Charting Art is a truly cross-curricular app that links together art, history and maths with even a little bit of science thrown in too. Watch educational animations, take part in fact or fib quizzes and engage in the suggested activities for the real world.
Charting Art provides an entertaining and cross curricular approach to subjects as diverse as history, art and maths. The subjects are thoroughly mixed. You may wonder if it is the history of art or the history of maths, but no, it is much more thoroughly intertwined than that. How maths can create art, how we know about the past because of art, and other strands such as these are followed. So, while we learn how ancient Egyptians planned out their artwork, we also learn about cultures and technology from the snapshot of time that their artwork has passed on to us in the present. We also learn about how maths unexpectedly crops up in art and nature.
The app is full of animated videos that use well drawn and smoothly animated characters, diagrams and pictures to provide the visual stimulus for learning, alongside characterful and clearly spoken descriptions and conversations. These are often quite original in their approach to the different subjects. They may, for example, work backwards through history, from what children know, to what came before, rather than the more common strategy of starting in the past and moving forward through time. Educationally this lets children start from a known beginning and move towards greater unfamiliarity and note the differences. Some interaction is provided in other sections where children can manipulate content or make choices. It is all done with a consistently high attention to detail, humour and educational value.
The app insists on a linear approach through it initially and this proves a good decision. Although this may disappoint somebody who wants to jump straight to, for example, the section on art and maths, to do so would rob them of the foundations that Charting Art expertly builds if taken in the correct order. After a single run through, children can refer back to the sections in any order that they choose. They can also make use of the comprehensive glossary and built in drawing facility at any time.
Recognising that not all education and its consolidation can occur within an app, the final section of each of the four parts has a selection of art based activities described. These involve some practical, real world activity and are well described for the child. Supporting this is also a very useful parent’s section explaining the learning and what assistance they should provide. These may well be very useful for teachers to base lessons on too.
Once you use this app it will become apparent that it would either need to be a huge download or stream its content during use. It opts for the latter and so you should be prepared to use it only where a reliable and reasonably speedy internet connection can be maintained. If you own an older iPad such as the iPad 2, or first version of the iPad 3 you may also find that the app’s performance struggles during the interactive sections. Later devices run it just fine, however.
There are few apps, indeed few learning resources as a whole, which try to link different subjects together. While a single subject approach may be fine for passing exams, it does leave children without the richness of knowledge and ability to apply learning from one area to another. As well made as this app’s content is, its shining star is the creative, fun and original way that it pulls all of the different strands together, leaving children with an appreciation and sense of wonder at how what they have learned does actually all link up.
From the Developer
Charting Art contains the last four lessons of Creativity Express. Charting Art follows in order: ‘Start With Art’, ‘Color Smart’, and ‘Envision Art’. These final lessons make cross-curricular connections to math and history, engaging children in more complex subjects using art as the compass.
- Animated art guides – Tickles, Furnace, and Ruby – lead children through four fun and engaging cross-curricular lessons designed to enhance your child’s critical thinking skills and unlock their creativity and problem solving capability.
- 8 'Creativity Builders' art projects give children hands-on experience using knowledge from each lesson. Two projects per lesson, the topics range from making a time capsule to designing a movie set.
- A ‘Parents’ page detailed guide to each Creativity Builders project including objectives, vocabulary, materials and procedures.
- Idea Gizmo to jump-start your child’s imagination and creative thinking skills.
- Doodle Gizmo -A fun, easy-to-use drawing and painting program for your mobile device.
- Comprehensive Glossary of art terms and definitions
Have your child Charting Art with these lessons:
- Time: Art is a useful tool in exploring how life was lived in the past. Paintings serve as records of life long ago and help identify changes in a changing world. Test your knowledge playing ‘Fact or Fib’ and experience different cultures while travelling through time.
- Math: Math influences art in many ways. Discover the secrets of the Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio while exploring proportion and shape in nature. Take a trip back in time to learn how the Egyptians and Greeks used mathematical foundations for their artwork and architecture, and how those same formulas are used today.
- Museums: Visiting a museum can be more than looking at old bones and portraits. Let the professionals show you around, and you'll find out how artwork is maintained, preserved, restored, and protected from theft. Learn about the artwork that got away, and how Michelangelo created a forgery.
- Inspiration: Anyone can be an artist, but like any other field of study it takes practice. Discover ways that famous artists influenced and inspired each other. Learn about the techniques they studied, the paintings they made, and how you can learn from their methods. Then you’re ready to develop your own individual style!