May 29, 2011

Review: The BEST Art Video

I know a lot of us are starting to think about ordering even if we don't have our budgets in yet. . . So I will be posting my BEST finds that I hope can help you narrow down your selections. Our conversation about tempera paint has helped ME a lot! Thanks. Now I will revise my order.

This list is compiled from years of wasted money and intense research thumbing through catalogues, taking art workshops and trial and error.

There are only a few that I consider really worth my precious class time because they are so rich in learning. I didn't get around to showing one of them this year because I was on leave and wanted to spend as much time as possible with hands on learning. Usually we'll watch the Eric Carle one every year without fail because it ties in so well with the lesson and really inspires our paper making.

I won't waste our time by listing all the videos that have collected dust on the shelf. Here are the best.

I judge videos based on:

Length (30 minutes or less works best for me)
Visual Interest (does it look like a movie I would watch at home)
Instructional Value (is this something I could not show the students myself or bring them to see)
Student Interest (how does it hold the whole classes attention)

(I don't rate price because it is not a consumable and will pay for itself over time)

Length: B
Visual Interest: A
Instructional Value: A
Student Interest: A-
Comments: When this video starts without fail Maria's voice makes my students giggle. It is a perfect teaching moment though to show students how to respect other people and cultures. Maria is very old when the video was made and I think they might be reacting to that more then the culture. Within a few minutes students are engaged in the process of what she's doing and love learning about the process of making pottery. They start laughing again when it gets to the part about making a kiln and using cow dung to make the fire. Kids will be kids:) Great movie.
GRADES: 3-12

Length: A+
Visual Interest: A+
Instructional Value: A+
Student Interest: A+
Comments: No one knows kids like Eric Carle and this movie doesn't disappoint. He takes you through the process of creating his famous illustrations. As he works, he talks to students about his life as a child including some of the problems he overcame. . . this reminds me of the grandfather I never had. Even the paraprofessionals in the room LOVE watching this every year. My ONLY COMPLAINT is that it is super expensive. Take something of your order list and get this. You will have it for years to come.

Length: B-
Visual Interest: A
Instructional Value: A
Student Interest: A-

Comments: This video is a little too long for my taste. I solve that problem by stopping it half way through there is a good stopping place. Anyways at the end there is a slightly nude sculpture (it's stylized so not a big deal) so stopping it really works out well. I know we all have different feelings about nudity in art. I monitor it and eventually they go to the museum anyways. But that's another conversation. Also over $40.00 which is expensive to me.

One series that I really don't like is the "Dropping in On" some of the kids like them but it drives me crazy how fast they spit out information and expect kids to remember. I also don't understand the bird and the bad animation. Just personally it drives me crazy!



Denise Pannell (mrspicasso) said...

Linnea In Monet's Garden is a MUST. My first graders love this one and sit in silence while it is on.
You can see a sample of it here:'s+Garden

Also, Mike Venezzia of the Getting To Know The World's Famous Artists fame has new videos out:
Getting to Know Line in Art, Getting to Know Color in Art, and Getting to Know Shape & Form in Art. They have several chapters, so you can either watch the entire video or pick and choose which segments to watch. Very simple and graphic.

Hope that helps. :)
I will have to get the Oaxacan video you recommended!

Unknown said...

Thanks! I have Linnea in Monet's Garden. . . It is good but long. I am going to use it for a sub plan because Monet is a fav of the kids. Wish I could lend you the oaxacan video it is very expensive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the DVD advice!

I REALLY LOVE the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artist Series. It has a lot of fact in an entertaining and silly cartoon presentation. The kids really remember things from the DVDs and ask to watch them again. The best part is that they remember details about each artist from year to year!

Phyl said...

I'm going to admit it. I don't show many videos. I know there's wonderful stuff out there, but I always figure that the kids have art for 40 minutes, once or twice a week, and they spend SO much of their life in front of a video screen that I like their art time to be hands-on as much as possible.

But, having said that, I'll remind your readers that there is an awesome 25 minute video about surrealism called "Get Surreal with Salvador Dali" available for FREE (it doesn't get any better than that) simply by contacting the Salvador Dali museum in Florida. Here's the info:
To order a copy, please call 727.823.3767 (ext 0) or send an email request to:

Phyl said...

About ordering: here in NY we have a statewide budget vote day, in May. The school budgets are put together in advance of this date, and generally teachers' budgets are set and requisitions are due WAY in advance. In my current district, departmental budgets are set, and individual requisitions are due prior to February vacation. This is typical and in many districts it is even earlier. Our budget passed on the vote on May 17th, and the orders probably went out right afterward. That means that always I have to do a lot of guesswork. What colors paint will I run out of? Will I have enough of this or that? It's tough and luckily I have a little "sludge" money for emergency purposes, such as when I ran out of my art paste for papier-mache (heaven forbid), hot glue sticks, and black paint earlier this year. I always forget something.

When does everyone else do their budgets and ordering?

Unknown said...

I agree Phyl! 30 minutes max once a year and I will order that Dali film this summer Thanks. You're lucky that budgets are done early so people can find a job if they are laid off. I won't find out until the end of July when many jobs are taken. Oh well I decide every year if I want to take my chances or what to do. . . portfolio is always updated though.

Snippety Gibbet said...

Fantastic posts. I have spent so much money on bad videos over the years. I wish I had reviews to refer to at the time. jan