We started by discussing his life and I showed the Guggenheim online collection of his, here. As we went through his collection I pointed out that he didn't start out a painter, or with abstracts. I presented The noisy paint box : the colors and sounds of Kandinsky's abstract art by Barb Rosenstock. The students, aged K to roughly 7th grade, were intrigued with the information about his neurological condition, synesthesia.
Understanding that while Kandinsky was alive no one knew about the condition makes you more thoughtful about what we know now about other conditions about how the brain works and interacts with other parts of the body and the world. Kids especially accept this information at face value and it helps them accept and help each other better.
Another book I've been using this year for Field Trip Friday and I used this week was Get into art: place by Susie Brooks. It takes several different artists, Kandinsky being one, and opens up an avenue of study for that artist. The painting we used was Winter Landscape, 1909. We talked about how although this was a winter scene, there was no white used.
The final product we worked on was abstract, and focused on trying a cruxiform on paper and then adding color and paper as we wanted. I showed a couple of my abstracts and how to make a cruxiform. And then I let the kids go to town.
I was recently contacted by someone from Artsy and I've checked out their website on Kandinsky, here. They have a great mission and I'm honored they wanted me to put a link on my site to their page.