It’s jungle madness in the art room!!!
A few years ago when I set out to find lesson ideas inspired by Hanri Rousseau I stumbled upon this lesson by Mary Lathron at Caledoni-Mumford Elementary School in New York. http://incredibleart.org/Files/Rousseau.htm
Over the years I have taught this lesson over and over adding my own special twists and ideas and the students just love it!!! I just had to give a shout out because this lesson is already very well thought out and there are so many ways to elaborate.
I start out my sharing about Hanri Rousseau, his life, and His exotic jungle scenes though a PowerPoint that I made.
We look at his works and review concepts of Foreground, Middle ground, and background.
Students close their eyes and I ask them to just imagine…
Have you ever been to a jungle or rainforest?
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What’s the weather like?
What’s going on around you?
It is so funny to watch them just imagine, some of them start moving their hands and heads and you can tell they are really lost in the world they have created. When we open our eyes and share the students already know exactly what they will draw and I haven’t even given the assignment.
I bring in a lot of houseplants to set around the room.
Students then draw their jungles on manila paper. We transfer them into Styrofoam. I use Scratch-Art, Scratch-Foam & learn how to make and label a print.
Next, I teach the students about realism. They choose exotic birds, using laminated cards that I made, and try to recreate them as realistic as possible in colored pencil.
Later we learn about shading to create depth and put it all together.