Students will learn about warm and cool-colors and understand how artwork can portray common experiences. Students will learn how to write a short narrative using setting, characters, objects, and events based on an artwork.
Finding Story Elements in Art
Time Alloted60 Minutes
State Content Standards
ARTISTIC PERCEPTION: 2.1.2 Perceive and discuss differences in mood created by warm and cool colors. 2.1.3 & 3.1.5 Identify the elements of art in objects in nature, the environment, and works of art, emphasizing line, color, shape/form, texture, and space.
CREATIVE EXPRESSION: 2.2.2 Demonstrate beginning skill in the use of art media, such as oil pastels, watercolors, and tempera. 2.4 Create a painting or drawing, using warm or cool colors expressively.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT: 2.3.1 Explain how artists use their work to share experiences or communicate ideas. 2.3.3 Identify and discuss how art is used in events and celebrations in various cultures, past and present, including the use in their own lives. 3.3.4 Identify and describe objects of art from different parts of the world observed in visits to a museum or gallery
AESTHETIC VALUING: 2.4.1 Compare ideas expressed through their own works of art with ideas expressed in the work of others. 2.4.2 Compare different responses to the same work of art. 2.4.3 Use the vocabulary of art to talk about what they wanted to do in their own works of art and how they succeeded. 3.4.3 Select an artist's work and, using appropriate vocabulary of art, explain its successful compositional and communicative qualities.
English Language Arts:
Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics): 2.2.1 & 3.2.1 Write brief narratives based on their experiences: Move through a logical sequence of events. Describe the setting, characters, objects, and events in detail.
Written and Oral English Language Convention: 2.1.6 Capitalize all proper nouns, words at the beginning of sentences and greetings, months and days of the week, and titles and initials of people.
Listening and Speaking Strategies: 2.1.3 Paraphrase information that has been shared orally by others. 2.1.4 Give and follow three-and four-step oral directions.
Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics) 2.2.1 Recount experiences or present stories: Move through a logical sequence of events. Describe story elements (e.g., characters, plot, setting).
- Focus artwork
- Old newspapers
- White construction paper—two per student
- Oil pastels
- Baby wipes
Teaching Tips: In step 3, using focused viewing questions allows the teacher to help the student to examine the artwork closely, to really “look” at the piece. The questions given are merely examples. The teacher is encouraged to add any questions as he/she deems necessary, as well as encourage questions from the students. This lesson can be divided into two lessons after step 8.
1) Begin by asking students to look around the classroom very closely. After at least 1 minute of looking, ask the students to look around again, this time looking for all the different types of lines that exist in the classroom. Have the students repeat the process, looking for shapes in the classroom. Finally, have the students look again for different types of colors in the classroom. Each time allow students the opportunity to get out of their seat and point to the line, shape, color they are describing.
2) Show students the focus artwork: Winter Scene with Skaters. Ask the students to describe what objects they see (i.e., skates, people, a wheelbarrow, etc.). Ask students to describe the lines they see. Repeat for shapes and colors.
3) Focused Viewing Questions: Once students have had a chance to study the artwork, begin a discussion on what the artist was trying to tell the viewer.
a. What are the people doing?
b. What time of year is it?
c. Is it cold or hot outside? How do you know?
d. If you could become a part of the painting, what would you hear, smell, feel, taste?
e. Why do you think the artist chose this scene to paint?
f. What did the artist want to share with the viewer?
4) Moving from the scene in the painting, ask the students to think of a time in their life where something special or important happened. Ask a few students to share their stories with the class.
5) Explain the literary term of setting to the students. Use the artwork to give an example (the setting in the artwork is wintertime in the past). Using the same procedure, explain to the students the literary terms of characters, objects and events referring back to the artwork for a concrete visual example for each term (If time permits, use a related artwork showing an event and have the students point out the examples of setting, characters, objects, and events.
6) Have the students tell a story to a partner about an event in their life that was special or important. Encourage the students to include setting, characters, object, and event in their story.
7) Have the partner retell the story back, and then have the students change roles so that both students can tell their story.
8) Hand out paper to the students and have them write down the story they just shared with a partner.
9) At the front of the class, show the students how to use an oil pastel. Show the students how oil pastels can be used like a pencil or laid on their side and used to lay down large blocks of color. Show the students how to blend two colors by laying down a patch of one color next to a different color, then using your fingers blend the two where they meet. Show the student how to use the baby wipes to clean off their fingers before using them again.
10) Have the student lay down old newspaper on their desks to keep the oil pastels from getting on the desks. Hand out baby wipes, paper and oil pastels to the students. Allow students time to work with the pastels, experimenting with the medium. Help where necessary.
11) At the front of the class, ask the students what cool colors are—blue, green, and purple. Next ask the class what warm colors are—red, yellow, and orange. Direct the students to find the warm and cool colors in their oil pastels. Give student a few minutes to experiment with either the warm or cool colors.
12) Tell the students that they are going to illustrate their story using either warm or cool colors. Discuss with the students which type of stories might be better illustrated in cool colors (sad, calm) or warm colors (high energy, angry, excitement). Tell the students to choose warm or cool colors from their pastels, then direct the students to put back in the box all the other pastels, leaving out only those colors they selected. Give the students time to finish their illustrations.
13) Put students in groups of three and have them share their art work with each other. The following are some questions that students might ask each other:
a. What type of lines did you use?
b. What type of color did you use? Why did you choose that?
c. What type of shapes did you use?
d. What is your art work telling us about the story you wrote?
e. If you could change one thing in your art work, what would it be?
f. Describe one thing in your art work that you really like.
g. What do you think about the other art works in your group?
14) If time permits, have several groups share what they learned about their art work and the art work in their group.
Assessment: By creating a scene from life, students demonstrate an understanding of warm and cool colors, based upon the choices they make in their artwork. Students write a short narrative paragraph describing the event in their life scene, demonstrating their understanding of narrative writing including setting, characters, objects, and events in detail as well as writing those in a logical sequence of events.
Teach this lesson again with:
Pieter Brueghel, the younger
Flemish, 1564 or 1565–1637 or 1638
Oil on panel
Crocker Art Museum, E. B. Crocker Collection
American (born Germany), 1829–1887
Oil on canvas
60 x 96 inches
Crocker Art Museum, E. B. Crocker Collection
Title and Date: Winter Scene with Skaters, 17th century
Artist: Klaes Molenaer
About the Artist:
Born in Haarlem about 1630, Klaes Molenaer is thought to have studied with the landscape artist Salomon van Ruysdael. In 1651, he joined the Haarlem artists’ guild. He was later influenced by fellow Haarlem artist Jacob van Ruisdael, who included even the most trivial aspects of the Dutch scene into his highly naturalistic and broad landscapes. Molenaer responded by delighting in painting winter and summer scenes of the activities taking place on or alongside the extensive network of rivers and canals crisscrossing the Netherlands. Scenes of skaters on ice quickly became one of the most common festive winter scenes in Dutch landscape painting in the seventeenth century.
About the Artwork:
This painting, as well as most other skating scenes, attests to the pleasures that were to be had on the ice, and ice even made work a little easier for some, as one seventeenth-century skater expressed: “…winter brings skaters farther than wagons do on the longest day of summer.” From the fifteenth to the middle nineteenth century, winters in Europe were especially cold due to the impact of far-reaching Arctic ice upon the climate. The long months of frozen waterways served as easy transportation and recreation. Their appearance as a new form of genre and landscape painting began in sixteenth-century Flanders and spread to the northern Netherlands, where they became extremely popular.
To convey certain feelings and emotions in this painting, the artist used warm and cool colors. The colors that suggest coolness are blue, violet and green, while colors that suggest warmth are typically red, yellow and orange. The figures and their activities in this scene are typical of those in many seventeenth-century skating scenes. This type of painting is called a genre painting because it depicts scenes and images from everyday life.