First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 18 - Review of Landscape


Review the meaning of the term landscape painting.

Compare several landscape paintings in their use of color, line, and shape.


Slides #4, 5, 7, and 11 from plastic sleeve

Note to the Teacher

This month the children will have a chance to review two kinds of paintings: landscape and portrait, both of which they have seen before. When they first looked at a portrait, in September, they were thinking primarily about warm and cool colors. Now they will look at both landscape and portrait paintings putting together what they have subsequently observed about the way different artists use color, line, and shape.


Say: I'm thinking of a kind of painting that has a name beginning with the letter l. You have seen several of these paintings beginning with l. They might show many trees or rivers, some mountains, or they could show some streets and stores in a city. They tend to show scenes from quite far away, not up close. What is the name I am thinking of? (landscape, landscape painting) Congratulate the children who remembered.

Next ask if someone could tell the class about a landscape painting you have seen together in the class. Tell the volunteer to give as many clues as possible. Say: Think to yourself as clearly as possible what you remember about the painting. You could tell us if there are buildings or not, what colors you remember, whether the colors are warm or cool, whether there are many or just a few colors and what those colors are, any clues you can give so we can be thinking of the same painting you are. After the volunteer has given some description, ask: Does anyone else in the class recognize this painting from the description so far? If so, can you add some more to the description to help the rest of us picture the landscape he or she is describing?

As soon as there have been enough clues so that others in the class can contribute more and it is clear that most of the students are thinking about the same painting, show the slide you think it is and ask: Is this the landscape? If it is, encourage the children to observe as much as possible about color (primary and secondary, warm and cool, bright and dark, many colors or few), about lines (straight, curved, wavy, zig zag; horizontal, vertical, diagonal), and shapes (circle, square, triangle, parallelogram) as possible.

Start again with another description from someone in the class, and do the same procedure for another landscape. In order to vary the guessing game, you might show them slide #7 (Barye's Lion Stopping Before a Snake), asking whether this is a landscape (no) and, if not, why not, when there are rocks, clouds, sky, and trees? (The lion is most important thing in the painting; everything else is just background for the lion.)

The likelihood is that they will not think about Marilhat's Landscape With a Mosque, since they saw that in the context of World Religion lessons as an example of Islamic Art. (This slide should be marked #10. If by any chance, the labels for #10 and #11 were reversed, please correct them with thanks.) If they do begin to describe it, treat it the same way as the others. If


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 18 - Review of Landscape

they do not, then begin to describe it for them in terms of the two distinctive shapes--the dome and the tall, skinny minaret. Then let them continue until everyone has a good picture in mind; then show the slide, and once again discuss it in terms of color, line, and shape as above. You could take this opportunity to discuss the light in this painting with the children, asking whether they think it is hot or cold in this climate and why they think so (brightness of light, evidence of strong sun, palm trees). If there is time, you could show them the Rousseau (#4) again and compare the quality of light and climate in that painting. Let the children tell you why they think the climate is different in the Rousseau landscape.

Congratulate them about all they were able to recall and for being good at guessing and describing for one another.


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 19 - Landscape Activity


Observe the way winter in our climate limits color in landscape.

Brainstorm as a group to complete a couplet about the winter landscape.

Create a winter landscape on paper.


Chart paper for poem

Sheets of gray paper for each student

Chalks of dark, wintery colors, such as brown, dark gray, dull terra cotta, black

Black tempera paint



If at all possible, take the children on a short walk around the school in order to observe the effects of winter on grass, trees, birds, the colors of buildings, and any other notable features of the particular landscape/cityscape around your schoolyard. If it is not possible to actually go for a walk, at least take the children outside to the school playground or recess area so they can make some observations.

If you happen to have had a snowfall, that would be a major part of the observation; if not, some of the things you will want to guide the children to see are: absence of leaves on trees, sharp, spikey look of tree branches without leaves, absence of green in general, brown grass, dull colors, shortage of birds except for sparrows and crows.

When you have returned to the classroom and the children have put away their outdoor clothing, say: We are going to write a couplet together that tells what we have observed in our winter landscape. Can anyone guess what a couplet is? (two lines with end words that rhyme) If no one can, ask what is a couple? (two of anything, two people, two animals or two things, such as a couple of bowls, a couple of chairs, etc.)

Say: A couplet is two lines of poetry that go together because the last word of each line rhymes with the other. (Remind the children that they talked about rhyming word families in November when they studied the R.L. Stevenson poem A Good Play. Review that process if you think they need it.) Give them a first line to start with, and read it several times as you write it on the board. Have the children brainstorm words that will rhyme with the last word in the line.

Some possible first lines are:

Outside our school the trees were bare,

Possible rhyming words for this: hair, fair, share, where, care, wear

(No leaves, no grass, not anywhere.--one possibility)


The sky was dim, the clouds were gray

anyway, say, play, day, bluejay, may, pay

The green is gone, there's nothing bright

fight, night, sight, bite, kite, light, right,


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 19 - Landscape Activity

Help the children to complete a second line and come up with a good couplet that has a nice rhythm as well as rhyme, even though you will not use any technical language. They can see visually if the two lines are terribly out of balance (one much longer than the other), and most of them will be able to hear which possibilities sound better together as a pair, or couple of lines.

When you have read the lines aloud together several times and feel satisfied that it is a pleasing couplet having something to do with the observations and feelings you may have had as a group outside, write the couplet on the piece of chart paper.

Next, pass out the pieces of gray paper. Let the children choose a few colors of chalk and tell them to draw a winter landscape similar to what they saw outside today. Say: The only things you should leave out of your landscape are trees. I will show you how to make some special winter trees.

On a piece of paper make some marks with chalk, and demonstrate for the children the process of blowing through a straw in order to spread a bubble of black tempera to make the skeleton of a tree. Say: When your chalk drawings are finished, raise your hands, and I will give you the paint you will need for putting in the trees.

As they raise their hands, go around the room putting a drop of black tempera wherever the child indicates she or he wants a tree in the picture. Then give a straw to the child and have each of them blow into the straw to spread the paint into something that looks like the bare trees of winter.

When everyone has finished, allow the "trees" to dry, then hang the pictures and encourage the children to see how differently each person drew what they had viewed, even though they all took the same walk together and could see the same things in the landscape.


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 20 - Portraits


Observe closely two renaissance portraits.

Discuss clothing in the portraits in some detail.


Classroom size map of the world, or map of Europe

Slide of Marilhat's Landscape With a Mosque

Slide #2 from sleeve, Cassatt's L'enfante a la Robe Bleue

Slide of Paolo Veronese's Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene with her Daughter, Porzia

Slide of Sofonisba Anguissola's Portrait of a Young Noble


Ask the children to tell you the name of the kind of painting they have been looking at and creating for the last two lessons (landscape painting). Ask: When you look at a painting, how can you tell that it is a landscape painting? (There may be several right answers; make sure the answer includes the idea that nothing else in the painting, whether people or animals, is as important as the landscape itself.) Show the children the slide of Marilhat's Landscape With a Mosque. Ask: Do you see any people in this painting? (yes) Why do you think the artist put people in this landscape? (to show how huge the mosque is, by comparison)

Tell the children you are going to show them some paintings in which the people are the most important thing, in fact the only important thing in each one. Ask: Can you guess what kind of painting we call it when a person is the subject and the only important thing in the painting? (If they don't guess portrait, remind them that they saw a pastel--colored waxy chalk--of this kind in September when you were talking about warm and cool colors.) Show them slide #2, the Cassatt portrait of the young girl. Ask: What do you think about the hat she is wearing? Do you think it gives us a clue about whether this portrait was done in our own times or long ago?

Say: The portrait of the little girl was done nearly a hundred years ago, when children actually wore all those fancy hats and clothing. Next you're going to see two portraits painted by Italian painters. Can someone find Italy on the continent of Europe? Show the children the slide of Portrait of a Young Noble. Ask what they see in the painting (young boy, dog) Say: Look carefully at the boy's clothing and tell me whether they think the portrait was painted in our own time or long ago (long ago).

Say: This portrait was painted even longer ago than the one of the little girl we looked at, in fact three hundred years before that painting was painted. How long ago would that be? (300 + 100 = 400) Congratulate them on figuring out that sum and tell them it is even more surprising to find out that the portrait was painted by a woman, because there were hardly any women who became painters in those times. Say: Her name is hard for us to pronounce and nearly impossible to remember, but let's try to say it together. It's a beautiful Italian name: Sofonisba Anguissola. Say it after me: (so fo NIS ba) (an GUIS so la).

Tell the children to look again at the young boy and tell you whether they think he looks happy or sad (sad) Have them notice that even the dog looks sad. Say: People who study the history of art have found out that the young boy's father died during the same year the boy's portrait was painted, and that he was only nine years old at the time. In those days, when a person BCP DRAFT ART 39

First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 20 - Portraits

died, everyone in the family was supposed to dress in black for a whole year, to show their sadness and loss. The painter, Sofonisba Anguissola is showing us how much the boy misses his father.

What else do you notice in the portrait? What is the boy holding in his right hand? (The children may not recognize that he his holding a pair of white gloves. Tell them that in those days a young boy who grew up in a family wealthy enough to have his portrait painted, was expected to wear white gloves as part of his outfit.)

Say: There's one more thing the boy is wearing that no one has noticed yet, and it is hanging at his left side. What do you think that is? (a sword) Do you think this means he was preparing to fight? Tell the children that the sword is really a symbol. (Let them tell you again that this word means something you can see that stands for some important ideas or beliefs.) Ask: Who can guess what a sword might be a symbol of? Help them to arrive at the idea of the sword as a symbol of power, which would be a way the portrait painter let the world know that this young boy is from a powerful, wealthy family, especially since he is the son who will inherit all of his father's property and wealth.

Next, show the children the other renaissance portrait. Ask what they see (woman and little girl). Ask: Do you think the woman and the little girl are related? How? (mother and daughter) How do you know? (affectionate contact between them, look very much alike) Say: This portrait was also painted by an Italian artist at almost the same time as the one we just saw. Can someone else find Italy on the map? This portrait was painted by an artist named Paolo Veronese (POW lo) (ver o NAY zee), and he called it Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene With Her Daughter, Porzia. Does anyone know what the word countess means? If no one knows, tell them it is a title, like king or queen or general. Say: In Europe, at the time this portrait was painted, many wealthy people had titles, which they passed along from fathers to sons and from mothers to daughters.

Tell the children to look again at the slide and tell you how they might know that the woman in the picture was wealthy. (Her coat is lined in fur, and the fabric of her coat looks like silk or satin.) What about the little girl's dress? (It also looks like silk or satin.) Ask: How does the artist show us this is an important family? (The mother and daughter fill nearly every inch of the painting.)

Finally, ask the children to tell you what they notice about the textures in the painting and ask: How did the painter let us know the texture of the fabric in their clothes? (made it look shiny, made the fur look fuzzy)


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 21 - Portraits


Review some points about portrait painting.

Observe the difference between portrait and self-portrait.

Look closely at a portrait by Gaugin.

Observe Gaugin's use of color to highlight the cello in the painting.


Slide #2 from sleeve, Cassatt's L'enfante a la Robe Bleue

Slide of Paolo Veronese's Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene with her Daughter, Porzia

Slide of Sofonisba Anguissola's Portrait of a Young Noble

Examples of self-portraits from books or magazines

Slide of Paul Gaugin's The Player Schneklud


By way of reviewing the last lesson, show the children the first three slides above, taking a few minutes with each one to talk about color, clothing, and how the artist manages to make the face and/or figure of the person the most important thing in portrait painting. Be sure to talk a bit about the kind of biographical information we were able to glean from these particular portraits as well.

Next, show the children some of the examples of self-portraits you have collected. (Typically, many of them will be of faces and heads rather than whole body portraits. Don't worry if you can't easily find any of the latter.) Ask: Do you think these are portraits? Why or why not? Tell the children that these are examples of a special kind of portrait called self-portrait.

Ask: Can anyone guess what the subject of a self-portrait would be? (portrait of the artist) Why do you think painters--especially in the last hundred years or so--have painted many self-portraits? (There is no one answer, but it will be interesting to hear the children's thoughts about this.) One possible reason could be that at the time the two portraits we saw yesterday were painted, many painters earned their living by painting portraits of people. Once photography was developed, many people began to have their portraits made by photographers instead of painters, and portrait-painting was no longer a good way to earn a living for a painter. That means that one of the best ways a painter could learn and experiment with how to paint faces and human figures is to paint her or himself. Ask: How do you think a painter makes a self-portrait? (by looking in a mirror) That's something you might want to try at home, just by sitting in front of the mirror with a pencil or chalk and a piece of paper.

Then show the children the slide of the Gaugin painting The Player Schneklud. Tell the children the painting was done about a hundred years ago by a Frenchman named Paul Gaugin. Have the children pronounce the name after you, (go GAN). Ask: Do you think this is a portrait? Why or why not? (Again, there is no one correct answer, but their reasons will show they are thinking about the idea of what a portrait is.)

Ask: What is the subject of this painting? (the cello, the man playing the cello) What makes the cello seem so important in the painting? (the color, bright orange, it takes up so much of the space in the painting) You can point out to the children that the cello is so prominent in the


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 21 - Portraits

painting that it even goes beyond the edge of the painting on one side. Which side? (the bottom) Ask: Have you ever seen a cello or violin, or any stringed instrument that was exactly that bright orange color (probably not) What color are most stringed instruments that we see in an orchestra? (brown, tan, brownish orange, brownish black)

Why doesn't the figure of the man seem very important? (dark blue suit kind of blends into dark brown background) What else in the painting does the artist make important? (hands and face of the man) Why do you think they are important? (hands are very graceful and important for a musician) How does the artist make the hands stand out in the painting? (light color contrasts with dark colors; he also adds some of the orange used for the cello to tie the hands and the instrument together)

Say: I'll tell you something about the face of this musician. It is really the face of the painter himself, Paul Gaugin. What did we say was the special name for the kind of portrait that is really a portrait of the painter? (self-portrait) What's really strange about this portrait is that the name of the painting The Player Schneklud, and there really was a cellist by that name whom the painter knew; however, Gaugin decided to use his own face in the portrait. What do you think of that? Do you think we can call this a portrait, a self-portrait, or something else? (Encourage as many different responses as possible.)

Finally, ask: Do you like this painting by Gaugin? Why or why not?