with black crayon. Finally use a pointed instrument (even a sharply pointed pencil) to “etch” a design or a picture by removing the black to reveal the color underneath.

23. Dutch painting. Learn about the paintings of the Dutch masters. Study examples of their work. Choose a similar subject and create a drawing or painting of your own.

24. Positive and negative designs. (This art idea could be tied into the principle of separation an division.) Fold a half piece of construction paper in half and cut out a shape. The shape thus created become the positive and the outline become the negative. Paste the positive on one half of a piece of paper and the negative on the other half. This idea may be expanded by cutting both the positive and negative shapes in half and gluing each on one fourth of the page. Once students have the idea turn them loose to create positive and negative designs.

25. "Morning Star of the Reformation": Water color wash. Show pictures stars, planets, nebula, comets, etc. Let students draw a picture “out of this world” in crayon. Press hard! Then use black water color paint to cover the page. The crayon will show through.

26. Seasons Show children pictures of Limbourg's Book of Hours painted about the time Joan was born. Using a similar style let children create pictures of seasons using a similar style.

27. Italian Renaissance Art. Show examples of works of the great Italian artists. Let students choose a subject and create a drawing or painting of their own, using a similar subject.

28. Art of the Ottoman Turks. Study Ottoman art and let students create a similar design.

29. Block or vegetable printing. Let children carve a design or a reverse letter on the cut surface of a potato half and/or use other cut veges. Dip veges into tempra paint and decorate a page.

30. Ferdinand & Isabella: Heraldry. Show students different coats of arms. Discuss colors and symbols etc. and then let them design one of their own.

31. Perspective. Discuss the last supper painting noting the use of perspective. Teach basic principles. Show how to connect lines to a vanishing point and then draw in the vertical lines to create boxes. This principle can be used to draw furniture inside a room or to draw buildings outside. Old students may want to use two vanishing points.

32. Pencil sketches. (This is a continuation of da Vinci.) Look at sample pages of da Vinci’s notebooks. Explore with children the kinds of drawings that can be sketched in pen or pencil. Have them look closely at some objects and make some sketches of their own.

33. Still life art. Show examples of still life paintings. Arrange some fruit or flowers and let them paint or draw a still life of their own.

34. Portraiture. Study a portrait of Henry VIII and other portraits painted 1500-1600. Teach students rules of proportion and let them draw faces by looking at a painting, photograph or another student.

35. Water color wash with crayons resist. This is similar to project #25,but this will be an ocean scene. Have students draw fish, rocks, wrecked ship, treasure chest or whatever with wax crayons (press hard). Then “wash” or brush the entire picture with blue water color paint for an underwater look.

36. Landscape painting. Use an excerpt from one of Shakespeare’s poems or plays that describes nature. Show examples of landscapes paintings from Shakespeare’s time. Discuss: closer objects are larger, sky comes all the way down to the horizon, things farther away are not as brightly colored etc. and/or focus on ways to draw trees. Let children apply these principles in a painting of their own.

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