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Lesson Plans

Re: Sun Images

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Katherine Giltinan (k.giltinan)
Tue, 27 Jan 1998 16:03:25 -0600

Hi Bonnie, I thought about your project and meant to answer sooner. Hope
these suggestions will still be useful. My first objective is to get the
students to understand the variety of ways our sun is represented. The sun
is king, god, nurturer, fierce destroyer, and on and on. Then, I'd ask
each student to decide how they will represent the sun for this watercolor

There are a couple of web sites with pictures of the sun:
and The Sun: A Pictorial Introduction

I think it would be interesting to put those images in context, by showing
Earth's size in relation to our sun in our solar system and the solar
system in the galaxy. I know you probably aren't the science teacher but
these images are still relevant and, I feel, exciting. Goodness gracious!
Great balls of fire!

I would encourage the students to think about the sun and when they thought
it was most beautiful, interesting, important. While they're thinking, I
might play John Denver's Sunshine On My Shoulders and the Fiddler song (I
think) Sunrise Sunset. You know more of these, I'm sure. I'd ask those who
wanted to, to share. I'd ask for visual details if they aren't offered;
color, texture, appearance or absence of shadow - etc.

Hopefully, I'd have a visual reference which related, for instance; the
Book of hours, Monet's Rouen Cathedral series, the Nolde and Dove images,
Georgia O'Keeffe did a fabulous watercolor of a skyscraper against the sun,
and you might consider a Sunshine and Shadow pattern quilt.

Often, most often maybe, the sun is represented by its effect, sparkle on
water, shadow, highlight -etc. Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, John
Marin and Charles Burchfeild did excellent watercolors. Examples of their
work is collected in Awash In Color, a 1993 exhibition catalogue from the
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

I might tell young children the story of Icarus, and show some paintings of
that subject. Tell them about Apollo and Helios and show an image of
Apollo's chariot in the sky. I'd try to work in the Mayan sun god, Louis
XIV as the Sun King. There are, also, some wonderful advertising images of
the sun kissing raisins or abstracted into logos.

This is enough for a long series of classes. I enjoyed thinking about it,
though. I really enjoyed looking at Awash In Color again. The images are

Hope your class goes (or went) well.

>>At 12:38 PM 1/19/98 -0800, you wrote:
>>>I'm trying to develop an introductory lesson plan for watercolor
>>>renditions of the sun for primary aged children. I need help in locating
>>>web sites or books which show the various ways artists have depicted the
>>>sun other than the typical circle with rays. Any help would be greatly
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