Start With a Colorful Inspiration

Start With a Colorful Inspiration lesson plan

What inspires you to create art? With Crayola Twistables® Slick Stix™ Super-Smooth Crayons, your colors can be as bright as those chosen by Henri Matisse!

  • 1.

    French artist Henri Matisse (1869-1954) painted pictures of his surroundings using bright colors and soft lines. Invite students to look at his painting. "The Goldfish" and see how he uses these two art elements to paint a memorable scene that brims with life. Goldfish swim in a bowl that rests on a table by a chair. Bright plants and flowers surround them.

  • 2.

    Encourage students to draw in the artist’s style with Crayola Twistables® Slick Stix™ Crayons. Some of Matisse’s shapes are only color with no lines outlining them. Suggest to students to try making shapes with only color. Draw others with lines and then color. Blend freshly applied Slick Stix colors with a fingertip or cotton swab to create new colors or soften edges.

  • 3.

    Even though Matisse’s art is a still life—a work with mostly inanimate objects—the painting has a feeling of movement. As a whole group, discuss how the artist creates that impression. Do tables and chairs really look like he shows them? Matisse liked to position his objects to make a more interesting painting. Suggest the children try this with their drawings.

  • 4.

    Set aside time in the school day for students to share their artwork with small groups of classmates. Encourage each student to prepare a talk about how he incorporated Matisse's techniques into his artwork.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) 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: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: A Magical Day with Matisse by Julie Merberg; Henri Matisse: Drawing with Scissors by Jane O'Connor; Matisse the King of Color by Laurence Anholt; When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden
  • Matisse believed that art's purpose was to give pleasure. After viewing several if his well-known works, students work in small groups to discuss how they think he did this through his work.
  • Students investigate Matisse's childhood and professional life. Matisse initially wanted to become a lawyer but, while sick for an extended period of time, decided to be an artist. Students use recycled materials to create a costume of Henri Matisse and wear these costumes when presenting research to classmates.
  • Matisse used various methods of making art, such as paper cutouts and stained glass windows. Encourage students to investigate another of Matisse's methods for creating art. Have them create an original piece using Matisse's methods, name the piece, and display it in the classroom.