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Kandinsky Craze

Create abstract art with shockingly simple shapes and lines like Kandinsky.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Wassily Kandinsky was an abstract artist and played a key role in the art movement around 1910. Lead a group critique of some of Kandinsky’s work. Discuss “Transverse Line-1923”, “Composition VIII-1923”, “Yellow-Red-Blue-1925” and “Bustling Aquarelle”. Focus on his use of shape, color, line, and movement.
    2. Have students use rulers and circle templates to sketch out a composition inspired by Kandinsky in their Crayola sketchbooks. Encourage students to make compositions that fill the page, including a combination of geometric and organic lines and shapes that overlap. Draw with Crayola erasable colored pencils. Color in the preliminary sketch.
    3. Next, ask students to put their smocks on and lay recycled newspaper on work surfaces. Have students use a pencil to draw their design on 12” x 24” (30.48 cm x 60.96) piece of Crayola black construction paper.
    4. Go over pencil drawing with Crayola Washable No-Run Glue. Hold the bottle about an inch away from the drawing and squeeze evenly and slowly. Let image dry flat overnight.
    5. Once dry, students can add color with Crayola Drawing Chalk. The chalk may pile up. Allow students to tip drawing over the trash can occasionally. Remind children not to blow on chalk pile! Encourage students to put contrasting colors next to each other for a bold result.
    6. Display behind glass or up high on a bulletin board since chalk may smear.
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    MA: Draw and identify lines and angles, and classify shapes by properties of their lines and angles.

    VA: Apply visual organization strategies to design and produce a work of art, design, or media that clearly communicates information or ideas.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan, and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Identify and interpret works of art or design that reveal ways people live around the world and what they value.

  • Adaptations

    Create a shape mobile inspired by the art of Alexander Calder. Look at “Red Mobile-1956” and “Steel Fish-1934”. Calder would balance colorful steel shapes with wire. Some of his mobiles hung from the ceiling while others were attached to a base. Begin making shapes by flattening colorful Crayola Model Magic with a rolling pin. Use Crayola scissors to cut organic shapes out. Poke a hole in each piece with a modeling tool. Set aside to dry. Attach wire to a heavy base and bend up and attach shapes when they dry.

    Collaborate with the math teacher and create an integrated study of geometric shapes.


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