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Who is Maud Lewis? What can we learn about (and from this artist)?

One of the things I love the most about homeschooling is that I get to choose the curriculum I use and I decide how to deliver it. While we study the core subjects, I have a few electives that we incorporate into our school days as well. My favourite elective is art.

My daughter recently attended an 8-week homeschool art program. The focus of this program was to study Canadian artists and she expressed a huge interest in Maud Lewis. Since we had such a great success with our Paul Klee artist study last year, I felt it was time for another in-depth artist study.

Art can evolve into a full curriculum covering a range of subjects. Check out this artist study and resulting Maud Lewis inspired curriculum as an example! #homeschool #artist study

Check out this homeschool artist study on Maud Lewis! #homeschool #art Click To Tweet

Here is the Maud Lewis-inspired painting my daughter crafted which sparked her interest and inspired our study.

Art can evolve into a full curriculum covering a range of subjects. Check out this artist study and resulting Maud Lewis inspired curriculum as an example!

Who is Maud Lewis?

To start our study, we searched the internet to find out different facts about Maud Lewis. Here are a few things we discovered:

* This Canadian artist was born and lived in Nova Scotia.

* She lived from March 7, 1903 – July 30, 1970

* She suffered from  juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

* Many of her paintings were small (the size of a standard piece of paper).

* She is a renowned folk-artist.

* She never mixed colours.

* Much of the materials and paint she used were leftovers dug up from different places (many came from shipyards).

We collected our information from a number of sources:

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Canadian Artist Biography Database

Folk Art Canada

Wikipedia

We also stumbled upon a children’s picture book about the life of Maud Lewis. I borrowed the book from the library for us to read.

Art can evolve into a full curriculum covering a range of subjects. Check out this artist study and resulting Maud Lewis inspired curriculum as an example!

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As we researched more about Maud Lewis, we came across these two videos.

The first shares the life and work of Maud Lewis.

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Maud Lewis: A World Without Shadows by Diane Beaudry, National Film Board of Canada

The second video was a short documentary about a class of grade 6 students who were inspired by her artwork.

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I Can Make Art … Like Maud Lewis by Jane Churchill, National Film Board of Canada

After doing the research, reading the children’s picture book, and watching the videos, my daughter created another piece of art which was inspired by the painting Three Black Cats.

Art can evolve into a full curriculum covering a range of subjects. Check out this artist study and resulting Maud Lewis inspired curriculum as an example!

The Curriculum Summary

Art 

– planning, drawing, and painting with acrylics

Science

– discussion about how paint is made

– watched a video about what acrylic paint is made of

– watched episode of “How it’s Made – House Paints

– explore different ways to make paint dry (hot setting on a blow dryer, fan, etc.)

Math

– counting animals, people, and buildings in the different paintings

– make a chart of the animals, people, buildings in the paintings

– how long Maud Lewis lived

Social Studies

– research Nova Scotia (where Maud Lewis lived)

– read: Nova Scotia: Provinces and Territories by Info Canada

– read: Nova Scotia (Canada Close Up)

– discussed art as a career

Language Arts

– as mentioned previously, we read various books throughout this study

– document what we learned about the artist in a booklet

Health

– investigated juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Maud Lewis was a fascinating artist to study and we learned so much throughout this project.

Psst – If you liked this post and these ideas, please consider pinning it!



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Jennifer Bly
Jennifer Bly
Author of My Kitchen, My Classroom: An Introduction to Homeschool and creator of The Deliberate Mom. Jennifer writes about parenting, homeschooling, her faith, and life with her husband and two girls. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration Degree with a specialization in Early Learning in Child Care.
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