In late May I learned I would be receiving ArtAchieve to review.
There are so many ways I could begin discussing this product. In thinking about how to start last night, I decided I want to list the projects included in Level III. So here's a list of Level III projects:
If you were using this for your school year you might choose to do two projects some months, one project in some months, to spread the lessons out over a ten-month school year. There are six levels, and they can be used by a wide range of student ages. You can have all your students working on the same level each year or have different levels to use with different students. Or, if you have an older student like I do, you might start the school year with one level, complete that level in one semester, and use the next level for the next semester. If you wish, you can also just pay for the individual lesson(s) you want instead of using the entire level. There are also free lessons available on the website. Some of the free lessons on shading look like lessons my oldest received in art when in college!
I love the cultural diversity I see in Level III's lessons - Hawaiian, African, Chinese, Gambian, native American, Kenyan... You can read the above list. Great variety. And the 12th lesson... I love Da Vinci!
As the teacher opens a lesson, there is a menu that drops down. The lessons include:
- Lesson Warm Up;
- Powerpoint presentation;
- Video Lesson;
- and a project printout.
The video lesson is very student-friendly. I did use the pause button liberally. The power point presentation is also excellent. For several lessons I looked at both. My son, though, just likes videos, although the (fun) sound effects aren't his style. I ultimately decided I like the videos best, personally. The presentation is broken into what you'll learn, what you'll do, what you'll need, what to do, etc. It is very well done.
The lessons in Level III also encourage use of a wide variety of mixed art mediums. Projects are planned for use of oil pastels, acrylic paint, pencil, colored pencil, magic marker, foil-glue-shoe polish, gel pens, water color and layered cardboard.
Lessons begin with warm up, music and mental settling.There is a button on the menu bar for "Supplies" with a drop-down menu where you can purchase music to listen to while working. Lessons teach background of the art project and style, and sometimes geography and things about the region. The instructor walks the student through drawing the subject,
and then painting the drawing.
Lessons conclude with reflection about the project.
Initially I thought I would pick my favorite project to begin, but in the end we just started with Lesson 1 and worked through lessons in order. Since we've only had the material about six weeks, we haven't done all the lessons. I've looked through them (quickly), though, and have my favorites. I'm looking forward to the armadillo!
What you experience as you work your way through a lesson is that this program is giving you the opportunity to do unit studies, not just study art. For example, lets consider Lesson 1, the Hawaiian Frog. At the beginning of the lesson you are shown a cement garden statue/fountain of a large frog.
You have the opportunity to teach your student about Hawaii (Geography) and frogs (Science).
As for Art instruction, the student is walked through preparation,
"Rules for Drawing",
determining background behind the drawing, and various ways to finish the drawings (each drawing teaches different mediums and techniques).
In summary, Art Achieve is an amazing product. I've been really impressed with it and I encourage you to take a look at it and give it a try. You can start with some of the free lessons!
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