Why be normal? Normal is boring. The art of surrealism is unique, anything but normal. It is the definition of stepping outside of the box. Surrealism is an art movement where artists sought to release creativity and illogical images as a form of expression. If your kids like to be different, then they really will enjoy studying this funky art form with these printables to teach kids about the surrealists.
This post is part of the Art History Resources Series
The art of surrealism was developed in the 1920s and thrived straight through the 1960s. The artists creating surreal art felt that art should free people from what is considered “rational” thinking. They understood art should express one’s personal desires and that a mind was somewhat in bondage with normal thought.
Surrealism was a journey to dreams, creativity, and imagination. Surrealists were influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories of how humans dealt with struggle, the conscious and the unconscious.
Surrealism art is super funky for kids, they love it. Its creative, weird, and is chock-full of thought-provoking images. Whether the images be simple or odd, surrealism will leave them scratching their heads but piquing their interests.
The only surrealist I was familiar with before gathering up lessons for my kids was Salvador Dali. I learned some pretty cool things about surrealism and surrealist artists that you and your family may find interesting. The first thing that jumped out to me was that Frida Kahlo is considered a surrealist.
It made me want to search for more of Frida’s paintings and to learn more about other surrealists.
These printables will help you teach about surrealism in your art studies:
7 Surrealist Games to Unlock Creativity | Art Class Curator
Art History Worksheets for High School | Anythin
SURREALISM (FREE Movement Binder Notes)|The Smart Teacher
Read tidbits of information and grab the printables to teach kids about the surrealists:
Breton was the artist who started the surrealist movement, although he wasn’t the most famous. He defined surrealism as “pure psychic automatism” in his writings that include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924.
Dali is the most famous of the surrealists. This is a quote from him that could explain his artwork far more than my words can:
“The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning; on the contrary, their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent, and involuntary that it escapes the most simple analysis of logical intuition.” -Dali
Salvador Dali Word Search Worksheet | Puzzles to Print
Telling Time with Salvador Dali – Great Art Integration Activity | Art with Jenny K
Spanish Art Writing Activity – Salvador Dali Paintings | Sue Summers
Salvador Dali Maze| Artsology
Salvador Dali Inspired Paper Plate Melting Clocks | The Pinterested Parent
Dali Art Projects for Kids | Artsy Craftsy Mom
The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)Dalí. The Paintings (Bibliotheca Universalis)Salvador Dalí: Master of Modern Art (Masterworks)Dali’s Greatest SecretSalvador Dali (Revised Edition) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists) (Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists (Paperback))
Miró worked considerably in lithography and made many murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces. In 1980, Miró was awarded Spain’s Gold Medal of Fine Arts and his name was given to a plaza in Madrid.
Joan Miró art lesson for children with free printable | Nurture Store
Miro art lesson plan printable | Pinsearch
Sage’s mature style depicted strong architectural forms and horizon lines. Her work was exhibited in New York and Europe throughout the 1940s and ’50s. Unfortunately, she starting losing her eyesight in the mid-1950s.
Frida is arguably the most famous of all female surrealists. The artist never considered herself a surrealist, although she has been categorized as such in the art world. She was a Mexican painter best known for her vivid self-portraits that seem to deal with identity, the human body, passion, and death.
Free Frida Coloring Pages! | Crafty Chica
Worksheets (FREE) Frida Kahlo Biography | Education.com
How-to Guide to Drawing Frida! FREE | Art with Mrs E
Facts & Worksheets Frida Kahlo | KidsKonnect
FridaAt Frida Kahlo’sForever Frida: A Celebration of the Life, Art, Loves, Words, and Style of Frida KahloFrida Kahlo (Little People, Big Dreams)Frida: The Biography of Frida KahloFrida Kahlo and Her Animalitos (1)
A key contribution from Ernst to the Surrealist movement was his invention of frottage, a technique of placing paper over a textured material, like wood grain or metal mesh and rubbing it with a pencil or crayon to achieve varying effects on the canvas.
Une Semaine De Bonte: A Surrealistic Novel in CollageMax Ernst and Alchemy : A Magician in Search of Myth (SurrealistMax Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (Art & Design)Surreal Lovers: Eight Women Integral to the Life of Max ErnstMax Ernst: A RetrospectiveMax Ernst, 1891-1976: Beyond Painting (Taschen Basic Art) by Bischoff, Ulrich (2004) PaperbackMax Ernst: Sculptures
Magritte created illustrations for commercials and book covers for income, Sadly, he only became world-famous after his death. The subjects of his work seem simple enough, yet the paintings are mysterious and strange.
Art Lesson Plan: Rene Magritte | Smock Room
Surrealism Worksheets | TES
10 Rene Magritte Art Projects for Kids | Artsy Craftsy Mom
René Magritte: Life LineMagritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938Magritte (Basic Art Series 2.0)American Gift Services – Artist Rene Magritte Fine Art Poster Print of Painting The Lovers – 24×36René Magritte: Selected WritingsRené Magritte and the Art of Thinking (Routledge Research in Art History)
Carrington’s art often featured images of women and animals in an extraordinary style. She co-founded the women’s liberation movement in Mexico which fought for women’s rights there.
The Complete Stories of Leonora CarringtonLeonora Carrington: Surrealism, Alchemy and ArtThe Surreal Life of Leonora CarringtonOut of This World: The Surreal Art of Leonora CarringtonSurreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati HornaLeonora: A novel inspired by the life of Leonora Carrington
If you are doing an art study in your homeschool, lessons on surrealists will break up the monotony with fun and colorful thought-provoking artwork of this era.
You might also want to check out these free artist/art study resources:
FREE Instant Download: Artists Notebooking & Research Unit
Learn all about famous artists with this awesome unit study from Techie Homeschool Mom. In this unit study, your family will learn all about 10 renowned artists and explore 10 art movements from Renaissance to Surrealism. When you teach kids about the surrealists don’t forget to teach some of the literature written by these creative minds.
Incorporating art history into your lessons can go quite seamlessly. Art can be interwoven into other subjects in your homeschool (i.e. math, science, history, geography, literature). Particularly with surrealism, many of the artists were also poets that impacted the literary world as well.
Salvador Dalí and the Surrealists: Their Lives and Ideas, 21 Activities (For Kids series)Surrealism For KidsImagine That!: Activities and Adventures in Surrealism (Art Explorers)Great Art in 30 Seconds: 30 awesome art topics for curious kids (Kids 30 Second)Art That Changed the World: Transformative Art Movements and the Paintings That Inspired Them
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!