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I've done three Matisse lessons with 2nd/3rd graders. Two are "cutouts",
one is painting.
The first cutout is a quickie based on a reproduction I can't remember
the name of but it has dozens (?) of his famous leaf shapes mounted on a
horizontal format of different colored rectangles. We basically do the
same thing - I teach cutting skills, turning the paper instead of the
scissors, and contrasting colors, and the kids make large Matisse
inspired leaf shapes out of colored construction paper. They arrange and
glue them to large rectangles of colored roll paper. Those are then
arranged and glued to a long peice of white roll paper.
The second cutout lesson is longer - based on Beasts of the Sea. I tell
the students a little about HM the painter/stainedglass designer and
have some slides of him doing his cutouts from bed/wheelchair. We role
play Henri cutting out shapes in his confinement and directing his
"assistants" to place the cutouts in his composition. We also scan
"Beasts" and figure out what the shapes/colors represent before I give
them the name of the picture. Students create a composition as follows:
collage colored tissue paper to 12x18 white construction paper w/
thinned white glue...let dry. Cut shapes of sea creatures out of
construction paper and glue to collaged background. We list many sea
creatures and I show them how to cut the M-style leaf (seaweed), star
(sea urchin), curved heart (clam) which they may include if they wish.
For display, I mount their pictures end-to-end in two columns, 6 or 7
each column, on white roll paper similar to Matisse's composition, and
write the title of the picture with students' signatures at the bottom
with black marker - it makes a nice display, especially if you have the
repro to show with it.
The painting lesson always is successful for everyone. Talk about M's
use of patterns. Paint a vase of flowers on 12x18 white. Paint a table
top under the vase. Divide the rest of the space into large shapes and
fill each shape with a different pattern. Exciting, painterly pictures
I know your kids are a lot younger so hope these are helpful.
Linda in the land of colored leaves and blue lakes - M!ch!gan