In October I always introduce a unit on Vincent Van Gogh to 1st graders. During the unit we discuss size perspective, line, color, and shapes.
My first lesson is always on perspective and horizon line, reviewing what they learned in Kindergarten. Then they draw their own version of this painting (Fishing Boats on the Beach) to review size, color, detail and placement on the page. This always seems to fit in nicely with their classroom study on Columbus because they apparently draw or at least see lots of drawing of ships during that time and are comfortable drawing them!
I like to show them this painting (Fishing Boats at Sea 1888) after they draw and we can imagine so much about this painting! And check out those waves ... we talk about feeling this painting ... imagine it would be very scratchy...except, no, we DON'T touch paintings in real life!
The second time we meet we look at this painting (Wheatfield with Crows 1890) and talk about how it makes us feel, where the roads are leading too, and why it looks like there are two moons!? It's a great discussion and since the kids are in a Halloween mood, it fits right in there too!
After that quick discussion we go right to work! Paint pallets are all ready for them, no water, just paint.
We use a limited pallet and discuss why we chose those colors and which order we should go in so we don't have to worry about cleaning our brush - and how we can guess Van Gogh himself didn't do that (if he had washed his brush that moon wouldn't look so green!)
After we finish painting, black oil pastels are used to add the crows.
Love painting with kids! SO much fun and relaxing ... I have the quietest little painters!
What paintings do you like to do with the lower grades? I'd love to hear and see!