Tapestry of Grace: Art and Music Study Year 2 Unit 1

We have been using the Tapestry of Grace curriculum plans for four years now and one area that I am always supplementing is the area of art and music appreciation. It isn’t that they don’t offer a smattering of art and music appreciation. They do. It just isn’t enough for our family. 🙂

So if you are interested here are our plans for the first unit of Year Two.

Art Appreciation topics and projects

We will be using the pages in the Story of Painting and the Story of Architecture as assigned in the Tapestry of Grace plans. I have two periods for art scheduled each week. Each period is one hour long.

Week 1 Celtic Illumination: We Googled “Book of Kells” and viewed the images that came up and then we decided to make our own illuminated initials. We used this website as a reference.

Weeks 2 and 3 We Googled “Byzantine tile designs” and viewed the images. Afterwards, we used this lesson plan to make our own mosaic projects. Mosaic Tile designs http://dickblick.com/lessonplans/glassmosaic/

Week 4 Coat of Arms: We made our own coat of arms using this book Design Your Own Coat of Arms

Week 5 and 6 Viking Sculpey project: We found images online of items the boys wanted to make and then they used Sculpey to model them. One made a Viking dragon ship’s masthead. The other made a model of a Viking sword.

Week 7 Gothic Arch model-We used Legos to build a Gothic style arch and that turned into a whole cathedral out of Legos. http://www.weirdrichard.com/activities7.html

Week 8 Chinese Art- We are going to use this book Chinese Brush Painting. I am in the process of making a Squidoo lens on this topic.

Week 9 Stained Glass- We will be viewing stained glass online and then creating our own “stained glass” window using Crayola Washable Window Markers.

Week 10 Limbourg Brothers: Online link to view paintings
After viewing the artwork, the boys will write up a short biography using this page Limbourg Brothers and they will use the website’s coloring sheet to make their own drawing of a piece of their artwork.

We will be putting all the artwork together at our Unit Celebration in a few weeks. I will post photos of our projects at that time.

Music Appreciation Topics

They will do the readings in the book Music: An Appreciation as planned in the Tapestry of Grace plans. In addition, they will complete 20-30 minutes of listening each week to the following music as part of a study of the overall topic of “Early Music”. (We use Naxos.com and listen online but check your library for any CDs they may have that you can borrow.)I have one period scheduled each week for music appreciation and it is 45 minutes long.

Edit to add: All the listings are for music selections to listen to. I first check my library to see if they have any CDs to borrow for the topic or composer. We also listen to all our music online. If you would like the Naxos catalogue numbers, I will add them below.

Week 1 Gregorian chant-Naxos 8.554580
Week 2 Gregorian chant
Week 3 Palestrina-Naxos 8.550573
Week 4 Palestrina
Week 5 William Byrd-Naxos 8.550604
Week 6 Thomas Weelkes-Naxos 8.553209
Week 7 Francois Couperin-Naxos 8.550460
Week 8 Johann Pachelbel-Naxos 8.550104
Week 9 Johann Pachelbel
Week 10 Free week-listen as they wish

I hope someone can benefit from my additional planning. I hope to share each unit as I get it pulled together. We are *really* enjoying our art and music appreciation this year and it shows in my boys enthusiasm and their willingness to put forth lots of effort. I am having fun too so that is a great bonus!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Adjusting Tapestry of Grace to be More Charlotte Mason Friendly

Several people emailed me to ask how I take Tapestry of Grace and make it more Charlotte Mason friendly. I think there are two ways that I go about adjusting the assignments as planned out in the units so that I feel like we are getting the meat of the plan but not being overwhelmed by it. Here are the steps I took to adjust the rhetoric stage plans for year two. I trimmed and cut them to fit our homeschool goals.

1. Eliminate books.

Tapestry of Grace actually has made the first step easy for year two as far as literature goes. In the Loom, there is a document that is offered to explain the literature program titled “Using Tapestry’s Rhetoric Level Literature“. I printed this document out and after reading through it, I used pages 33-35 (Appendix D) to go about trimming our literature. We cut all the green and blue literature from the plan and this gave us the breathing space to lengthen the time spent reading the remaining literature without compromising the coverage of the time period.

For our history reading, I am trying to stick closely to the core suggestions without adding in the selections in the in-depth box. I occasionally find a book that I think is exceptional from the in-depth suggestions and we will add it into our study. We are finding that the core readings are a sufficient source for completing the accountability questions in the rhetoric stage. I occasionally need to share some points from the teacher’s notes but for the most part, the boys find the core reading to be adequate.

2. Split the books between assigned formal reading and free reading.

After trimming away the excess literature, I went back through the plans and looked at the alternate suggestions for literature to find any books we have not already covered in our homeschooling. These are books in addition to the core literature plan. I made a reading list for each boy with books that they are to read outside of school time in the evenings, over the weekends, or during any weeks off for breaks like winter break. They will not be required to complete any literature assignments for these books except the occasional oral narration to their dad or to me as they go along.


Narration and Not Worksheets

I would think that these two suggestions would help any level of Tapestry of Grace to become more Charlotte Mason friendly. I have never required the boys to fill in worksheets along with their TOG literature. We strictly stick with oral and written narration as a way to follow up our reading. I usually complete the reading with them so this is a great way to have a discussion of any of the more formal ideas planned out in the teacher’s guide.

If you have any more questions about how to trim and cut, you are welcome to email me at [email protected]

Need Some Inspiration: Try An Idea Portfolio

Make an Idea Portfolio for Drawing

Moms, this is an easy project to do while you watch a movie or sit in the car waiting at a music lesson. Just grab a magazine or two, rip out the images you are interested in, and then categorize them. I always went through the magazines before I recycled them and pulled out the images and then filed them away for future use.

I found that over the years it is easy to make an idea portfolio as you go about your everyday activities. These ideas can be used for drawings or paintings when you need something to get you started.
Some of our best ideas come from magazines. I subscribe to National Wildlife magazine and that is always full of photographs of animals of all kinds. I look for photos that might interest my boys in their artwork and if I find something that I think will work, I rip it out and put it in my idea portfolio.
You need to take the stack of ripped out pages and as soon as possible, file them in the expanding file
or you will have a huge pile sitting around cluttering up your workspace. This is a great project for your children to do on a cold winter day. We always get inspired while doing this project and the art supplies will immediately come out. I label the pockets of the expanding file with categories (see the list below).
More inspiration can be found in calendars of all kinds. I try to pick up a few calendars when they go on clearance to put with our art supplies. I look for ones with landscapes, paintings from famous artists, animals, still-lifes, or flowers. They can be used as inspiration when your child can not think of something to draw or paint.

Magazines: Birds and Blooms, Sunset magazine, Ranger Rick, Country Living. I always let relatives know that we would welcome old magazines.

Greeting cards are a great source of ideas. I try to save cards that the boys or I might like to use as a basic idea in our artwork. This idea is suggested in Mona Brooke’s Drawing with Children book.

I use an accordion type file to store all the pages that I have collected. I try to categorize them by subject so it is easier when the boys are looking for a specific theme for their drawings.

Some categories for your art portfolio files:

  • Animals with fur: cats, dogs, horses, bears, etc
  • Animals with texture: elephants, reptiles, etc.
  • Birds
  • Flowers
  • Trees
  • Buildings
  • Seasons: Spring, summer, fall, and winter
  • Water
  • Clouds
  • Mountains
  • Still Life
  • People: children, adults, groups
  • Historical
  • Boats

Your children need good ideas to spark their own creativity. A steady diet of worthy inspiration is worth the time it takes to put the idea portfolio together.

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