Asian Landscape Scroll

Asian Landscape Scroll lesson plan

Study the ancient art of Chinese scroll painting then create an original landscape painting mounted on printed framing paper.

  • 1.

    Explore information about Chinese scroll paintings, an art form used for at least 2,000 years. Many of these historic and contemporary paintings are imaginative landscapes. Others are animals, are used to honor leaders, or are created to teach proper behavior.

  • 2.

    Have students study the two styles of Chinese scrolls. Hanging scrolls are vertical and hand scrolls are horizontal. Hand scrolls are often unrolled to display one section at a time since some are very long. Notice how painted silk or paper is attached to a larger piece that frames and protects the painting and itself becomes part of the art.

  • 3.

    Students choose whether they will make a hanging or hand scroll. Have them think about a landscape design (mountains, beaches, trees, fields). Students cover their work area with recycled newspaper and illustrate their scroll with Washable Watercolor Paints.

  • 4.

    To sponge paint: Cut sponge pieces with Crayola Scissors. Dip sponges in paint and repeatedly press lightly but evenly onto the paper to print the design. Dry.

  • 5.

    Use a Crayola Glue Stick to attach the smaller drawing to the background piece.

  • 8.

    Paint two wooden dowels or craft sticks (each slightly longer than the background paper) using gold or black Crayola® Tempera Paint and Crayola® Paint Brushes. Dry.

  • 9.

    Use Crayola® School Glue to attach sticks to the front side at each end of the framing paper. Dry.


  • LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas.
  • VA: Know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures.
  • VA: Compare multiple purposed for creating works of art.


  • Invite a Chinese native or scholar to speak with the class in conjunction with the study of Chinese culture. Ask the expert to share with students some of the writing characters that are commonly used in the Chinese language. Students will attempt to add a written message to their artwork. In presenting their word to classmates, students will be challenged to read their message. If students choose to investigate the written language further, a website that is helpful is
  • Students compare and contrast Chinese landscape artwork to Western art, identify techniques used in each. Students organize their research into an electronic format for presentation to the class or small group. Students may also voice over their electronic slides and the presentations can be used in a center format for classmates.
  • Students re-design their scrolls using Crayola Watercolors. How does the use of watercolors alter the outcome?
  • As an extension of the study of Chinese culture and artwork, students research the significance of kites in Chinese culture. What purposes have kites had in Chinese history? How are they built and adorned? Challenge student groups to build a kite that reflects their research and prepare a talk about the steps they followed to produce their kite.