My first year of teaching I integrated a lesson on Monet to include not only art, but writing, language arts, science and math. We studied plant structure from the roots up, and I loved it that the next time we painted still life, Ricardo drew a cutaway view allowing the observer to see what was going on below the ground!
Kadesha, I will admit, had me quite confused when she wrote about her picture one day. She had written a paragraph and kept repeating one of the lines over and over throughout her work. It was purely by accident that week, that I discovered her mother sang gospel songs at home to practice for the church choir. It was a light bulb moment for me! This knowledge allowed me to break her paragraph down into verses and there it was… a beautiful song about Monet and his gardens complete with a refrain!
My students surprised me by excelling in all areas of the lessons presented. We drew still life, and discussed Monet’s use of small dots of paint, that when viewed from a distance, came together to reveal the picture. Each time we read, painted or drew, we wrote about it. At the end of the lessons I picked the best examples from each student to depict their hard work, which culminated in a published book. Copies were sent home with each child, and all this was done FREE OF CHARGE!
One of my favorite pieces was done by Miss Chavez. She had drawn a picture of herself on Monet’s bridge, and there, looking down into the water, was her reflection among the water lilies. I loved how she phrased the use of dabs of color into her own words in this excerpt:
“Monet used little color dots to make his pictures, and you have to stand backer to see the picture.” Miss Chavez, Grade 1
That year, we all came away with a better understanding of color, light and reflection, and learned so much more along the way.
And, I am partial to reflections in images to this day.
Chihuly Glass Exhibit, Cheekwood Estate, TN
PLEASE, DO CLICK ON THE PHOTO FOR A CLEARER IMAGE. 😉
- Today We Celebrate Claude Monet (centeredonart.wordpress.com)
- Nympheas by Claude Monet (2pat.wordpress.com)