Our Top Apps for Art Appreciation in Your Class

Exposing children to art, even from a young age has been shown to improve cognitive ability, open up channels of communication and encourage creative expression and discussion.

Apps lend themselves really well to art appreciation. It can sometime be a challenge to take children to galleries, either because of distance, cost or organisation but, by bringing art to children through digital devices, they can get a sense of the wonder of the art and even interact with the pieces they see.

To this end, here are our top apps to help you open up your class to art appreciation:

1) Select your pieces carefully - Children relate particularly well to art that includes people. They like to think about historical contexts and to imagine themselves in a given time or place. With this in mind, select at least some pieces to view that have people in them. They could be people of different ages, in different settings and expressing different emotions. Kuinji! has many excellent examples of subjects in a variety of contexts.

2) Use open questions and peer discussion - Encourage peer discussion around an open question such as “what do you think the subject is thinking and why?” You’ll be wowed by the children’s responses and justification for their answers!

3) Make it cross-curricular – With time being squeezed for practical art opportunities, there is even less time and opportunity for art appreciation in the timetable. However, if planned carefully, art appreciation can be brought into other subject areas using a cross-curricular or creative curriculum approach. Even if your week isn’t topic-based (which generally lends itself well to art) it can be featured in maths, science, history and more.

4) Keep it relevant - Children like to compare art that they see with their own lives and so, by choosing art where a direct comparison can be made, this will make for an interesting and successful lesson. For example art that features child subjects or a setting that they are familiar or an artistic technique that they have themselves employed can add a extra dimension of interest for your pupils.

5) Compare and contrast – Try to choose a wide variety of pieces with at least one common theme (for example representations of children in art). that way they have an immediate point of reference and can feedback accordingly.

Apps can open up art that might otherwise be inaccessible but to get a real feeling of the size, texture and feeling that live art produces do try to take your class to a local gallery if you can. If you’re UK-based Art Guide is a free guide to seeing and experiencing art across the UK and will help you discover world-class exhibitions and art museums near you. Read on to discover our favourite drawing apps for kids, to help you decide where to start, but do let us know what sketching and painting apps you depend on.

Have fun with art appreciation in your class!

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