Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 13 - Sculpture from Europe


Look carefully at a slide of medieval relief sculpture.

Review material from Lessons 11 and 12.

Make up a story about what is depicted in a medieval sculpture.


Classroom size world map

Slide of Triumph of Bacchus

Slide of St. Elzear of Saban Healing the Lepers, c. 1373


Show the children the slide of St. Elzear of Saban Healing the Lepers. Ask the children what kind of art they think they see in the slide (sculpture). If no one answers, ask: Is this a painting? Is it sculpture? When they have identified it as a piece of sculpture, ask whether they think it is sculpture in the round or relief sculpture. Use this opportunity to review what they learned about the two kinds of sculpture in Lessons 11 and 12. (You may need to show them pictures and/or a model of the Statue of Liberty and the relief sculptures of Mt. Rushmore again in order to give them visual reminders as you review. At the end of the review, tell the children that--although it is a little hard to tell from the slide--this is a relief sculpture that was made in France to decorate a burial tomb more than 600 years ago. Have someone locate France on the world map.

Next, ask who remembers another relief sculpture they looked at that also was part of a burial box and made by a Roman sculptor nearly 2,000 years ago (slide from Lesson 12; they do not need to remember the name, Triumph of Bacchus). Show them that slide again and ask: Who remembers whether this sculpture is big or small? (big--nine feet long, as large as three of the children in the room stretched end to end) Ask: What are some of the things we saw in this sculpture in the round? (animals, elephant, people, instruments, two heads at corners) How did we say the artist made this sculpture? (carved out of stone) Do you remember what kind of stone the sculptor used? (marble) Congratulate the children for any of the information they remembered, and encourage them with hints when they need it.

Show them the slide of St. Elzear again. Ask: What do you think this sculpture is made of? (stone, marble) What do you think the sculptor used to carve this sculpture? (chisels, hammers, accept any reasonable answer) Ask whether any of the children have ever tried to carve something out of soap, or out of wood. Let them tell the class about the experience if they have. Ask: Do you think marble is softer or harder than wood? Why do you think many sculptors liked to carve out of marble? (won't break easily, will last, is beautiful, has a nice color)

Tell the children to look carefully at the slide again. Ask: How many people do you see in this sculpture? (four men) Do you see any animals? (no) Do you think this sculpture is as busy as the Roman sculpture? (no) What do you see in this sculpture? (four men, men with beards and cloaks; accept any answer that indicates the child has looked carefully) Ask: Are all of the men in this sculpture standing? (no, two are kneeling before the first man; not clear what the fourth man is doing) If you look closely at the faces of three of the men, what do you see? (marks, sores) What is the first man doing with his hands? (holding the hands of the second man)


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 13 - Sculpture from Europe

Say to the children: I am going to tell you something about the people in this sculpture and about some of the things people believed at the time this sculpture was made. Then I want you to brainstorm with me to make up a little story that we could tell about this sculpture. I can write it on the board (or on chart paper) so other people can read what we've discovered by looking at and thinking about this sculpture from long ago.

Tell the children that the name of the name of the man who stands so much taller than the others is St. Elzear. Have them say the name (EL zee ar) Say: In the long-ago time when the sculpture was made, which we call the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church in Europe gave the name saint to people who had lived very special lives. Some of the saints' lives were special because they lived with such courage and bravery; some because they were believed to have miraculous powers of vision or of healing. (Be sure that the children understand the word miraculous as meaning things that have no reasonable explanation.) People thought that the lives of the saints were so important that their bones were saved in special tombs, decorated with beautiful works of art. St. Elzear was a saint of healing, and the funny marks on the faces of the three men around him are signs of a terrible disease that many people had in the Middle Ages that was called leprosy. People who had leprosy were called lepers and had to live in a place set apart from all the other people, who were afraid to go near the lepers. The lepers couldn't work and so they were very, very poor. The way that miraculous healing was believed to take place in the Middle Ages was for a very holy person with special powers to lay his or her hands on the person who was sick. Sometimes they would put their hands on the head of the person, sometimes on the hands; really anywhere they touched might result in a cure.

After you have given this information to the children, tell them again that the whole class will make up a little story that tells what is happening in this sculpture. You might want to give them a simple beginning sentence such as:

Long, long ago there was a man named St. Elzear.

Or, starting in a different direction:

Three men in this sculpture have a terrible sickness.


People believed that St. Elzear had special healing powers.

When the children have worked out and you have written down enough sentences to tell a simple story, read it back to the children. If you have put it on chart paper, you may want to ask the children to make up a title for it, and tell them that it will be more like a real story if it has a title. Save the story to hang on the bulletin board. (The children will make illustrations for it in the next lesson.)


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 14 - 2- and 3-Dimensional Activities


Draw a picture to illustrate the story about St. Elzear.

Complete an activity that simulates relief sculpture.


Crayons and 8 x 11 paper for each child

Patterns for making 3-dimensional activity, attached

Pieces of colored construction paper on which to copy patterns

Pieces of 9 x 12 paper on which to paste patterns

Pencils, scissors, glue


Remind the children of the sculpture made of marble that they saw in the last lesson (St. Elzear of Saban Healing the Lepers). Tell them that you are glad you have the story that tells about the sculpture, but now you need some illustrations for the story to hang up around the story.

Read the story to them, slowly and carefully. Then pass out paper and crayons, and tell them to make pictures illustrating the story. Say: I want to be able to see by looking at your pictures something of what you remember in your minds about that story and the sculpture you saw.

Give the children about ten minutes to complete their pictures, as you walk around the classroom to encourage what you see them drawing and giving suggestions you think are appropriate. Collect the drawings, hang them around the story, and see whether you and the children can make some generalizations about the kinds of things most people remembered in their imaginations from the story and from the sculpture.

Next, ask the children whether they think what they have just completed is more like a painting or a sculpture, and why (flat, several colors like a painting). Say: Now you're going to make something that is more like a sculpture and is not flat like a painting.

Pass out scissors and the patterns which you have xeroxed onto different colors of construction paper. Tell the children to cut out each shape carefully on the solid lines. They will each have seven pieces. Say: Trade some of your pieces with someone else so that you end up with several different colors among your seven pieces. It doesn't really matter how many different colors you end up with, as long as you have a few different ones, and you count seven pieces all together.

Pass out pencils and say: Everyone hold up the pieces that look like long, skinny triangles. (Hold one up for them to see.) Now take a pencil and roll that triangle around the pencil so it makes a nice curl. Do that with each triangle you have.

Next identify the rectangular pieces as such and have the children hold up the long rectangular pieces. Show them how to fold them back and forth along the dotted lines and have them copy what you've done.

Finally, have them take the circles and cut into them along the curved line that is drawn on it. Show them how to gently pull out the center so they have a kind of simple spiral. Pass out the pieces of 9 x 12 paper and tell them to them arrange the various shapes any way they like


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 14 - 2- and 3-Dimensional Activities

Have them put dots of glue where they would like to place each piece. Show them by demonstrating that they will need to put a dot of glue for each place where they want to attach the folded pieces of paper. Circulate around the room again in order to help with the gluing where it is needed.

When they are finished, talk about the different shapes and how different these works of art are from the drawings they made, and how much more like sculpture.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 14 - 2- and 3-Dimensional Activities


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - March


Review information concerning the continent of Asia.

Create a Japanese fan.


A classroom size world map

White or light-colored poster board (7 x 7) one per student

Craft sticks (one per student)

Markers or crayons

Scissors, stapler

A recording of Japanese music (optional)

Suggested Recording

Favorite Songs of Japanese Children, collected and translated by Hanako Fukuda (Alfred Publishing, 1990).

This is a cassette tape of Japanese folk songs, sung with some Japanese words but mostly in English, with an accompaniment by traditional Japanese instruments.

Teacher Note

Teach this lesson as a follow up to History/Geography Lessons 21-23.


Review the continent of Asia from History/Geography Lessons 21-23. Ask: What is the name of the largest continent in the world? Can you name some of the countries of Asia? Who can come to the map and find Japan? Japan is surrounded by water on all sides. What do we call a body of land with water on all sides? (an island)

Say: Today we are going to make Japanese fans. The Japanese people like to fan themselves with paper fans called uchiwa (OO-chee-wah). These special fans are made of split bamboo and washi (WASH-ee), Japanese paper. Ask: Who remembers what bamboo is? (tall grass with a wooden stem) Ask: What animal likes to eat bamboo? (the giant panda)

[This craft idea comes from The Kids' Multicultural Art Book: Art & Craft Experiences From Around the World, by Alexandra Terzian (Charlotte, VT: Williamson, 1993).]


1. Provide the children with fan patterns (attached).

2. Distribute one piece of poster board to each student.

3. Direct the children to trace the fan pattern onto their piece of poster board.

4. Instruct the children to cut out the fan shape.

5. Distribute one craft stick to each child.


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - March

6. Staple the craft stick to the fan.

7. Instruct the children to decorate their fan with traditional Japanese designs (see samples).

8. Play Japanese music and allow children to move creatively to the music. Encourage the children to use their paper fans as part of their dance movements.

Sample Japanese designs

Suggested Follow-Up Activity

Read Japanese folktales. See the Literature Lesson Momotaro: Peach Boy for suggested titles.


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - March

Japanese Fan Pattern


Kindergarten - Art/Craft - March


Listen to the poem Rain by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Experiment with watercolors.

Participate in an art activity.


One piece of white drawing paper for each child

Watercolor sets (several sets for the children to share)

Watercolor brushes (one for each child)

Paper cups or plastic containers for water

Paper towels

Teacher Note

Teach this lesson as a follow up to Science Lesson 32. See also the Literature Lesson Poems About Rain.


Say: We have been learning about different kinds of weather. Today we are going to listen to a poem about rain. Then we are going to make rain pictures with watercolors.

Say: Listen to this poem. It is called Rain by Robert Louis Stevenson.



The rain is raining all around,

It falls on field and tree,

It rains on the umbrellas here,

And on the ships at sea.

Repeat the poem a few times. Encourage the children to join in with you. You may wish to point out the rhyming words tree and sea.

Ask: Who remembers why it rains? (The clouds become very full of water drops. The drops fall from the clouds as rain.)

Ask: What types of clothing would we wear on a rainy day? (Allow children to respond.)

Distribute the drawing paper. Set the watercolors out where several children can dip from the same container. Supply brushes, containers filled with water, and paper towels for cleaning brushes. Teach the children how to use the watercolors.

Instruct the children to create a rainy day scene using the watercolors. Allow the children to paint whatever they wish that represents a rainy day.