Art's a game anyone can play
cards or postcards available.
It consists of sets of four famous paintings by half-a-dozen artists, with the artist's name and the name of each painting on a separate card.
Playing in groups, the children can decide which paintings appear to be painted by the same artist by looking at theme or technique. They can then discuss which name goes with each painting. I keep the cards in plastic pockets, so that the name of each painting can be written on the back but hidden behind a piece of paper so is not obvious for checking.
Once the children are familiar with the names of the artists and paintings, I play games such as Kim's game ,where the children have to say which picture has been taken away; games where a child describes a painting in such a way that the rest of the group knows which one he or she is thinking of; Happy Families where they have to collect a set of four paintings by the same artist (asking for them by name); and Snap.
Another game that encourages observation is to choose a painting and cover it up with a piece of card with a small keyhole in it. The children then have to work out which painting is under the card from the details they can see. They soon become familiar with a range of artists and famous paintings, while enjoying a game they can return to a number of times.
Literacy co-ordinator, Gipsey Bridge School, Lincolnshire