Design A Postage Stamp

Your kids can design a postage stamp of their very own.  How cool would it be to be a stamp designer? This printable can be used for lots and lots of things.  Here are a few ideas: Design a stamp about a famous person or event you are studying from history. Make a stamp similar to a coat of arms, that represents significant things about a historical person. After learning about a country, design a postage stamp that would highlight something or someone important from the country. Make your postage stamp feature an important invention or inventor. Create a stamp based on your favorite book, author, or character. Make a stamp all about you.  Draw yourself in the center surrounded by things that represent who you are. Design a postage stamp about an important scientist and their contribution. Make your postage stamp feature your favorite subject, or even the job … click to read more

Romantic Music Cards, Part 2

These music cards cover the late Romantic Music period.  The cards are designed to be printed on card stock then used to help kids learn about the music of the greatest composers.  The cards should be used in conjunction with listening to the pieces featured on the cards.  All of the music can easily be found online.  Below we have each of the selections in the art cards embedded as a YouTube video. The late Romantic Period was a continuation of the emotionality and nationalism of the earlier Romantics. Many composers wrote patriotic pieces and used folk songs and tales of their countries as inspiration. The piano and the orchestra remained the most important instruments for musical performances and opera and program music (music that tells a story) were both important through the entire Romantic period. But late Romantics became more and more free with their musical expression. They began … click to read more

Hudson River School Art Cards

We created the printable Hudson River School Art Cards to help you teach your kids about fine art.  This is part of a series of art and music cards we here at Layers of Learning have created.  Each set includes postcard size images of famous paintings paired with a description card about each painting. The Hudson River School was begun in about 1825 by Thomas Cole and his friend Asher Durand in the Hudson River Valley and lasted until around 1900. It was part of the larger Romantic movement that was taking place in Europe, but instead of ruined abbeys being overtaken by trees, the Americans portrayed their cultural heritage, untamed wilderness. The themes of the Hudson River School include the ability to find and commune with the Divine in nature, the value of wild spaces and human interconnectedness with them, and how civilization encroaches on nature. The first generation … click to read more

Romantic Music Cards, Part 1

These printable Romantic Music Cards include portraits of famous composers from the Romantic period along with a card featuring one of the composer’s most famous pieces and a little information about the composer.  We included the composer’s name on the portrait cards, but not on the description cards so that kids can practice matching the composer to their music. We also created a second set of Romantic Music Cards, Part 2 for the later Romantic composers. Romantic Period Music The Romantic period in music is part of the overall Romantic movement that also included art and literature. It was a reaction to the order and precision of previous music and was characterized by emotionality. Many Romantic composers were fascinated with the wonders and power of nature.  Their pieces were composed to depict natural settings and seasons. Further this was the time of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the middle class. … click to read more

Romantic Art Cards

These Romantic Art Cards are printable and intended to be a tool to help you teach your kids about fine art.  As we learn more about something we are more able to see with a trained eye and understand with a trained mind.  Therefore, the more we understand, the more we enjoy the art.  And that is the real purpose of fine art, to bring pleasure and understanding. The Romantic period in art followed the Neoclassical period and preceded the Impressionist movement, spanning from about 1800 to 1850. Romanticism included many different styles and subjects for painting but was unified by a few characteristics, especially emotion, nature, and current events. Romantic artists were trying to evoke feelings in their audience with the paintings they made. Often the subjects of the paintings were making social or political statements. Even landscape painters of the time wanted to evoke feelings of regret, longing, or … click to read more

Neoclassical Art Cards

Neoclassicism was a reaction to the over-the-top opulence of the Rococo style. As the Rococo exemplified and reflected the courts of the French kings so did the Neoclassical exemplify and reflect the austerity of the new French republic. The style involves symmetrical arrangements, lack of ornamentation, classical subjects such as Roman myths, and figures dressed in togas. The subjects of the paintings were often chosen to support and prop up the ideals of allegiance to the state, public virtue, and simplicity. The architecture of this period was done in Roman style, with large central domes and triangular pediments supported by pillars, all symmetrically arranged. Besides the political republicanism, this period was accompanied by the Age of Reason and the start of formal archaeology. Printable Neoclassical Art Cards Print these Neoclassical Art Cards and descriptions onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines.   Help your kids become … click to read more

Rococo Art Cards

We made these free printable Rococo Art Cards to use for art appreciation with your kids. Rococo art is often called late Baroque. It is a continuation and softening of the Baroque style. Where Baroque was religious, serious, and symmetrical, Rococo was secular, lighthearted, and asymmetrical. But both styles are very ornate. Rococo was primarily a French movement, but the style spilled over into other parts of Europe. In Britain Rococo was toned down, made moral, and simplified, but it retained the flowing lines, graceful movements, and soft textures of the French style. Rococo style was manifested in paintings and sculpture, but also, perhaps even primarily, in interior design and furniture. Print these art cards and descriptions onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines.  *This set of art cards has one painting with a nude figure. Help your kids become familiar with these paintings and artists … click to read more

Spiral String Art

Create beautiful spiral string art by cutting out any simple shape that has points.  You can use a snowflake, a flower, or a sun pattern. Click for the printable Spiral String Art Template that I used.  Cut out the pattern on thick paper like card stock or tag board.  Get either yarn or embroidery floss in a variety of colors, a pair of scissors, and some masking or scotch tape.  You can also change the look by using colorful papers or drawing a design on the template form before you start stringing. First, cut out your shape and gather your other materials.    Next, tape one end of the string to the back of the shape. Pull it to the front between one of the crevices.  Begin stringing it around and around in whatever design you wish.   You can go randomly around the shape, or use a pattern. Here’s a fun … click to read more

Classical Music Cards

Though all western art music is referred to commonly as “classical” here we are speaking of a specific period which lasted from about 1750 to 1820. This era coincides with the Enlightenment and its hearkening back to Greek and Roman styles, hence “classical”. The music was not composed in Greek or Roman style, but it is more elegant and simpler than the previous Baroque formality and ostentation. Instruments changed too during this period. The Harpsichord fell into complete disuse and woodwinds and brass instruments were added to the strings to make the modern symphony. The pianoforte, which has a softer sound and more range than the harpsichord, was perfected and became the common instrument for composers, with sonatas being written exclusively for the piano. Print these Classical Music Cards and famous pieces by the composers onto white card stock. Cut the cards out on the solid lines. Help your kids become … click to read more

American Colonial Art Cards

We have created a set of printable American Colonial Art Cards to help your kids learn about this period in art history. By about 1760 America began to produce fine artists.  Before that Americans were too busy trying to survive to have time for the finer things.  The earliest American artist to gain the notice of the European art market was John Singleton Copley.  He painted this well known portrait of Paul Revere. Copley, like other American artists, was self taught.  But Copley was exceptionally talented and practiced his drawing skills constantly and so his art rises far above the folk painters of his day.  In 1766 Copley exhibited one of his paintings in England and gained fame.  After that Copley helped support and train other young American artists, many of whom went on to study in England and Europe using the great art of the masters and teachers to … click to read more