For blog inspiration, I just flipped through all my photos from my elementary art teaching days to find a lesson to write about. Usually I avoid this because it usually provokes some PTSD teaching dreams, but that’s a story for another day. 🙂
This lesson is inspired by one of my favorite artists, Marc Chagall. I’ve written about his work before on the blog. His work is magic. It’s full of color, whimsy, love, and enchanting stories–perfect for the littles to look at and discuss. There is a chance this same lesson is somewhere on the internet. It’s been 5 years since I did it, and I have no idea if I came up with it on my own or if I found it online. If it’s something you wrote about before 2009, please send me the link, and I’m happy to link to your post. 🙂
First, let’s see a couple Chagall paintings for inspiration in the below slideshow. Let your little one look at the works and share their thoughts. Here are some questions to help the discussion (adapted from this post). His paintings are also great with the narrative activities in this former post. Click on the image to see it larger. If you want to see more Chagall images, you can find them at this link.
Slideshow: (click arrows to advance)
Questions to ask: What is going on in this painting? What do you see that makes you say that? Is this a real or imaginary place? What elements of this painting seem real and what elements seem dreamlike? What emotions do you notice in the artwork? How did the artist use line, shape, and color to contribute to the mood or meaning? Why do you think this artist created this work?
Art Project Instructions
Age range: Elementary. The examples I use in this post come from a second grade class.
- Look at and discuss Chagall’s art.
- Start with a large square piece of paper (12×12 or bigger).
- Have students draw a line at the bottom of 3 sides like this image. This will help students envision each edge as the ground for the rest of the activity.
- Start with one side and have students draw a house or building of some sort.
- Turn the page, and have students draw an animal, person, tree/plant, or item of their choice. Every time they turn the page, the bottom becomes the new ground.
- Repeat with all three sides. Have students draw big and fill the page with people, animals, and buildings. They can distort and manipulate the images like Chagall did as well making half-people/half-animals. with stretched limbs, etc.
8. Color all areas of the picture with bold bright colors. Crayon, colored pencil, and watercolor work well for this step. Make sure the whole page is colored including the sky and ground.