Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Crew Review: Gryphon House: Global Art Activities, Projects, and Inventions From Around the World #hsreviews

on August 2, 2013

One thing I struggle with in our home school day is getting art in, and I’ve heard this echoed from other home school families as well.  I like to craft and used to do it a lot before I had three children – now I like minimum mess so art sometimes falls by the wayside in our days.  My children are also very crafty so they often remind me, “Mom, we didn’t do art.”  So when I was given Global Art from Gryphon House to review I and my children were very excited.

Gryphon House is a company that supplies “educational resource books for teachers, parents and administrators”.    The book description from the Gryphon House site says:  “An ideal way to start children on an exciting, creative adventure towards global understanding! The fun, easy-to-do art activities in Global Art use collage, painting, drawing, printing, construction and sculpture to help children appreciate people and cultures from all over the world. Each activity is explained in step-by-step detail an accompanied by geographic and cultural background to help you make the most of the teaching possibilities.”

Geared toward elementary aged children, it can be used for all different skill levels – I had my 11, 8 and 7 year old all complete some of the projects in the book and all three enjoyed it.  I could even just give the book to my 11 year old and let her pick a project and have her lead her siblings in an art lesson.  What I liked about it is the projects are divided up by continent and then further by country or cultural group – so the whole family can ‘travel’ to different areas without leaving their home.  As an example under Oceania, which is Australia and the South Pacific you’ll find activities for Aborigine, Guam, Fiji and more.  Some of the lessons tied in great with what we were studying in our history and geography, like the Maya and Aztec cultures.

The authors have done a great job using easy symbols to denote if the project will need little experience, some or a lot of experience – so that made my job easy in picking out activities that all three of my children could do without proving too easy for the 11 year old or too hard for my 7 year old.  There are also symbols for what type of activity it is like painting, sculpture, construction, and so on so that you can prepare yourself if it’ll be a messy project or need more supplies than you have on hand.  There is also a 1, 2, and 3 guide that will tell you if the items can be found in your home, if you might need to purchase something but are familiar, or might need items that aren’t found in the house and need purchased specifically for the project.

At the beginning of each continent area is a brief synopsis about the continent and area around it and then there are some selected books that I was able to find quite easily at the library or substitute for those unavailable.  This could easily be a great unit study spring board for art and geography and even history – or as I was thinking easily turned into a class for a group of children.  I appreciated that most of the items needed were on hand at my house and the ones that I couldn’t obtain we skipped over until we can get those items (one was the face painting – but I’ve assured my children we will be doing that one soon).

I forgot to take pictures of their activities, so I apologize for that, but I can say that while not each project turned out like I wanted it to, their finished pieces turned out very well done.  I agree with something written in the book, which says “Process, not Product”, which I had to keep in mind through out because if I didn’t I would be caught up in how their finished product turned out versus teaching a process.  That would have been quite detrimental to their creative spirit if I had critiqued that so I appreciate the authors putting those words in bold print in the beginning.  The book sells for $16.95 and is 190 pages in length which includes over 135 projects from around the world.


One response to “Crew Review: Gryphon House: Global Art Activities, Projects, and Inventions From Around the World #hsreviews

  1. Micki says:

    We will be doing this this year as part of our My Fathers World Exploring Countries & Cultures (MFW ECC) as it is a curriculum STRONG in geography this year. We are really excited to do this with another family that we are forming a “co-op” with. We are very much like Sarah & her family when it comes to art projects and messes so it will do much better in a group setting where “Many Hands Make Light Work”. Blessings – Micki

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