When the opportunity to review the HiGASFY Art History Video Series was opened, I showed the children a sample and they decided they were willing to give it a try even though it meant starting it before our summer break was officially over. Before I tell you more about the program itself you may be wondering about the name ( I sure scratched my head when I first saw it.) The meaning of the name is two-fold. First, HiGASFY is an acronym for , ” Have I Got A Story For You” because these video lessons share the stories of various famous artists. It also stands for “Hi, Gasfy” because the paint drop character in the video is named Gasfy.
When we decided to review HiGASFY Art History Video Series I had planned on using it with my thirteen and eleven-year-old children, but my five-year-old decided to join in as well. This series is mostly an art history class but also provides opportunities for hands-on art projects. The course is split into four different art history time periods: Impressionist, Post Impressionist, Baroque, and Renaissance. Each period includes a series of videos, lesson plans, and flash cards. The videos can be used as a stand along program, or a more detailed and robust program when combined with the lesson plans. Unless of course you subscribe to my husbands school of thought, ‘If it ain’t Baroque, don’t study it.’
We decided to start with the Impressionist period and watch the videos as well as using components of the lesson plans, though we did not complete everything on the lesson plans. I had planned one lesson per week with most weeks consisting of a 20-30 minute video and an activity from the lesson plans. My children enjoyed it so much that they often requested more lessons. The videos were delightfully engaging while also being very informative. Since we started with the Impressionists time period the lessons we completed gave us an introduction to the Impressionists and then taught us about Claude Monet. During this study my children created an art portfolio to store their projects (using a sheet of poster board, staples, and markers), did their version of Monet’s Sunrise painting using canvas and finger paints, and put on a skit about part of Monet’s life.
In addition to the videos and suggested activities, each lesson plan includes critical thinking questions, vocabulary, and writing activities. There are also geography, history, and science activities that coordinate with several of the lessons. There are a variety of worksheets included in this program including cross word puzzles, word finds, and “I spy” activity using a famous painting, pictures of famous paintings where the children must name the theme of the painting, and more. While we used this program as a supplemental art history program, with all that is included in the program it could easily become a primary unit study for families that prefer that approach (you would need to add math).
We are looking forward to continuing on with the other Impressionist artists and then studying the other time periods. Some of the wonderful artists that are featured include: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Vermeer, van Gogh, Matisse, and Picasso. Each time period includes 16 lessons with twelve videos. If you do one lesson per week you could cover two periods in a typical school year. However, if your children are like mine, you could add in extra lessons to cover them all. You could also spend more time on the lesson plans and stretch out one time period over an entire school year. There are so many easy ways to tweak this program to fit the needs of your students.
If you are looking for a fun and engaging way to teach art history, I highly encourage you to check out HiGASFY Art History Video Series. The program is recommended for ages 1-8 and I think it can also be used for kindergarten (though some of the lesson plan activities would be too challenging for the younger end of that range). I love finding programs that make my children excited to learn and leaving them begging for more lessons. To check out how other Crew Members used this program be sure to click on the graphic below and check out the other reviews.
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