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All lesson plans © Debi West, Ed.S, NBCT
April 2008

Kindergarten: France — Monet’s Moments



• 9" x 9" white drawing paper or Bristol board
• Blue and white tempera paint
• Brushes
• 8.5" x 11" copy paper
• Oil pastels
• Scissors and glue
• Monet visuals

Learning Objectives
Kindergarten students will ...
• learn about the art of Claude Monet from France.
• learn how to make tints.
• learn about actual and implied texture in an artwork.
• learn about background and foreground.
• learn to blend oil pastel and create a collaged artwork.

1. Students see examples of Monet’s art. (It’s fun to dress up like Monet and surprise the kids in costume!)
2. Students learn about background and foreground.
3. Students receive a piece of square Bristol board or drawing paper and write their names on the back.
4. Students begin to paint “fuzzy” blue, using an up-and-down brush stroke to create texture in their art.
5. Students then add a bit of white paint, creating a tint of blue and creating value in their background.
6. The next class period, students receive a piece of copy paper and the teacher models how to draw water lilies with oil pastels, and color blending.
7. Students cut around the lines of their water lilies (two to three lilies in various sizes).
8. Students glue these down onto their tint background painting, making the water lilies appear in the foreground.
9. Students hang these artworks together, creating a large Monet-inspired painting for our European installation.


Grade 1: France—Matisse Masterpieces
Lesson plan is featured in the April 2008 issue of Arts & Activities magazine.
Click here to download a PDF copy of this project.
(This article will download to your computer as a PDF file)

Grade 2: England—Royal Art with Self-Portraiture

• Two pieces of 9" x 12" Bristol board
• Pencils
• Prismacolor Art Stix
• Gold paints
• Brushes
• Markers, including fine-tipped black pens
• Multicultural-colored crayons
• Newspapers
• Plastic jewels
• Scissors and glue
• 12" x 18" black construction paper
• Images of English royalty

Learning Objectives
Second-grade students will ...
• learn about the continent of Europe, specifically the art of England’s Royal Family.
• learn about self-portraiture.
• learn about 2-D and 3-D art.

1. Students learn about the art of the Royal Family in 17th-century England.
2. Students look at several prints of actual portraits of royalty in England.
3. Students receive a piece of paper and write their name on the back.
4. Students draw a self-portrait, as the teacher models it.
5. Students look in a mirror and discuss what they see.
6. Students use a black permanent pen and follow the teacher as he or she models how to draw a proportional face, starting with the eye area:
a. Students first draw a large oval or circle in the middle of their paper.
b. They then add their pupil dots in the center of the oval.
c. They add a circular iris around their pupil, and add their sclera by making “bird beaks” on each side of their iris.
d. Next, they add their eyelid line and their eyelashes.
e. Students then draw their eyebrow above their eye.
7. The next step is fun in that students are shown how to measure their facial features by using their fingers. They measure their eye with their index finger and thumb, and then they turn their hand to measure their nose. They are amazed to find they are the same size! This is now put to use as artists do, and students measure their drawn eye and turn their fingers, knowing where to add the bottom of their nose.
8. Next, they add their lip lines and then measure their mouth to see that it is the same size as their ear! They add their ears, again, measuring to see where to add the ear.
9. Students then add their neck and shoulders and do any embellishing.
10. To complete the drawing, students add lines that represent their hair.
11. Students color their skin using an assortment of multicultural-colored crayons. Again, students look closely in their mirrors to see where certain shadows fall. They are then taught how to put value in their drawings. These portraits will be matted onto black construction paper.
12. Markers are then added to the iris, the hair, the shirt and the background.
13. Students then put their completed self-portrait away and begin working on their crowns.
14. Students receive another piece of Bristol board and draw their own crown, using the majority of the paper for size and adding their own line designs.
15. Students paint these with gold paint and then embellish with black pen lines and plastic jewels.
16. With guidance, students glue their crowns onto the black construction paper around their self-portrait, making them stick out a bit like a “real” crown, giving the illusion of a 3-D crown on their drawn heads!
17. Students exhibit these amazing artworks in their European installation!

Grade 3: Italy— Mona ME-sa

• Reproductions of the Mona Lisa
• 9" x 12" white drawing paper (typing paper also works)
• Black permanent pens
• Prismacolor Art Stix
• Cool-colored watercolors
• Paintbrushes
• Water cups

Learning Objectives
Third-grade students will ...
• learn about the European Renaissance artist, Leonardo DaVinci, specifically his painting of the Mona Lisa.
• learn about the art of self-portraiture.
• learn about various lines used to create artworks.

1. Students look at a print of the Mona Lisa and discuss what they see, deciding through a critiquing process if the piece is good or bad and why they feel this way.
2. Students discuss the lines they see in the Mona Lisa painting and then look at the lines on the Mona Lisa reproduction they have.
3. Students trace the lines on the Mona Lisa with permanent pens onto a piece of light white paper, omitting the facial features. Or you can give them a copy of the Mona Lisa with the face already cut out.
4. Students then draw their self-portrait onto the space left inside the newly drawn Mona Lisa, thus creating a Mona ME-sa! (See self-portraiture lesson for Grade 2.)
5. Students color layer their piece using Prismacolor Art Stix, blending and layering the colors they choose to use.
6. Finally, students use a cool color watercolor wash to paint the sky and any background spaces they haven’t added color to.
7. These Mona ME-sas are displayed in the European art installation.

Students can write a short story about their life as the Mona Lisa. Questions may include: What is it like to live in a museum? Is the frame around your head heavy? How long did you have to sit for DaVinci as he painted you? Also, the teacher may have the Mona Lisa “visit” via a costumed volunteer and create a question-and-answer environment.


Grade 4: Italy—Michelangelo’s ... On Your Back!


• 9" x 12" Bristol board
• Prismacolor Art Stix
• Pencils
• 12" x 18" construction paper
• Scissors and tape
• Images of the Sistine Chapel and Renaissance angel art

Learning Objectives
Fourth-grade students will ...
• learn about the art of the early Renaissance artists from Europe.
• learn about the art of Michelangelo, specifically the Sistine Chapel and how it was created.
• learn to draw in a similar environment, realizing the challenges of drawing on a “ceiling.”
• learn to color layer.

1. Students see examples of different types of angels painted during the Renaissance.
2. Students see images of the Sistine Chapel.
3. Students are given paper and write their name on the back. They tape the paper under their table.
4. Students lightly sketch out their angel shape under the table, lying on their backs propped up by their elbow.
5. Students then take their sketched images and put them on the table, having had the experience of drawing on a “ceiling.”
6. Students draw their face into the angel. (See the self-portrait lesson for Grade 2.)
7. Students color layer their entire angel, using Prismacolor Art Stix.
8. Students cut around the lines of the angel and glue it on construction paper, making sure to fold the wings up to create a 3-D feel.
9. The angel art is hung from the ceiling in the European installation, mirroring the Sistine Chapel!

Students can add white paint or cotton balls to create clouds on their angel art.

Grade 5: Spain—Picasso’s Reflections

• 9" x 12" Bristol board
• Permanent pens
• Pencils
• Markers
• Oil pastels
• Print of Picasso’s Girl Before the Mirror, 1932

Learning Objectives
Fifth-grade students will ...
• learn about the art of Pablo Picasso.
• learn about Cubism.
• learn about complementary color schemes.

1. Students see examples of different types of Cubist art created by Picasso, specifically Girl Before the Mirror.
2. Students discuss the Cubist movement and how it changed art world.
3. Students are given paper and write their name on the back.
4. Students draw themselves in a cubistic manner looking in a mirror. The reflection in the mirror can be many things, depending on the context of the lesson. Often I have students make the reflection something they hope to achieve in the future—the reflection is their future.
5. Students then outline all of the lines and shapes with permanent pens.
6. Students use markers to paint in their work, leaving no parts, except the sclera of the eye, white.
7. Students add oil pastel blends to their final piece, using complementary color schemes.
8. Students mat their art.
9. The Cubistic art is hung in the European installation!


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