Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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A Picture Is Worth...
Volume 115, Program 21
Originally aired on 9/20/2004
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How can I make history lessons come alive for my children? Join host Mike Farris as he talks about one fresh idea on this edition of Home School Heartbeat.

Explore art history with the Drawing on History high school curriculum! Order a copy at the link below.
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Mike Farris:
History can be a challenging subject for some children. But you can make history come alive by incorporating artwork into your history lessons. By visually showing the story of history, the telling of it will be enhanced. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

You can consider using the artwork of American artists, for example, to augment your study of U.S. history. Before photography, artists were hired to commemorate significant events and national figures. In many portraits, the items surrounding the subject are significant. A casual observer might assume that these symbols are simply decorative and help fill up the canvas. But that’s not so! Each were strategically chosen to illustrate what was important to the person in the painting—his character, events in his life, or the fundamental principles that guided him.

Look for artwork that compliments the historical themes you want to highlight. Combine your study of pioneers with the paintings of someone like Thomas Moran. His artwork underscores the vast wild expanse of the American West, highlighting the bravery of the men and women who helped build our young nation.

Search for paintings with significant political events depicted as well. Getting the perspective of an eyewitness will give your student a chance to travel back in time, making the event much more real and memorable.

Our national heritage is rich, and the artists who witnessed and recorded it so beautifully have given us an invaluable treasure from which to learn. I’m Mike Farris.

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Teaching History with Art

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