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EDCI 301: In-Class Lesson

Name: Kelsey N Lesson Title: Habitats of the World Grade(s): 2 Time of Lesson: 1hr and 15 min (total)- Parts I and II come at the end of a 4-day series studying habitats Part I: The teacher will review habitats and students will pencil sketch their painting (30 min) Part II: Teacher will demonstrate watercolor techniques and students will paint their habitats (45 min) Lesson Summary Students will be able to utilize their knowledge on various animals, climates, and plant life of a particular habitat to create a watercolor painting. This lesson will come at the end of a 4-day series teaching about habitats and it will be broken into two segments. During the first period, students will review habitats and pencil sketch their paintings. In the second segment, students will learn about watercolor techniques and they will incorporate them into their habitat paintings. Students will individually create a painting of a habitat they select (oceans/coral reefs, artic tundra, savannas/grasslands, or tropical rainforests), expressing their knowledge of a particular habitat of their choice using watercolor and crayon on paper. Essential Question How can we use watercolor techniques to portray a particular habitat?

Learning Objectives

Students will understand that earth supports many different habitats, each of which has distinct features and distinct plant and animal populations. Students will create a watercolor painting to depict one habitat (oceans/coral reefs, artic tundra, or savannas/grasslands, or tropical rainforests) Students will use at least 2 watercolor techniques in their painting from the following: wet-on-dry, graded wash, lifting wet watercolor, or wax-resist

Materials/Resources Supplies: 1 piece of 18x12 (Thick Paper) White Drawing Paper Pencils and Erasers for Sketching designs (one per student) Extra sheets/newspaper for placemats Watercolor Set (one per student) Box of Crayons (one per student) Paintbrush (one per student) Cup for Water (one per student) Timer Paper towels Water (estimated 1/2 cup/person) 1 Container of Clorox Wipes *Water and paper towels provided by instructor Instructional Resources: Images of samples (attached below) PowerPoint

Vocabulary Habitat: area that a particular species/animal or plant lives Tundra: physical place where low temperatures and short growing seasons are abundant due to frozen soil Coral Reef: warm, marine habitat, home to coral structures, sea grass, sponges, and tropical fish Grassland/Savanna: a plain characterized by course grasses, scattered tree growth, and dry temperatures Tropical Rainforest: area with high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall; home to 50% of the earths plants/animals Medium/media: material used by an artist to create a work Subject matter: what the audience is to focus on/ the emphasis of a work Watercolor cake: dry, solid form of color blocks that need to be moistened

Printed images of habitats in plastic sheets (attached below)

Technology: Computer Projector/Screen

Wet-on-dry: Using a wet brush, dipping it into watercolor, then painting on dry paper Graded wash: Beginning with a liberal amount of paint on a wet brush, dabbing your brush (after initial paint goes on paper) on a paper towel, adding a little bit of water then applying to same area Lifting wet watercolor: Blot designs with tissue, sponge, or paper towel to suck up the wet paint Wax-resist: Draw using color crayon of choice (usually white) on paper, then paint over the wax with watercolor, leaving design in wax behind (withstanding the watercolor)

Optional: Lesson Variations Using large mural paper, the teacher can also have students work as teams of 3 or 4 to collaborate on the same project. This will allow students to maximize their engagement and learn from one another. Each child will bring his or her own ideas and share them with the group, which will help engage students in social, experiential learning instead of working independently. Students can also play with watercolor on several sheets of thick paper and have them cut out shapes to create new images as Eric Carle did when illustration The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Instructional Sequence PART I. Set Up

Approximate Time (2 min)


The teacher will set up the projector and PowerPoint. The teacher will place the blank white drawing paper (enough sheets for the whole class) and a bin of pencils/erasers on the back table. The teacher will also hang images of habitats on blackboard before class. Today we are going to review what we have learned about habitats and explore several different types. We are also going to use pencils to sketch our own habitats as an introduction to our watercolor lesson. The teacher will open the PowerPoint and begin by asking students: What is a habitat? The teacher will include animation for each habitat so the name and photo show up and then he/she will ask students to respond with what they know before presenting the bulleted information. The teacher will then expand on students definitions and briefly review the various kinds of habitats that make up different areas of the world across all of the continents (specifically: grasslands/savannas, oceans/coral reefs, the artic tundra, and tropical rainforests). The teacher will offer discussion questions: What/Where is your habitat? Name some animals in the ____ habitat? How do we know they live there? (temperature, plants and food)


(7 min)

Core Activity

(13 min)

After the presentation/review, the teacher will ask the materials manager or one student from each table to gather enough drawing papers and pencils/erasers for their table. While they are gathering materials, the teacher will allow students to look at example images (in plastic covers) of the different habitats, which will be hung on the blackboard as references for students that

need them (for their sketches). The students are not restricted to these images; they can look up images on the computer (*only if they are stuck). Before students start sketching, the teacher will ask students to write their name and the type of habitat they are going to draw (and later paint), on the back of their thick white drawing paper. The teacher will give students about ten minutes to draw and plan out their habitat on their blank drawing sheets. The teacher will remind students that this sketch is going to be the basis for their watercolor painting in the next session: Make sure your pencil lines are light and smooth so that the watercolor does not show the marks. Try to make your images/drawings big enough to fill out the whole sheet of paper. Closure/Reflection (5 min) The teacher will then offer questions to reflect on the activity. These can include: How do you think sketching your painting with pencil first will help or hurt your final product/watercolor painting? What images did you try to include in your drawing that would help identify a particular habitat? Do you think artists write down or brainstorm ideas before drawing? OR Do you think they just begin their work without any reference tools? How could their approach impact their work? Materials managers will collect the drawings and pencils/erasers and place them on the back table in piles according to their table numbers (for easy access next session).

Clean Up

(3 min)


(3 min)

Before the lesson, the teacher will have enough watercolor sets, boxes of crayons, water cups, paintbrushes, and newspaper placemats for each of the tables in buckets (enough materials for each student to have his/her own) set up on the back table. Materials will be in buckets, placed on the table, so that the materials manager does not have to carry individual materials. The teacher will fill a large pitcher with water to bring to class beforehand. The pencil drawings will be organized by table number from the previous lesson so the materials manager can just pick up the pile and the bucket. The students will arrange desks and chairs so that students are at individual desks so they have room to spread out and paint. *The teacher will distribute materials (water and paper towels) and pick students from each table to collect materials buckets for their groups after the core lesson content has been shared so as to avoid distractions. Today we will learn about watercolor techniques and paint on top of our pencil sketches using these methods to create our habitat paintings. There are many different kinds of media, materials used by an artist to create a work, that could be used to portray a particular habitat. We will be exploring the use of watercolor and various techniques you can try to enhance your watercolor painting of the habitat you choose to represent. What are some of the watercolor techniques that you have tried in the past? Lets look at some different techniques you can try today. The teacher will open the PowerPoint as a continuation of the previous sessions slides. The teacher will begin by reviewing what different media are and explain to students that they are going to be using watercolor on thick


(9 min)

drawing paper (medium) to portray a habitat (subject matter), which they already started in the previous session with pencils. The teacher will then ask students: What do you know about watercolor? The teacher will expand on students responses and teach students several watercolor techniques (wet-on dry, graded wash, lifting wet paint, wax resist) while showing images of what each method looks like. The teacher will then show examples of artist, John Audubons naturalist watercolor landscapes discussing his background and use of different media to create his paintings. The teacher will ask students: What techniques do you think he used? What seems to be the subject matter of the paintings? How could we use similar techniques in our own paintings? The teacher will expand on students responses and give background information: The snowy owl lives in Alaska. It likes to build its nest up high so that it can be ready to hunt its prey, which Audubon illustrates. The colors used in this watercolor painting suggest cold temperatures through colors: black, gray, blue, and white with many small details in the wings and tree branches. The blue heron is an inhabitant of the wetlands all over North America (in flowing water: streams, creeks, rivers). Audubon painted the heron about to snatch its food (small fish) from the marsh/wetland. He portrays the tall grasses, sandy soil, and running water that make up the herons home. The teacher will also talk about the use of color and line that is evident in Audubons paintings, which students can incorporate as well like: mixing colors or using less water on the brush to make thin, defining lines. Core Activity (24 min) The teacher will review the watercolor techniques and give explicit directions on how to work with watercolor while demonstrating on a blank drawing sheet that is taped to the board: Dip your paintbrush in water, then dip the soft tip in the watercolor cake, then apply/paint onto the paper. Be sure to wash your brush between colors (unless mixing purposely). To wash your brush, press the bristles down and paint the bottom of the cup and then remove the brush and dry with a paper towel. To control the value of color, or how light/dark it is, you need to control how much water is on your brush. The less water you have on your brush, the darker the color will be (and vice versa). The teacher will show the class example habitat watercolor paintings. The teacher will then pick one student from each table to gather materials from the back table (which the teacher will have organized in buckets before the lesson) and distribute them to the students at their table. The teacher will walk around and fill their individual cups with water and hand out paper towels. The teacher will tell students to begin painting and make sure they each have newspaper or another sheet of paper under their drawing paper. The teacher will walk around the room to make sure the students are utilizing the different watercolor techniques and facilitate discussions about how the colors and techniques are enhancing their habitat painting.


(5 min)

Once the students are finished painting, the teacher will have students walk around the room to look at (not touch) other students works (the teacher will call one table at a time). This will stimulate a discussion on the various elements of habitats and techniques that different students used in their

paintings. The teacher will then offer questions to reflect on the activity. These can include: What did you learn about what makes up a habitat from this activity? How did the use of watercolor techniques help you to depict a certain aspect of the habitat you chose? Do you think working with a partner would have been difficult for this project? What are some other media that you could work with to explore habitats? Do you think this activity stimulated your individual creativity? How did your classmates portray their habitat? (techniques, animals, plant life?) Clean Up (4 min) Students will clean up any excess paint or water that is on their desks with the paper towels they were given. The teacher will pick one student to be a table washer and use Clorox wipes to clean off excess paint from tables. Students will place their watercolor paintings on the drying rack or the back table of the classroom to dry before leaving class (The teacher will call students according to their table number to avoid chaos). One student from each table will return all buckets of supplies to supply table/closet. The teacher will hang the paintings on the bulletin board for the rest of the unit on Life Science (once dry).

Teachers Artifacts:

John Audubons watercolor paintings:

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Owl

Printed images of habitats (in plastic sheets): Tropical Rainforest:


Coral Reef:

Arctic Tundra:

References Habitats. (n.d.) National Geographic Society. Retrieved from National Audubon Society. (n.nd.) Audubon. Retrieved from Watercolor Tutorials. (n.d.) Retrieved from