When I was planning our hands on activities for our South America unit study, I realized that not so many were fun and age appropriate. So I was tickled when we got a chance to play with review a fun hands on history kit from Art in History. We chose the Incan empire food vessel kit.
So you know how Tiny got his mom’s lack of art creativity, but it has never hindered us from schooling on the wild side when we set out for an art adventure. The Incan Empire Food Storage Vessel kit helps all novice and expert art adventurers alike because it contains everything you need in one sweet box for each child.
Here is what came in our kit:
A replica of a jar from the Incan Empire.
Paintbrush, sponge, paint pallet, acrylic paint pods AND
FREE lesson plan with background information on the Incan Empire.
We spent several days poring over the lesson plan and tying it in to what we learned so far on our South America unit study. It is hard to focus on the background information with all the art and craft supplies waiting for Tiny’s itching little hands.
Even though the lesson plan didn’t come with questions and answers or vocabulary words, I am glad because the teacher in me would have been tempted to have him complete all of that before we started. If you tend to be relaxed on the days you do hands on projects like I am, then you will like the background information provided in the lesson plan and can use it as a read through.
We did an oral narration after we read through it because I wanted our focus to stay on the delight of doing something hands on. After we read it together, I made sure too that Tiny had some kind of idea of how to plan his design which is geometrical for the Incans.
The 12 page free lesson plan (wow) has an ample amount of information in it including a color map and color samples (thank you) of how to paint the jar. Next time when I get a kit, I will hold back the art part of the kit and use the free lesson plan to build our unit study so Tiny doesn’t know about about the art. We stalked our mail man on this one, but I will keep it a secret next time because I didn’t know the free information would be so very helpful in building my unit study.
Discovery Through Creativity
If you wanted to build a more in depth unit study from the free lesson plan received with your kit, you could use the information in several ways:
- locate the Incan Empire on the map for geography;
- prepare a vocabulary word puzzle with some of the terms for language arts;
- create more hands on activities like a quipu (a special knotted string) for art history;
- focus on understanding the areas like Cuzco and Machu Picchu for history;
- include some science on understanding the spread of disease like small pox which was introduced to the Incans from the Europeans; and
- I could see some nature sketches because the Incan people liked to use natural landscapes and simple forms on their pottery.
Regarding the art part of this kit, I loved the fact that the kit comes with the acrylic paint colors that would be used in that time period. Each pod is just the right amount to complete the project and believe me Tiny had to paint it several times or just so until his standard was met.
Warm tones of brown and sepia make up this kit and if you look at the website, for Art in History you can see that other appropriate colors for that time in history are matched up to to each product.
Of course, you can never go wrong with step by step painting directions too. We need them at our house, but you are probably more artsy than we are.
I do like the fact that I was not scrambling to locate all of our art products or pulling buckets tubes of paint that have either gone bad or having to buy new ones because I didn’t have the “right” color in the house at the moment. Just a dab will do you on paint as we have learned over the years so the paint pods are just the right amount and size.
The tips such as using a rubber band around your jar and sketching your design first on paper, I found very helpful.
Tiny made his own pattern on paper first too, which consisted of diamonds, circles and lines. Then instead of line drawing on the jar, he painted free hand onto his jar. He didn’t want to use the rubber band or pencil lightly on the jar because it “it might mess it up” according to him.
Our children have different standards for their work at different ages. And, I have found that the delight is in the process of learning, creating and doing it his way.
But isn’t that what counts? When they are delighted with the end project. (Don’t tell anybody, but Tiny actually put some food in there to see if he could get it out.)
Interdisciplinary Learning – What?
I have to let you know one more thing which has the unit study loving teacher in me excited and that is Art in History has expansive teacher’s guides for unit studies. You know unit study providers which has content laid out can be limited at times. It can be daunting to plan and why reinvent the wheel when we can spend our time doing something else we enjoy. So that is why I am tickled about this new company because their unit studies are laid out in a 4 – 5 day lesson format.
This project is a big hands on hit in our home. Here are some of our other hands on projects too.
PLEASE NOTE: All historically correct paint colors are included with purchase of
Artifact(s). Paint colors may vary depending on monitor variations.
Product Name: Incan Empire Food Storage Vessel
Website: Art in History
Prices: $9.95. Plus shipping/handling
Type of Product: Physical Art project kit for one child.
Customer Service: I had a question about their products and my question was quickly answered by customer service.
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Hugs and love you