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Lesson Plans

Sky Line/Horizon lesson idea

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Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 09:16:28 -0500

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I've recently done a few cool things with the sky and the horizon in a
combined 1+2 art class. The following is a sampling of a few classes.

We looked at artwork that showed the sky and horizon. Some art references
included landscapes by Ansel Adams, Constable, Turner, van Gogh, and
Cezanne. We noticed the many different colors and textures in the skys, and
we noticed that these artists have shown us that the sky meets the ground.
We talk about that place where the ground and the sky meet-the horizon. We
also notice that the people and objects in the pictures usually don't stand
on the horizon and they usually don't stand on the bottom edge of the
painting. We went for a short walk outdoors, and noticed that if we looked
in different directions, we saw that the sky is different colors and
textures, all at the same time!

Back indoors, we made wet on wet paintings on 12 x 18 white of some of the
colors we saw in the skys in the artworks and on our walk outdoors, and set
them aside do dry.

Then we paired up and tore a piece of green construction paper in two,
length wise. The person who tore the paper offered first choice to the
partner who waited. Each student glues one torn piece onto the bottom edge
of their watercolor sky, and there is a horizon! Some landscapes look
hilly, some look mountainous, and some look like flat grassland. Each is
different! (A side note here: next time I might have the students make
another wet on wet, of browns and greens, and use this instead of the green
construction paper.)

The next class we talked about illustration, read a story book (with the
pictures hidden) and they used their landscapes to make an illustration. We
reviewed the horizon as the place where the sky meets the ground, and the
placement of objects in landscape. Markers, oil pastels, or even crayons
work well. Stories I like to use for this are Maurice Sendak's "WHERE THE
WILD THINGS ARE," and Patricia Polacco's "BABUSHKA BABA YAGA."

We all know where the horizon is, now. This was handy when we were learning
about horizontal and vertical and diagonal, too! Most of them have begun
making the sky meet the ground, but I find there are still a few who
continue to make the blue sky band on the top-and that's ok. They'll make
the adjustment when they're ready. Although I'm a new teacher, when these
students get up to the middle school level, at least they'll know what I'm
talking about when I ask them to abandon their symbols for sky, sun, and
birds and begin drawing landscape from actual observation.

I've enjoyed this discussion, and I look forward to further posts, more
ideas, and expansion of these ideas.

Mark Alexander
1-8 art on the cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

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