There are two types of calendars that I save…. fine art calendars (like the Van Gogh pictured here) and scenic photography calendars. Both are useful, yet they serve two entirely different purposes.
Fine art calendars are great for showing students examples of art from a variety of well-known artists, styles, cultures and/or periods. The reproductions are good quality and large enough to be seen from across the room, yet they’re smaller and easier to store than art posters if your space is limited. And best of all, where prints can be expensive, these are free! On that note, if you know you need examples of art from a specific artist, it can also be worth just buying a new calendar as many stores will soon be selling them at half off.
The other calendars I use are photography calendars, like the ones with photos of exotic places you would love to travel to. I collect these to use as backgrounds for a fun lesson inspired by Belgian surrealism artist Rene Magritte. Any kind of background picture will work for these “photo-montages” as long as you start with a photograph. Kids love having a variety of photos to choose from for this project, so the more calendars you collect the better. I’ll explain more about this lesson later on, but for now just focus on getting the word out…. “Don’t toss those old calendars!!”