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Golden Sunburst

Make a decorative replica that’s beautiful enough to display in the Palace of Versailles, where the Sun King lived and reigned.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. The King of France, Louis XIV, who enlarged the Chateau (Palace) of Versailles was known as the Sun King. He became king when he was only 5 years old! Have students find out why he was called the Sun King, where Versailles is located, and other information about this famous king.
    2. Create the sun’s face. With the palms of your hands, roll Crayola® Air-Dry Clay into a Ping-Pong ball size. Flatten it on a clean, washable surface to form the sun’s face.
    3. Using fingers and small bits of clay, add the eyes, nose, and mouth. Use a toothpick to help shape the features. To attach the pieces, students make small X’s (cross-hatches) on the face where they want to place the pieces and also on the piece itself. Wet with a damp finger and attach.
    4. Make the rays. Roll out a baseball-size amount of clay with a rolling pin. With a craft stick, cut out leaf-shaped rays. With a toothpick, draw lines on each leaf to form ribs and veins. Attach rays to the sun. Add more decorations if desired. Air-dry the clay at least 3 days.
    5. Cover the art surface with recycled newspaper. Decorate the sunburst with gold Crayola Premier Tempera and paintbrushes. Air-dry the paint overnight.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    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: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    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.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    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: Examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions.

    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: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Who was King Louis XIV? Why is his reign in France investigated in our contemporary times? Students research the reign of Louis XIIV and uncover the origins of his nickname, the Sun King.

    Students research the origins of the Chateau of Versailles. When was it built? Who participated in the building? What architectural style does it reflect? Who lived in the Chateau? Who lives there now? Describe the gardens that surround the Chateau of Versailles.

    Students sketch a map of France and locate major castles in the country.

    Students expand their map to all of Europe and locate major castles located on the continent. Identify when each castle was completed.

    Using recycles materials, students build a replica of the Palace of Versailles, including its gardens.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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