Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3rd Grade Waterscapes

I'm pretty darn happy with this project!  My students are always asking me about origami... The only thing I know how to make is a boat.  My third grade teacher showed our class and I've always remembered.  I decided to teach the students about Monet and his water lily series.  Since he was influenced by Japanese art and origami is a Japanese art form, it was a good tie-in.  

This was a two-class period project.  We covered the Art History at the beginning of the first class then used cool colors of tempera paint to make an Impressionistic painting inspired by Monet's paintings.  I had the students start by painting horizontal brush strokes using the different cool colors before adding the white streaks.  I reminded the students several times not to over blend and pointed out on the projected painting that Monet let the viewer see the individual brush strokes.  The last step of the painting was to add lily pads.

On the second day, I showed the students how to make the origami boats.  I let the students choose a piece of origami paper that I ordered and I used a big piece of paper (probably about 3 feet square) so they could see the folds I made.  I sat on the floor and had the students come sit or stand around me for each step.  I REALLY had to emphasize careful listening and following directions.  I told the students that if the folds were not made carefully, things would not line up correctly and their boat might not work.  The very last step is to turn the folded paper inside out to make the boat shape hold.  After the origami was done, bottled glue was used to attach the boats to the paintings.

 Turning the boat into a boat


  1. I love the unique feeling of each artist's impressionist water painting. No over-mixing! This is a fun approach to Monet with the origami boats.

  2. Love this idea, well done they look fantastic!

  3. Great idea to mix two techniques! Beautiful results!

  4. These are great! Nice spin on Impressionism. Your students did not recreate Monet (like I see a lot of art teachers do), yet they still learned the style and approach to creating Impressionistic art. :)