Art in Nature Lesson Plan: Impressionism and Landscape Painting

Submitted by: Melissa Pelletier, MA

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In this two-day lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-8, students learn about Impressionism and view work by artists such as Monet and Pissarro. Through BrainPOP videos and interactive activities, students will explore basic painting techniques and practice the art techniques described.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Learn about Impressionism and view work by artists such as Monet and Pissarro.
  2. Learn basic painting techniques by viewing BrainPOP videos, and practicing the techniques described.
  3. Create a painting of a landscape of their choice.

Materials:

  • Access to BrainPOP (interactive whiteboard or some projection system)
  • Copies (hard or digital) or Impressionist landscape paintings.
  • Artists' materials (canvases, paints, brushes, etc.)

Vocabulary:

Impressionism, paint, paintbrushes, canvas, blend, shading

Preparation:

This is a great lesson to begin on a Friday and to assign over a weekend. This will give the students the whole weekend to find a landscape on their own and paint it. On Day 1, have the students' artist supplies ready for the lesson. They should have acquired or be given small canvases, paints, watercolors and sketching pencils. Load up some images of impressionist paintings either on your whiteboard, or with hard copies if available. Make sure you have access to BrainPOP and the links to the videos and quizzes.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Day 1: Impressionism and the techniques of painting. Show the students the copies of impressionist landscape paintings.
  2. Watch the BrainPOP Impressionism movie.
  3. Have a group discussion about the video.
  4. Take the Quiz as a class on the interactive whiteboard or projected screen.
  5. Watch the BrainPOP videos on Painting and Color.
  6. Have your students' materials distributed for an in-class practice session.
  7. Using the quizzes as a guide, have the students practice the techniques they have just learned with the paints and materials. This should be a fun, explorative day!
  8. Once they have practiced enough, explain to the class what their assignment is - that over the weekend they should take to the great outdoors and find a landscape of their liking. Using paints, brushes, and a small canvas they should paint a landscape with Impressionist techniques.
  9. Tell them they can either bring some kind of easel or support for the canvas, or if they have the means they can take a digital photograph from which they can complete their painting.
  10. Day 2: Have the students bring in their paintings to discuss with the class. If the class size allows, each student can share about where he or she found their landscape and why they chose to paint it.
  11. You may want to show the Impressionist paintings again in order to compare the students' work to the source paintings.