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.

Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 3


Recognize warm and cool colors in a different medium.

Look carefully at slide of medieval stained glass.


Slide of St. Vincent Window

Sheet of waxed paper and pieces of tissue in various colors for each child

Glue, scissors

Background for the Teacher

This stained and painted window was made c. 1245 in France and was originally a gift of King Louis IX for the refectory of a Benedictine abbey in Paris. It is part of a series depicting the life of St. Vincent, two of whose relics were housed in the abbey. Vincent was deacon of the church in Saragossa, in Spain, and martyred during the third century under Roman rule. The two panels in the slide show Vincent in the characteristic preaching-teaching pose (gesturing with one finger raised), and he stands in front of his bishop, identified as such by the crozier he carries and the miter he wears on his head.


Review with the children the concepts of warm and cool colors, and have them tell you what they remember about how the colors make us feel (Lessons 1 and 2).

Show the slide to the class and ask whether they think this is a painting (no). Ask: Does anyone know what it is? (stained glass) Encourage the children to talk about where they have seen stained glass windows (churches, synagogues, houses) and why the colors don't seem to show up on the outsides of the buildings, but do when you are inside (the sunlight illuminates the colored glass). Tell the children that this particular stained glass window was made nearly eight hundred years ago in France. (You may want to locate France on the world map and identify its continent as Europe.)

Tell the children that originally this window was one of a whole set of windows that together tell the whole life story of a very holy and good man named St. Vincent who gave himself to the service of his church. Ask: Which man in this picture do you think is St. Vincent? Why? (If the children have trouble answering, give them hints about the halo, red robe stands out, he's right in the center of the picture, etc.) Say: Long, long ago when these windows were made, not many people had a chance to go to school and learn to read, so artists told stories by painting them on stained glass and placing them in places where many people could come and learn the stories. Ask: What do you think is happening in this picture? Tell the children that the golden circle around St. Vincent's head is called a halo. Ask: Does anyone know why the artist made a halo around his head? (holy person). Ask: Do you think the man standing behind St. Vincent is important? Why? (golden robe, tall hat, tall staff ) You may want to tell them he is a bishop, which is an important official in the church.

Next, ask the children to tell you which are the warm and which are the cool colors. Discuss with them how the artist in this stained glass window made special use of the differences between warm and cool colors.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 3

Finally, have the children guess how the stained glass window was made, encouraging them to look carefully at all the black lines that surround the individual pieces of glass. Tell them that the black lines are grooved pieces of metal that the individual shapes of glass fit into almost the way pieces of a puzzle fit together. The joinings are fastened with solder (melted lead with tin). Show them the difference between the black curved lines on the blue squares (and elsewhere) that have been painted on the glass to decorate the picture and those heavier black lines that are the metal joinings. Tell them that today there are still artists who make stained glass windows and objects in the same way that this old, old window was made. If you have access to a light catcher, you could hang one in the window for the children to see.


Give each child a piece of waxed paper, several pieces of colored tissue, glue thinned 2:1 with water, and a brush or applicator for the glue. Encourage them to make a tissue painting by tearing (or cutting with scissors if you prefer) shapes of various colors. First they will cover the surface of the waxed paper lightly with the glue, then put down the various colored tissue shapes. (If they overlap or their colors bleed, it will only make it more interesting.) Next they give each tissue piece a light coating of the glue. Let all of the tissue paintings dry overnight. The next day hang or attach them in the window, so the children can see the way they look with the light coming through.

Optional Activity

If you wish to combine the children's paintings into a joint project, you could cut out a large outline of a butterfly in black construction paper, cutting out latticework designs on the wings, and using the children's paintings to fill them in. Then hang the large creature in the window.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 4


Look at colors and details of two carefully crafted paintings.

Contribute to the telling of a story from one of the paintings.


Slide of Interior with Cook by Léon Bonvin

Slide of The Archdukes Albert and Isabella in a Collector's Cabinet by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Adriaen Stalbemt

Background for the Teacher

Interior with Cook, 1862, is a careful rendering of daily life by French painter Léon

Bonvin (1834-1866). Surprisingly, with all the luminous color, this painting is a water color, not an oil. It shows the influence of earlier Dutch painters, like Vermeer, with the light coming from one window and illuminating the collection of vegetables on the table so they look nearly like a still life. Bonvin apparently supported his family by running a tavern in a suburb of Paris, so food prepration was familiar to him.

The Archdukes Albert....is from the early seventeenth century and a joint venture by two Flemish painters. The archdukes of the title are the joint rulers of the Spanish Netherlands. In the painting they are the seated woman, the Infanta Isabella of Spain, and her husband Albert who stands beside her in a very fancy costume. The collections in the painting are everywhere, and it should be fun for the children to try to figure out the many objects in the various collections.


Show the children the slide of Interior with Cook and be sure and tell them the title of the painting. Tell them it was done about one hundred-fifty years ago by a Frenchman. Ask what country the painter lived in. Show on the world map and let them tell you the name of the continent if they can.

Ask: What do you think is the most important thing in the painting? (the woman)

How did the painter make her the most important thing? (put her in the center of the painting, gave her a brilliant red apron)

What room is she in? (kitchen)

How do you know? (cutting vegetables)

Does it look like your kitchen? How is it different?

Where is the stove for cooking? (back of the painting, brick stove)

What vegetables do you see on the table? (cabbage, carrots, parsnips, leeks or scallions)

What do you think she is making? (soup, big copper pot on cooktop)

How can we see the vegetables so clearly? (light coming from a window)

Do you think there is any electricity in this kitchen? Why not? (many candlesticks on shelf in back for lighting)

Next show the children the second slide. Tell them the long title of the painting and tell them that the word cabinet in this case really means a kind of room. The painting was done nearly four hundred years ago by two men together. Ask whether anyone knows what archdukes BCP DRAFT ART 8

Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Lesson 4

might mean and which people in the painting are the archdukes (a title for people who rule, a little like kings and queens; point out the finely dressed man and woman). Ask:

Do you think this painting is brighter or darker than the first one we saw? (brighter)

Why? (lots more windows, bigger room, higher ceiling, more light)

What warm color stands out a lot? (red, different kinds of reds)

Do you know anyone who is a collector? What do they collect?

What does this collector collect?

Find the dogs.

Find the cats.

Find the flowers.

Find the paintings.

Find the collection of stringed instruments.

How many globes do you see?

Find the statues.

If there is time, have the children make up a story with you, telling about the painting. Write the sentences on the board and read the story back to them as you go along. You could start by deciding who the collector is, what he/she looks like, what the person collects, or any other information the children enjoy noting about the painting. You might write it very large in a simple booklet to keep in the classroom. If so, ask the children what color they would recommend for the cover and find some shiny, jewel-like paper to cover it.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Craft - October


Identify objects in nature that are associated with autumn.


Yarn (any color)

One-hole punch

Foam meat trays or paper plates


Items collected on a nature walk (such as leaves, nuts, pine cones, flowers, seeds)


Take the children on a nature walk to collect items associated with autumn. If it is not possible to do this, the teacher may wish to gather items prior to the lesson; if that is still not feasible, have the children cut out pictures from magazines or draw the items after referring to a book about autumn. Name and discuss each of the items collected.

Tell the children they are going to create an autumn collage. Explain that a collage is a collection of items arranged in a pleasing manner. Have the children arrange the seeds, nuts, pine cones, flowers, leaves and other fall items on the meat tray or paper plate. Using lots of glue, attach the items to the tray or plate once the arrangement is completed. Allow the work to dry overnight. Punch a hole in the top right- and top left-hand corners of the tray or plate. Thread a piece of yarn through the holes and tie a bow with the loose ends. Hang the collage by the bow.


Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Craft - October


Compare and contrast a variety of leaf shapes.

Classify leaves according to size, shape, and color.

Gain familiarity with names of various leaves.


Leaves collected during a nature walk

Worksheet on tree leaves, attached (one per student)

Construction paper 8 x 11 in a variety of colors (one per student)

Scissors, crayons, glue


Review the items found on your previous nature walk. Recall names of items the children used to make their autumn collages. Draw attention to leaves collected on the walk. Show examples of a variety of leaves previously collected. Lead children in a discussion comparing and contrasting the shapes, sizes and colors of the leaves. Allow children to classify the leaves into different groups according to size, shape, color, etc. Tell children the common names of the leaves in your collection. Refer to a tree identification book or encyclopedia if necessary.

Give each child a copy of the worksheet on the following page and a piece of construction paper. Tell the children they will be creating "leaf people" using the different leaf shapes on the page. They will color the leaves a variety of autumn colors, cut them out and glue them on the construction paper to create a "person." Encourage children to use the leaves in different ways to represent body parts. The large elm leaf will be best used as the main body part. The children may have difficulty cutting the intricate shapes of the leaves. Encourage them to simply cut around the leaf in a circle or square shape if necessary. A sample of how the "leaf person" might look follows; however, try not to provide children with an example to follow. Rather, encourage them to use their imaginations to create different "people." It is not necessary to use all of the leaves provided.

Kindergarten - Visual Arts - Craft - October 10a


Color the leaves with autumn colors. Cut out and glue the leaves on another piece of paper to make a "leaf person." When you are outside, see how many of these leaves you can find.