Whenever I teach a multicultural lesson, I try create the atmosphere of that continent or country in my classroom. For this project, I hung some asian paper lanterns from the ceilings and projected some large images of Japanese structures and cherry blossom trees on my smart board. I made sure my blinds were pulled up and students had a clear view of the huge tree right outside of the art room window. I pointed out Asia on my art room map and we closed our eyes and envisioned ourselves in Asia.
We looked at various cherry blossom trees and learning about Asian culture. I taught our kindergarteners about the word Hanami, which is the practice of picnicking under a blossoming tree. (I really wanted to take them outside to sit under a tree while we painted, but it was still cold outside!) We kicked off the project by painting light watercolor sunsets for our backgrounds. I demonstrated the wet-on-wet technique and showed children how to blend stripes of colors together to form a well-blended sunset. Some students added a moon with white acrylic paint.
After these were dry, I gave each table of students a little container of india ink. I showed students how to use their skinny brushes to paint a windy line from one corner of their paper to the other. We used curved Y’s and V’s as we added branches.
Next, I demonstrated how to finger paint using ONLY ONE finger! We mixed various shades of pinks and purples together onto our picture by dotting little cherry blossoms onto our branches. I loved seeing each child approach this differently.
Oh, and check out these cute smiley faces!
..And the fabulous finished pieces!
Nice work, you guys!