More continent swap projects!
To represent The Netherlands, I wanted to create a tangible activity based around one of Vincent van Gogh's paintings. I thought a painting of his bedroom would be perfect. The activity would allow the children to touch and move around the furniture! I started with an image of one of his bedroom paintings. (Did you know he painted this bedroom at least three times?)
Bedroom in Arles
Next, I used a coloring page (from The van Gogh Museum) of Bedroom in Arles. Using an exacto knife, I cut out all the furniture and painted in the spaces, thus creating the empty bedroom. Next I painted all the furniture pieces, as best I could, to match van Gogh's.
I arranged the activity in a red folder (to match the Montessori map colors), with photos of all van Gogh's bedroom paintings and a little envelope with the furniture pieces. First the children are to figure out which image of van Gogh's bedroom, most closely resembles the empty bedroom. Then they are to arrange the furniture just as van Gogh did, making the 2 bedroom images identical.
When they are finished, the children can arrange the furniture as they wish. "How would you arrange the furniture if this was your bedroom?" Some children may notice furniture seems to "fit" only in certain places. Why are the 2 chairs such different sizes? Ah, perspective! (I found an interesting lesson about perspective in van Gogh's bedroom, here.)
My daughter's original interior design!
After completing this project, I was thinking to myself how funny it would be if van Gogh was in his bed. On a lark, I printed two of his self portraits, and cut out the heads. I cut a little slit in the bed (just under the pillow) and stuck in his head. I have to tell you, I laughed so hard I think my husband and children thought I was a lunatic. See for yourself how funny it looks! Hilarious, right?!?!
Here is a file with the empty bedroom and the furniture. Have fun!