Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grant Wood Extension Activities

Isn't it interesting how Grant Wood combined fanciful and realistic elements in the same painting?  I just love his sense of whimsy.

Ready to learn more?  Here are some more activities to try:


Texture is one of the most important art elements in Grant Wood's work.  It is what gives his artwork depth and what makes it look real (or distinctly not-real).  Remember those texture rubbings we did on our Grant Wood landscapes?  Here's a way to learn how to create the same texture using your pencils.
  • Use your pencil to create a texture rubbing using the bottom of your shoes, a drinking glasses, or leaves.  
  • Then, using the same pencil, try to duplicate the look of that rubbing.  Pay close attention to how dark or light the marks are.  (hint: use the side of your pencil rather than the point)  
  • For more detailed instructions on how to create this project take a look at TeachKidsArt


Grant Wood is most famous for American Gothic, but he has done much more.

  • Museum Syndicate has a great digital collection of his work.  Take some time and flip through.  Which one is your favorite?


  • Kahn Academy (one of my all-time favorite free resources) has a wonderful video discussing  Wood's American Gothic.   It might be a bit much for younger students, but it is truly fascinating.
  • The video Dropping in on Grant Wood {affiliate link} is an adorable cartoon that does a great job of telling the story of Grant Wood's life.  Check to see if it is available in your local library.  There is also a companion book that is quite good.


The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is offering FREE ADMISSION on October 14th.  This would be a great opportunity to take a look at some of Grant Wood's pieces in person.  They also have a fantastic exhibition opening soon on American abstract expressionism that I think the kids would enjoy (in addition to the always popular mummies).


Grant Wood was raised in a Quaker home.

  • Learn more about what the Quaker's believe at HistoryforKids.  Does this sound similar to what you believe?  What is different?  
  • In official Quakerism, few believe in the need for salvation.  This is because most Quakers don't accept the reality of sin.  Instead they focus on improving themselves through good works and acting peacefully.  Is it possible to please God by simply doing good things?