My Matisse

My Matisse lesson plan

Explore the vibrant work of Henri Matisse then tap into emotions in your own original tempera paintings, poems, and short stories.

  • 1.

    Invite students to look at the artwork of Henri Matisse, such as The Green Stripe, Woman in Front of a Window and L'escargot. Study his use of patterns and colors, and discuss feeling elicited by the colors. Notice that bright, active colors are energizing and uplifting, while darker colors are calming and quiet. How can color choices affect people's moods in interior spaces? As an artist, how could your make this happen with your paintings?

  • 2.

    On construction paper, have students use Crayola® Colored Pencils to sketch personal interpretations of a Matisse painting, or adapt ideas to resemble a Matisse painting.

  • 3.

    Next, ask students to cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. With Crayola Tempera Paints, students complete their pictures in a Matisse style. Encourage the use of bright colors and patterns for an uplifting mood, or darker colors and patterns for a calmer mood. Dry.

  • 4.

    Students outline shapes or add details to the work with Crayola Washable Markers.

  • 5.

    Challenge students to write poetry or a short story describing the mood depicted in their painting. Encourage the inclusion of colorful, descriptive adjectives in their writing.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • 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: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Draw your idea on white paper, then trace it on a second sheet. Paint one copy in bright colors and active patterns, and one in dark colors and calm patterns. When they dry, compare and contrast the paintings. Which makes you happy? Which makes you calm?
  • Use Crayola Mini-Stampers to create uniform patterns, such as wallpaper, on your paintings.
  • Cut or tear brightly colored paper to make collages in the style of those created by Matisse.
  • Younger children and those with special needs may need assistance writing expressive commentary about their artwork. Invite older students or classroom volunteers to transcribe students' ideas for them with colored pencils. Display with artwork.