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Teacher name: Kate Toensmeyer

Lesson title: Mini Monets: Monet-Inspired Impressionist Paintings


Grade level: 1st-2nd
Time frame: 1 hours
Sequence Theme/Big Idea: Where in the
World? Through the series of lessons in this sixweek sequence, students will become art
explorers, visiting a variety of countries and
learning about each areas artistic culture.
Lesson Narrative: In this lesson, students will
visit France to learn about the Impressionists.
Before painting, I will read the childrens book,
Katie Meets the Impressionists, to the class in our
story corner. The class will then discuss what
colors they see in the paintings featured in the
book, along with how dabs of many different
colors can come together to form one picture.
Finally, students will create their own Monet
Gardens using acrylic paint on foam board.
Lesson Rationale: Through creating their own impressionist gardens, students will explore
both French art history and begin experimentation with color, which they will learn about more
extensively throughout the lesson sequence. Although students will later learn more specific
color vocabulary, this lesson allows students to experiment with color as a means of selfexpression in a way a more step-by-step activity would not.
Students will also discuss what sorts of flowers and objects they would place in their own
garden, sparking interest about using color as a means of self-expression in both their art and
life.
Key Concepts:

Impressionism is a style of painting created in France over 100 years ago.


Claude Monet was a famous impressionist painter.
The French Impressionists used many different colors to create their paintings.
These separate colors all blend together to make a complete picture.

Objectives:
1.) Students will discover French impressionism through
reading, discussion, and creation.
2.) Students will experiment with blending colors through
basic optimal mixing.
3.) Students will create their own impressionist-style gardens
in the style of Monets Flower Beds at Vtheuil (Pictured
right).

Standards:
2PE Explore and describe how a selected art object was made.
(First Grade)
2PR Envision what cannot be observed directly and depict it visually.
(Second Grade)
6RE Identify and articulate important historical and cultural contributions of selected visual
artists.
(Second Grade)
Materials:

White foam board


Painters tape
Acrylic paints
Paint brushes (sizes small-large)
Paint shirts
Newspaper or other low-quality paper (to protect tables and floors)
Paper towels

Lesson Vocabulary:
France: A country in Europe. (Show students France on a map.)
Impressionism: A style of painting from 19 th century France. Impressionist paintings have
many different colors all next to one another, which combine to form a recognizable picture.
Claude Monet: A famous French Impressionist
Historical/Multicultural Exemplars:
At the beginning of the lesson, students will locate France on a map projected via
PowerPoint. The class will also explore and discuss Flower Beds at Vtheuil by Claude Monet,
projected via PowerPoint.
Visual Culture Component:

As an introduction to French impressionism, the class will read Katie Meets the
Impressionists. This story connects the abstract concept of impressionism to students everyday
lives, as Katie visits an art museum with her grandma and visits the worlds inside impressionist
paintings, where she meets Jean, Claude Monets son.
The students will also discuss what sorts of flowers they see in Monets garden and what
they might place in their own gardens. This further helps to connect art to the students
everyday lives.
Procedure:
1.) Welcome students back to class and instruct them to have a seat in the story area.
2.) Tell students that today we will be exploring France. Show France on the map projected
onto the PowerPoint.
3.) Read Katie Meets the Impressionists and discuss.
Questions: What do you notice about the paintings in the story? Are they
different from paintings you normally see? How?
If you had a garden, what would you put in it?
In the story, Katie meets Jean, the son of a famous painter. Who remembers the
name of Jeans father?
4.) Explain to the students that they will learn about Jeans father, Claude Monet, in class
today. Claude Monet was a very famous Impressionist.
5.) Show students Monets Flower Beds at Vtheuil, projected via PowerPoint.
Question: Get up close to the painting. Do you just see dabs on color, like
Katie did in the story? Now, step away. What do you see now?
6.) Show students the teacher example of the days project.
Question: What do you notice about the painting that is similar to the one by
Monet?
7.) Demonstrate painting a background. Make special note to emphasize even brushstrokes,
along with the mixing of colors directly into one another to create a sky with effective
visual interest.
8.) Students paint their skies.
9.) Before students create their ground and flowers, demonstrate how Impressionists place
many different colors next to one another. In impressionism, it is alright if blue is
right next to purple and purple is right next to green. All the dabs will combine to
make a picture from far away, just like they did in the storybook.
10.)
Student work time. Provide Assistance as needed.
11.) Have students show their classmates their pieces. Have students look at their pieces very
close up. Do they see anything, or just dabs of color? Now, have them step away. Do
they see a garden just like Monets? What colors do students see? Why did they choose
those colors to be a part of their garden?
Additional Assessment Questions: Who was Claude Monet? How did he
paint? How did you paint like an impressionist today?
Assessment:
Hold a discussion at the end of class regarding what students learned today.
1.) Have students show their classmates their pieces. Have students look at their pieces very
close up. Do they see anything, or just dabs of color? Now, have them step away. Do

they see a garden just like Monets? What colors do students see? Why did they choose
those colors to be a part of their garden?
2.) Additional Questions: Who was Claude Monet? How did he paint? How did you
paint like an impressionist today?
Hook: The class will read Katie and the Impressionists and discuss Flower Beds at Vtheuil, a
work by Claude Monet.
Sketchbook/Artists Journal Motivation: Students may test mixing colors and practice
brushstrokes in their passport sketchbooks.
Dialogue: See Historical/Multicultural Exemplars and Assessment for episodes of dialogue.
Adaptations/Special populations: Students may also use varying
brush sizes to fit their motor skill needs. Finally, I have two assistant
teachers for this lesson, who can individually assist students as needed.
I am still learning about the individual personalities of my
students, and reasons for specific adaptations have not yet arose. Since
my class does have a wide range of ages and abilities, I foresee this to
pose the greatest challenge. When I grow to understand my students
needs better, I will direct my assistant teachers to offer extra support to
those children who may struggle more than their peers.
Closure: Students will share their finished projects with the class. Like
Katie in the storybook, students will view their pictures from close up
and far away, noting how these different views correspond to
impressionist style painting. (See Assessment.)
Before leaving, students will receive a France sticker in their passport.
Resources
Mayhew, J. (1999). Katie Meets the Impressionists. New York, New York: Scholastic.
Monet, Claude. Flower Beds at Vtheuil. 1881. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
France. Mfa.org. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Web. 3 Mar. 2015
Attached PowerPoint