Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 5


Review line and quality of line.

Look closely at non-Western painting.


Slide of Tung Pang-ta's Landscape with a Lone Figure Contemplating a Waterfall

Used newspapers, tempera, and dried weeds and grasses for the Activity


The Core Knowledge Sequence introduces line as an important element of the visual arts in Kindergarten and again in First Grade. For those Second Grade students who have not had the introduction, be sure to prepare them by investigating the different kinds and qualities of lines, both in nature and in man-made objects. Simple chalk lines drawn on the blackboard as you brainstorm with the students will illustrate the first part of the lesson.

Start with horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines in the environment and the different moods they convey. Ask: Where are you likely to see horizontal lines? (Start with the word horizon, and see if they can grasp the connection between the horizons they have seen and the concept of horizontal. They may also name things like bed, table, a still body of water, a flat plain.) Then ask what kind of mood horizontal lines suggest (rest, calm, stability) and remind them that when their bodies are horizontal, they are asleep or at least at rest.

Go on to the vertical, and ask where they could find examples of vertical lines (telephone poles, masts of sailboats, skyscrapers, walls, tall evergreen trees). Ask: What kinds of feeling do those verticals suggest? (straight, strong, military) Ask when their bodies are in a vertical position (at attention, ready for action, awake, alert).

Next, ask the children what kind of line their bodies make when they're running. If no one guesses diagonal, have a few children run across the room while the rest watch carefully. Ask someone to go to the board and draw a line that represents the way the bodies moved. When the children have understood that the line is a diagonal, ask where else they see diagonal lines (an airplane taking off, a slide, a ramp, a rocket) and what the diagonal lines make them think of (action, movement, energy).

Make some wavy lines on the board--curved in various directions. Have the children talk about the differences they feel between the kind of energy generated by curved lines and that of diagonal lines.

Tell them that in most of the artworks they have seen so far, they have talked mostly about the way the painters used color and texture. Today they will look at a painting that depends entirely on line to create the picture. Show the children the slide and tell them its name, Landscape with a Lone Figure Contemplating a Waterfall. Ask: Can you see the figure in the landscape? Do you think he is important?

Locate China on the map or globe so the children can sense what a great distance China and the Orient are from us on the east coast of the United States. Ask the children what they notice about the shape of the painting, and tell them that the painting was done on a scroll and that many Chinese paintings done long ago were painted on scrolls that could be rolled up and moved easily from place to place.


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 5

Ask the children to look carefully at the painting and tell you what they think about the way the artist used color in his painting. When they have established the fact that color is of little importance here, ask what they think is most important (use of line).

Ask: Which of the kinds of lines we've talked about today do you see most of in the painting--lines that show movement and energy or lines that look peaceful and calm? You may want to trace various lines with your finger as the children point out different lines in different areas of the painting. Talk about the different qualities of the various lines they see in the painting--thin, thick, rough, delicate, wide, narrow, etc. They may come to the conclusion that there is a kind of balance between lines and shapes that seem energetic and those that seem calm and peaceful. Tell them that the idea of a balance of the forces and flow of nature was very important to the Chinese painter who made the picture.

Repeat the whole title of the painting for the children. Ask whether anyone knows what the big word contemplating means. If not, tell them it is a word that means to look at something for a long time, thoughtfully, and usually with feelings of love, joy, and appreciation. Say: In the United States many people contemplate when they are in a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple. The man who made the painting we are looking at now was a Taoist (DOW ist), which is one of the important religions of China. Taoists believe that things in nature are the most beautiful and holy things, and that people should try to have the kind of special balance in themselves that they can find in a beautiful scene in nature.

Activity - Nature Prints

Tell the children that many pieces of art in which lines are the most important thing are called prints. (Perhaps they have made prints with potatoes or apples, but they are not really line-dependent. Some of the children may have made prints or rubbings in Lesson 4 when they were observing the different textures they could produce in their artwork; they may have gotten a sense of the expressive possibilities of line in that way.) Prints that depend the most on lines are usually cut from blocks of wood, linoleum, or metal plates. The lines are cut into the block or plate with very sharp tools or "bitten" in with acid. Tell the children they are going to do something safer and easier which is to make nature prints as an experiment to see what kinds of lines result. Have them work on a surface protected by old newspaper or used paper. Give each child one or two pieces of plant material (dried weeds or grasses). Let the children arrange the material in a way that pleases them, cover their surfaces with tempera, then gently press a piece of clean paper on the painted material to obtain a print. Remove the print and allow it to dry. Be sure the children look at one another's prints so they see a variety of lines and designs that have been created.

Recommended Book

Hoban, Tana. Spirals, Curves, Fanshapes and Lines. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1992.

Photographs help reinforce concepts of spirals, curves, fanshapes, and lines.



Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 6


Look at another example of non-Western art.

Observe how line and shape suggest movement.

Increase understanding of printmaking.


Slide of Tung Pang-ta's Landscape with a Lone Figure Contemplating a Waterfall

Slide of Hokusai's Childrens Games


Katushika Hokusai (1760-1849) is best known to us these days as the artist who created The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, a Japanese print that is used in all kinds of commercial and artistic displays in the United States. It shows the power of water, and of nature, in an extraordinary way. If you can find a good reproduction of The Wave, it would make a wonderful contribution to the lesson. The Hokusai that the children will see today is not nearly so well known but is typical of a kind of printmaking that flourished for nearly two hundred years in Japan. Hokusai was born near Tokyo to poor parents, served as apprentice to a woodblock engraver, and became a pupil of a famous Japanese printmaker named Shunsho. Hokusai was extremely prolific, producing thousands of woodcuts in his lifetime.


Show the first slide, Tung Pang Ta's Landscape with a Lone Figure. Briefly review with the children material about lines from Lesson 6. Have the children identify the strong, dark, energetic lines in the rocks and waterfall and the lighter lines elsewhere.

Ask: Who remembers what country the artist came from? (China)

What continent does China belong to? (Asia)

Is the art work a print or a painting? (painting)

Tell the children that the painting was done with just two colors--a covering of thin paint first with a broad brush and then the rest painted with black ink and finer brushes. Point out the calligraphy at the edges of the scroll and tell the children that they are looking at Chinese writing which was also done with brushes and ink. Say: Ink is often used in another kind of art work we talked about in the last lesson. Can you guess which one? (woodcuts, metal plates, and linoleum blocks) Often it is applied with a roller or brayer, the way some of you may have done making prints for Lesson 4. Can you guess why ink is used? (color is very dense)

Show the children the slide of Hokusai's Childrens Games.

Ask: What can you tell me about the clothing and hair styles of the people? (They may recognize the clothing as kimonos or simply robes; as to the hair styles, accept anything that indicates they have looked carefully)

What about the colors? (only a few; not very bright or strong)

Tell the children the name of this artwork is Childrens Games and that it was done by an artist named Hokusai who was born around the time of the American Revolution. Hokusai was Japanese, and be sure to show them Japan on the world map or globe. Again, show them how far Japan is from the east coast of the United States, and ask: What continent do you think the island BCP DRAFT ART 14

Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 6

of Japan is part of? (Asia) Ask: Do you remember another country we spoke of recently that is part of the continent of Asia? (China) Ask: Is there anything similar about the painting you saw on the Chinese scroll and this Japanese work of art? (They might mention the absence of strong color or the use of different kinds of wavy, flowing lines that seem to make things move around a lot. You may want to show them the slide of the Chinese scroll again to refresh their memories. Accept any responses that indicate the child has looked and thought about the two.)

Tell the children that Hokusai lived to be a very old man and made thousands and thousands of artworks in his long life and that almost all of them were colored woodcuts. He made hundreds of book illustrations, thousands of landscape illustrations, and thousands showing daily life in his country of Japan at the time. They were all carved out of blocks of wood with sharp instruments and then printed on good paper. Ask whether anyone remembers anything else about how woodcuts are made. (See brief discussion as part of the Activity of Lesson 5.) Ask whether they can see how all the lines in Hokusai's woodcut seem to be moving lines. Point out the patterns in the clothing.

If you have found a reproduction of The Wave show it to the children now. Say: This is just one of a series of one hundred different views of Mount Fuji, which you can see in the background, but in this woodcut what is it that really captures our eyes? (the wave that is just breaking) This is also a woodcut. What about the colors? (blue is brighter, white is whiter). In all of the woodcuts, the artist had to add each color one at a time by inking the particular part of the block he wanted to print and had to be very careful to match exactly the position of the block when he printed the next color. If you have a linoleum block that has been cut, you could demonstrate this for the children.

Tell the children that the Chinese were the first to use woodcuts to make pictures and illustrate stories. Say: Hundreds of years after the Chinese had made their discovery, artists in Europe (show on map) learned how to use woodcuts and the very first printed books they made were filled with black and white woodcuts as illustrations.


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 7


Look at a landscape painting by Henri Matisse

Gain an understanding of the term landscape painting

Understand the function of the diagonal lines in the Matisse painting.


Slide of Tung Pang-ta's Landscape with a Lone Figure Contemplating a Waterfall

Slide of Hokusai's Childrens Games

Slide of Matisse's Large Cliff, Fish

Background Information for the Teacher

It may be especially important for the children to learn something about the life of the French painter Matisse, since the Cone sisters of Baltimore collected so many of his paintings, and the children can see a large variety of his works at the BMA. Matisse lived from 1869 to 1954. Like van Gogh, Matisse grew up in northern Europe (a small industrial town in northern France) and was deeply affected by the strong light and colors of southern Europe, which he first observed in Corsica as a young adult. Matisse later moved permanently to Nice, on the Mediterranean. In 1905 Matisse became the leader of the "Fauves," a group of painters in Paris devoted to using strong, pure colors. At about the same time, he met Gertrude Stein and the two Cone sisters, all of whom began collecting his paintings. Beginning in the 1920s Matisse's paintings changed again; things like perspective and three-dimensional form were no longer important compared to design, line, color and the exotic patterns he had observed in travels to north Africa. The landscape painting the children see today already shows him moving towards some of these things, but the sense of horizon and depth in the painting are still important to the conception.


Tell the children they are going to look at some landscape paintings today. Ask: Does anyone know what the term landscape painting means? You might ask, if no one knows the answer, what would be the difference between a portrait and a landscape. Encourage them to think about the word land and help them build a definition by telling them that--although there may be people, animals, and other objects in a landscape painting--it is the land itself that is most important. Tell them that you will show them three different slides, and you want them to tell you whether they are all examples of landscape painting or not. Show them the three slides listed above, and in the order indicated.

Hopefully the children will recognize that the Hokusai is not a landscape. All the attention is on the human figures, what they look like, their clothing, movements, and what they are doing. About the Chinese scroll, you might remind them that--although it has a figure in it-- the figure is there only for the sake of contemplating the beauty of the landscape. Tell the children that usually when an artist paints a landscape he or she has to think about how to show which things are close, which are far away, and which are in a kind of middle distance. Have them look out the windows or (if that isn't possible) have them look to the opposite end of the room so they can see they would have the same problem just drawing a picture of their


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 7

classroom. If it is possible, have them go out into a corridor and look to the end and see what the main difference is between things at the end of the corridor and things where they are standing. (things look smaller when they're far away, the corridor looks narrower as it gets farther away) Ask the children to tell you which things in the Chinese scroll look far away and which things look close up (mountains, far away; one shore of lake, close up; big boulders in the middle).

Next, show the children the Matisse painting. Tell them whatever information about his life you think would be helpful. Ask them to tell you what they see in the painting. If they are puzzled by the things on the beach, help them to see they are fish on a bed of seaweed. Apparently, Matisse told the story that he kept the fish alive by repeatedly dumping pails of seawater on them all the while he was painting. When he had finished, he returned them to the sea.

Ask: What about the colors? (not very many, mostly shades of gray and brown, gray sky, not much sunlight)

What about line and shapes? (important)

Do you think we are looking at everything up close or do we see a long way?

Tell the children that painters usually divide their landscape paintings into foreground

(things close up), background (things far away), and middle ground (things in between the two).

Ask: What do you see in the foreground? (seaweed and fish)

What do you see in the background? (flattened gray cliff and sailboat)

What about the middle ground? (huge boulder with patterned lines)

How does Matisse join these three and bring our eyes from one to the other?

(two diagonal lines)

Point out the two marked diagonal lines to the children. One diagonal is the strong, broad brown line that marks the shoreline from the foreground to the middle ground. The second diagonal is the dark blue that rims the sand, the cliff in the background, and finally the sky at the horizon. Ask: What do you remember about diagonal lines from Lesson 5? (action, movement, energy)

Can you see that the diagonal lines here really help your eye to move from front to back of the painting? And make everything join together?


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 8


Create a scratchboard that combines the elements of color and line.


Pieces of tagboard 8 x 11 and full set of crayons for each child

Black tempera mixed with a bit of liquid detergent

Containers for tempera and a brush for each child

Toothpicks, broken pencils, or other tools for scratching lines


Ask the children to tell you which two important elements of art you have observed in the works of Western and non-Western artists? (color and line) Review briefly some of the things you've observed about the use of color in paintings they've looked at. Remember to mention warm and cool, primary and secondary colors. Then review what they have observed about the use of line, especially in the Chinese and Japanese artwork they've seen and in the Matisse landscape as well.

Tell them they are going to have a chance to create something that combines those two elements of color and line in a way that they are both equally important. It is called a scratchboard.

Pass out the pieces of tagboard, crayons, and scratching tools and instruct the children to make a crayon drawing that fills the entire page. Encourage them to overlap colors to create different shades and colors and have as many layers of color as they wish. Say: You are free to make a picture of something you see in our room, something you remember from another place, or simply a design that is not a picture of anything anyone has ever seen.

When they finish their crayoned drawings, pass out the containers of black paint and have them make a good coating of the tempera to cover their drawings. The liquid detergent in the paint will allow it to cover the waxy crayoned surface. When the paint has dried, let them begin scratching through the paint to various layers of the crayon drawing, and they will see that their original drawings have been transformed into quite different artworks. Encourage the children to use different kinds of lines when they scratch, so they can appreciate the variety they can achieve. If they are using flat toothpicks, they could experiment with the two ends of the toothpick. If they are using broken pencils, they can make either narrow or broad lines.

Be sure to hang up the finished scratchboards so they can view one another's work.