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Teacher name: Kate Toensmeyer

Lesson title: Russian Pysanky Egg Paintings and Sparkle Eggs

Grade level: 1st-2nd
Time frame: 1 hours

Sequence Theme/Big Idea: Where in

the World? Through the series of lessons
in this six-week sequence, students will
become art explorers, visiting a variety of
countries and learning about each areas
artistic culture.
Lesson Narrative: This lesson broadens
students understanding of how Easter, a
large part of their western culture, has
influences from around the world. The
class will discover Russian pysanky eggs, exploring the wax resist process behind it and
applying it to their own artwork. Since Russian pysanky eggs are just one kind of Easter egg,
students will explore other techniques to decorate eggs, also learning a new process they could
recreate at home.
Lesson Rationale: During Week 3s lesson about the Indian
holiday, Diwali, many of my students expressed excitement
about Easter. In this lesson, I hope to connect their anticipation
for Easter to new artistic concepts. Since this is a public setting,
the class will focus on the artistic process behind making Easter
eggs, rather than the religious significance of the holiday.
The class will also explore Russian culture through viewing
a Reading Rainbow presentation of Rechenkas Eggs, as well
as watching a video of the author, Patricia Polacco, make her
own pysanky eggs. I included a simple additional activity in
which the students can explore a new way to decorate eggs with
tissue paper, because I hope to broaden their experiences with
three-dimensional media and using ordinary materials in
unique ways.
Key Concepts:

Russian pysanky eggs are a beautiful tradition that continues across the United States
when people decorate Easter eggs.
Wax resist is a process people use in painting. Paint doesnt stick to wax, so the process
creates many beautiful textures and patterns.
You can make amazing art from ordinary objects.

1.) Students will learn about Russian culture and pysanky eggs.
2.) Students will apply the technique of resist painting and create artworks.
3.) Students will explore ways to create art from everyday materials.

2PE: Explore and describe how a selected art object was made.
(First Grade)
1PR: Demonstrate increasing skill and craft in the use of art tools and materials with attention
to their diverse qualities. (Second Grade)
6RE: Select an art object and describe its personal, functional, or decorative purpose.
(Second Grade)
Russian Pysanky Egg Paintings:

White watercolor paper

Painters tape
Crayons (assorted colors)
Watercolors (assorted colors)
Plates or painters palettes
Water and paper towels (for cleaning brushes)
Newspaper or other low-quality paper (to protect tables from paint)

Sparkle Eggs:

3 Medium-Large eggs per student (yolks blown out beforehand by teacher)

Tissue Paper
Mod Podge
Water and paper towels (for cleaning brushes)

Lesson Vocabulary:
Russia: A large country in Eastern Europe.
Pysanky: A kind of Easter egg common in Russia and other countries near it.
Wax Resist: A process of painting with oil-based wax and water-based paint. Oil doesnt mix
with water, which can create many beautiful textures and patterns.
Historical/Multicultural Examplars:
Students will view images of Russia and Russian pysanky eggs, projected via Prezi (see
Resources). The class will also watch the Reading Rainbow presentation of Rechenkas Eggs,
included in the Prezi as a YouTube link.

Post-Video Questions:
o What sort of patterns did you see on the pysanky eggs?

How did Patricia Pollacco make her pysanky eggs? Why did she cover different
parts of the eggs with wax and other areas with dye? Why did she melt the wax off
the egg at the end? What did taking off the wax reveal?

Visual Culture Component:

Students will discuss different things they do for fun during the springtime. Have they ever
decorated Easter eggs? How?
1.) After students enter the classroom, introduce Russia as the country of the day. Show
students an image of Russia on a map, projected via Prezi.
2.) Explain that the class will watch a video about a very special kind of art that many
Russian people create during the springtime, called pysanky Easter eggs.
3.) Watch Rechenkas Eggs and the ensuing video in which author, Patricia Polacco,
explains how to make pysanky eggs.
Post-Video Questions:
o What sort of patterns did you see on the pysanky eggs?
o How did Patricia Polacco make her pysanky eggs? Why did she cover different
parts of the eggs with wax and other areas with dye? Why did she melt the
wax off the egg at the end? What did taking off the wax reveal?
4.) Explain wax is oil-based, so paint or dye does not stick to it. Patricia Polacco covered
certain areas of her egg with wax to protect the dye underneath.
5.) Instruct the class that they will now create pysanky eggs using a similar process with
crayons and watercolors.
6.) Teacher demonstration of drawing an egg in crayon and painting over it with watercolor.
7.) Student work time. Provide assistance as needed.
8.) When students are finished with their pieces, they may share their work with one
another before moving on to the class next activity. Once finished, have each student
place their finished work on the drying rack.
9.) Introduce the next activity, explaining that there are many ways to decorate eggs.
Students may even have these simple materials at home! Direct the students attention to
different examples of decorated eggs, project Via Prezi.
Pass the teacher examples of tissue paper eggs around the classroom.
11.) Teacher demonstration of covering an egg with water. Explain that I already blew out the
yolks of the eggs, just as Patricia Polacco did in the video before she made her pysanky
12.)Student work-time. When students are finished decorating their eggs with tissue paper,
they may head to the glitter station, where a teacher assistant will help them paint Mod
Podge on their eggs and cover the eggs with glitter.
13.)Students may share their work with the class, recounting their process and explaining
any artistic decisions.
Upon leaving, students will receive a Russia sticker for their passports.
Throughout class, share student work while discussing pysanky eggs, wax resist, and the
different ways to decorate Easter eggs. Students may walk around the class to view one anothers
pieces, as well.



What sorts of patterns and colors have you included in your paintings?
Why dont the watercolors stick to the crayon marks?
Where might you display your decorated eggs when you bring them home?

Do students show understanding of the process behind Russian pysanky eggs and wax resist?
(2 PE, 6 RE) Did they demonstrate skill and craftsmanship in painting with a different style
than what is typical? (1 PR)
Hook: The class will watch Rechenkas Eggs and discuss their own experiences with decorating
Easter eggs.
Sketchbook/ Artists Journal Motivation: Students may sketch preliminary designs for
their eggs. At the end of the lesson, they will also receive a Russia sticker in their passportsketchbooks.
Dialogue: See Historical/Multicultural Exemplars, Visual Culture and Assessment for
episodes of dialogue.
Adaptations/Special populations: I have a teacher aide who can help students individually
if they have issues drawing their designs or applying tissue paper to their eggs.
Students may opt to use a pre-drawn egg stencil when creating their initial egg shape for their
painting. They can then add further details themselves.
Closure: Students will share their finished projects with the class and hold a
discussion about what they learned. (See Assessment.)
Before leaving, students will receive a Russia sticker in their passports.
Russia Prezi (Reading Rainbow videos imbedded):
Demonstration PowerPoint (teacher resources) (attached)