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South America
All lesson plans © Debi West, Ed.S, NBCT
   
                       
     
November 2007
   
                       
     

Kindergarten: Grass Blades

   
                       
     
   
                       
     

Materials
• Large pieces of white and green butcher paper
• Scissors
• Pencils
• Tempera paint
• Brushes
• Water containers
• Images of the rain forest

Learning Objectives
Kindergarten students will ...
• learn about the rain forest of Brazil.
• discuss several different types of grass blades and the colors and shapes they see.
• work together to create large grass blades that will become the foundation for our school-wide installation of an art “rain forest”!

Procedure
1. Students see examples of several types of grass and talk about their shapes and colors.
2. Students work in teams of four to learn to work together and create large-scale leaves.
3. Students draw the shape of the leaf onto a large piece of butcher paper.
4. Students then choose one person to cut it out while the others in the group begin to mix up their colors using the primary and neutral hues.
5. Students paint their grass blades.
6. Once dry, students hang their art into the school-wide rain forest installation!

Extension
At the end of this lesson, students can create drawings of the bugs that might live on their newly created grass blades.

   
           
     

Grade 1: Large Scale Leaves and Foliage ... Thinking BIG!

   
                       
     
   
                       
     
   
                       
     

Materials
• Large pieces of white and green butcher paper
• Scissors
• Pencils
• Tempera paint
• Brushes
• Water containers
• Images of leaves found in the rain forest

Learning Objectives
First-grade students will...
• learn about the rain forest of Brazil.
• discuss several different types of leaves and foliage found in the rain forest.
• learn to mix paint to create new colors.
• work together to create life-sized leaves.

Procedure
1. Students see examples of several different types of leaves and talk about their shapes and colors.
2. Students work in teams of four to learn to work together and create large-scale leaves.
3. Students draw the shape of the leaf onto a large piece of butcher paper.
4. Students then choose one student to cut it out while the others in the group begin to mix up their colors using the primary and neutral hues.
5. Students paint their leaf.
6. Once dry, students hang their art into the school-wide rain forest installation!

Extension
At the end of this lesson, students can write collaborative stories about this rain forest and display them next to the installation!

   
           
     

Grade 2:
Lesson plan is featured in the November 2007 issue of
Arts & Activities magazine.

Click here to download a PDF copy of this project.

   
           
     

Grade 3: Collaborative Rain Forest Puzzles

   
                       
     
   
                       
     
   
                       
     

Materials
• 12" x 18" white drawing paper
• Permanent black markers
• Oil pastels
• Scissors
• Glue
• Images of the rain forest and rain-forest animals
• Green butcher paper

Learning Objectives
Third-grade students will ...
• learn about the rain forest of Brazil.
• focus on background, foreground and middle ground in a landscape.
• discuss the foliage and animals and view many photos of this vast land.
• create individual artwork and add pieces of it to create a class “puzzle.”

Procedure
1. Students look at photographs and watch a PowerPoint slide show on the rain forest of Brazil.
2. Students look closely at foliage, landscape and animal life found in the rain forest.
3. Students sketch out a landscape scene, paying attention to the background, middle ground and foreground.
4. Students draw animal and “life” in the landscape, creating a successful rendering of a part of the rain forest.
5. Students then choose intermediate color schemes in which to fill in their landscapes, using oil pastel.
6. Students critique their overall completed artwork.
7. Students then take these landscape sketches, find two highly successful pieces and cut them out.
8. Students then work as a class, creating a large-scale class rain forest-inspired puzzle.
9. Students with large pieces place their work onto the butcher paper, creating the foreground.
10. Next step is the students with medium-sized pieces place their work on the butcher paper behind the large pieces, creating the middle ground.
11. Finally, the students with the smaller-sized pieces place their work on the paper behind the middle pieces, creating the background!
12. Three students are selected to glue all of the pieces onto the paper, thus creating a collaborative class “puzzle”!

Extension
This lesson actually became the extension, as the first landscape pieces didn’t come out as successfully as planned. I am a firm believer in finding success in every piece of art created, and this lesson allowed us to showcase the best from each child in a collaborative way.

   
           
     
Grade 4: South American Animal Masks
   
                       
     
   
                       
     
   
                       
     
   
           
     

Materials
• Construction paper
• Raffia
• Oil pastels
• Scissors
• Glue
• Hole punches
• Research sheets and PowerPoint slide show of the animals living in the rain forest

Learning Objectives
Fourth-grade students will ...
• learn about the rain forest of Brazil.
• discuss the different animals found there and select an animal that best describes them.
• learn about the art of collage and mask-making

Procedure
1. Students see examples of the many different animals living in the rain forest.
2. Students select the animal that best describes who they are. During the week, they will have the opportunity to research and learn more about their chosen animal.
3. Students learn about the importance of masks and mask-making throughout history in South America.
4. Students draw the shape of the animal’s head onto a piece of construction paper and cut it out.
5. Students then begin to use various pieces of colored construction paper to create the face of the animal using collage techniques.
6. Students embellish their completed work with oil pastel.
7. Students hole punch and add raffia to represent hair.
8. Finally, students cut a small slit on the bottom of the mask, fold it in and glue it, to give the completed animal head dimension and create a paper mask.
9. Once dry, students hang their masks into the school-wide rain-forest installation!

Extension
Have the students write down what they learn about their animal through their research, and display this around the installation. This proves the multi-layering of learning

   
           
     
Grade 5: Clay Rattles
   
                       
     

Materials
• Clay
• Newspaper
• Paperclips
• Texture tools
• Watercolor
• Brushes
• Plastic forks

Learning Objectives
Fifth-grade students will ...
• learn about the art of South America, specifically musical instruments.
• make their own musical instrument, a clay rattle.
• learn about sculpture techniques.

Procedure
1. Students see examples of the many different musical instruments found throughout South America.
2. Students see several examples of clay rattles.
3. Students learn how to create their own clay rattle using the pinch-pot technique.
4. Students make two simple clay pinch pots, about the size of their hands.
5. Students then wrap a few paperclips into a piece of newspaper and put this into one of the pinch pots.
6. Students then scratch to attach their clay pots’ edges using a fork and a touch of water, creating a slip.
7. Students put their pots together, creating a clay ball, blending in the edges and making sure there is no newspaper sticking out.
8. Students poke three or more holes in the rattle. (VERY IMPORTANT!)
9. Finally, students add simple symbols and textures around the clay rattle.
10. Once fired, students watercolor-wash their musical instruments and begin to shake out the burned newspaper (it is like a salt shaker).
11. Students can then enjoy hearing the sounds of their art!

Extension
These clay rattles can also be exhibited in the rain-forest installation on a decorated table. I actually had several of my students play their rattles during our student art exhibit while sounds of rain-forest music played in the background ... an aesthetic experience, for sure!

   
           
     
Rain Forest Atrium/ School-Wide Project Photos
   
                       
     
   
                       
     

   
           
     
   
           
     

Information about and photographs of the rain forest and its inhabitants:

http://rainforests.mongabay.com/amazon/
http://www.rainforestweb.org/Rainforest_Information/Sites_for_Kids/

   
           
         
         
           
 
 
 

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