Matisse Cut-Outs

Henri Matisse, 1869-1954
Polynésie, la mer, 1946, paper cut-outs painted in gouache glued on paper on canvas, 196 x 314 cm, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Henri Matisse once said… “There is no interruption between my older paintings and my Cut-Outs. Just that with an increasing sense of the absolute, and more abstraction, I have achieved a form that is simplified to its essence.” My students love Matisse Cut-Outs!

It all started back in the late 1940s when scissors assisted Matisse in turning almost exclusively to cut paper as his primary creative medium and thus… initiate his unique and famous Cut-Outs. There is something magical about Matisse’s Cut-Outs… they offer us such pure, candid, unreserved joy, our life, just by looking at them, becomes gratifying and amusing!

‘It was like drawing, but with scissors… there was sensuality in the cutting’
Henri Matisse on the Cut-Outs
Matisse working at the Hôtel Régina, Nice, c. 1952 on The Parakeet and the Mermaid
© Hélène Adant – Centre Pompidou – Mnam – Bibliothèque Kandinsky – Hélène Adant
https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-31-summer-2014/it-was-drawing-scissors-there-was-sensuality-cutting

“Matisse would cut painted sheets into forms of varying shapes and sizes—from the vegetal to the abstract—which he then arranged into lively compositions, striking for their play with colour and contrast, their exploitation of decorative strategies, and their economy of means. Initially, these compositions were of modest size but, over time, their scale grew along with Matisse’s ambitions for them, expanding into a mural or room-size works. A brilliant final chapter in Matisse’s long career, the cut-outs reflect both a renewed commitment to form and colour and an inventiveness directed to the status of the work of art, whether as a unique object, environment, ornament, or a hybrid of all of these.”    https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/1429?locale=en

Henri Matisse, 1869-1954
Large Decoration with Masks, 1953, Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, and ink on canvas, 35360 x 9964 mm, National Gallery of Art, Washington
https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-30-spring-2014/his-brilliant-final-chapter

Matisse is a favourite artist among my students and I always enjoy teaching a Unit on his life achievements, culminating with his amazing Cut-Outs!  Whether I teach Grade 1 Mythology, Grade 4 Cultural Geography, or High School Art History, Matisse’s Cut-Outs are always there to enrich my curriculum in the most remarkable way. Getting a taste of their fascinating stories, my students “read” them, in ways, appropriate to their level, they are always 100% engaged … and my teaching gets to be more than gratifying!

Student Work on a Matisse Cut-Outs RWAP (by Haylee M.)

Matisse Cut-Outs Lesson Plan

Essential Questions: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviours encouraged Matisse to take creative risks?

Goals: Facilitate students to understand and connect Matisse’s use of Colour from Fauvism to the Cut-Outs.

Enduring Understanding: Henri Matisse was a French painter in the early 20th century, known as one of the founders of Fauvism, an art movement that is identified with the emotional and bold use of colour,  and the creator of the Cut-Outs technique.

Steps to Success  

At first, I Introduce the Lesson to my students and present the Essential Questions we will work on. Then, I show a Youtube Video on Matisse’s Cut-Outs (Here is my favourite    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLgSd8ka0Gs) and Being Inquisitive I initiate a conversation. The Lesson continues with my PowerPoint, more discussion follows and the Unit on Matisse’s Cut-Outs culminates with students achieving an Enduring Understanding of our Lesson and performing an Assessment Activity.

For my Matisse PowerPoint, please… Check HERE!

The student RWAP (RWAP stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) is… HERE!

Student Work on Matisse Cut-Out RWAP, please… Check HERE!

Student Work on a Matisse Cut-Outs RWAP (by Kalypso I.)

Inspired by the François Vase

Bulletin Board Presentation – Grade 7

Inspired by the François Vase is a Grade 7 Activity my students enjoy doing!

François Vase is exhibited at the National Museum of Archaeology in Florence. It is “a large black-figure krater, a large vase in Ancient Greece believed to be used for watering down wine, from c. 570 BC. The design is fascinating and, if one looks carefully, you will find both the signature of the potter, Ergotimos and the painter, Kleitias. This krater is named the “François Vase” after the archaeologist who found it in 1844. ” https://www.visitflorence.com/florence-museums/maf-archeological-museum.html

François Vase, large Attic volute krater decorated in the black-figure style, by Kleitias(painter) and Ergotimos(potter), c. 570-565 BC, Florence National Archaeological Museum

The François Vase Activity

Instructions on what to do: During class, students are introduced to ancient Greek pottery, and more specifically the importance and characteristics of the François Vase. This Activity is based on the classroom lectures, student research on the subject, and ultimately student creativity and imagination. So, ……

  1. Students are asked to READ the attached sites and WATCH the provided Videos: https://www.florenceinferno.com/the-francois-vase/ and https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft1f59n77b&chunk.id=d0e2374&toc.depth=1&toc.id=&brand=ucpress and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh1oONbq2ik
  2. Students will be provided with a Template of a Volute Krater. This template will be their work canvas! to create a “new” version of the François Vase.
  3. For the Volute Krater Template, a big thank you to IMGBIN and go to https://imgbin.com/png/ZZBrSTGn/krater-volute-line-art-vase-drawing-png
  4. Students are asked to design a “new version” of the François Vase inspired by their favorite novel, poem, myth, comic story or their own life!
  5. They may consider the following poem by Archilochos of Paros, 8th century BC lyric poet (Willis Barnstone, trans., Greek Lyric Poetry [New York: Schocken Books) as a source of inspiration:

The PowerPoint, teachercurator has prepared, can be seen if you… Click HERE!

For more examples of student work… Click HERE!

Jamestown Settlement

Student RWAP Artwork

The New World is an interesting Movie to start our American Art Journey in an entertaining, yet educational, way! “This cinematic masterpiece illustrates the adventures of explorer John Smith as he establishes the Jamestown Settlement in 1607. Smith and Native American princess Pocahontas discover their worlds are different yet their hearts beat the same for each other, while English settlers and Native Americans come to blows.” https://www.owlteacher.com/teach-with-movies-page-6.html

Jamestown Settlement Activity

We followed 3 steps for this Project: 1. We first saw the movie, The New World, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_World_(2005_film). 2. Then, students were asked to do some research, find and write down 10 Facts of Jamestown Settlement. 3. Finally, RWAP time! (RWAP stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project)

This Project covers at least 2 pages of the student RWAP Sketchbook or an A3 size Poster.

RWAP Instructions: A. Research – Coloured or B/W Photocopies of Artworks related to or inspired by Jamestown Settlement. Go to Google – Jamestown Colony – Pictures. Do not forget that correct identification for each picture is needed. B. Research – Writing – 6 Facts about Jamestown Settlement. Students already have 10 Facts from Step 2 of the Project. Review Facts, choose 6 of them, the BEST! and use them in their RWAP Sketchbook. Students are asked to not COPY/PASTE!!! and to write down BIBLIOGRAPHY! C. Art Activity and Project Title – There is so much on the Internet to get students inspired!!! BE CREATIVE! Do not forget a nice, artistic TITLE for the Project!!!

For examples of student RWAP… Click HERE!

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0402399/

The Myth of Ouranos and Gaia

Kindergarten Art inspired by the Myth of Ouranos and Gaia

My Kindergarten Mythology Class started with the Myth of Ouranos and Gaia.

Created thousands of years ago, Greek Myths tell us epic stories, adventures of demigods, heroes, and monsters, tales of love, loyalty, betrayal, friendship, bravery… Greek Myths show that the gods, very much like ordinary humans, men and women alike, can be right or wrong, fail or succeed, love or be jealous. Greek Myths and the extraordinary deeds of their protagonists are to be found on everything, from ancient Greek pottery to temple decoration to stone statues, paintings, music, and poetry! Greek Myths offer my Kindergarten students a glimpse into the lives of the Ancient Greek people, their culture and art.

Lesson Plan Steps

My Classroom Lesson always starts with a warm welcome, a short sentence on what the Lesson will be about… “Imagine two powerful gods, one was Gaia/Earth, our planet, the other was Ouranos, the Sky above us… “and continues with the Myth.

Here are some interesting sites on Ouranos and Gaia: https://www.theoi.com/Protogenos/Ouranos.html and https://www.theoi.com/Protogenos/Gaia.html

My students love our next Activity… We go to the schoolyard, we lie down and “feel the earth”. Then we “look up and try to reach the sky”.

Finally, back in class, students are asked to do an Art Activity with different colored papers. Blue represents the sky, green the earth, yellow the sun and the stars, pink, red and lighter green, the plants and the flowers.

For student Artwork, please… Click HERE!

"Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain" Activity Bulletin Board Presentation

Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain

"Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain" Activity Bulletin Board Presentation
“Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain” Activity Bulletin Board Presentation

The end of the Academic year approaches fast and my wonderful Grade 5 students created an inspiring final Poster/Project on “Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain.”

As the Grade 5 Host Country Studies teacher, I thoroughly enjoy exploring, along with my students, various aspects of Greek Cultural Geography! During the last 8 Lessons, we focused on the region of Epirus and its rich cultural heritage. We talked about the region’s geography, history, art, culture, heritage, and mythology. The “Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain” Activity was the Unit’s culminating student challenge. I believe they all passed with flying colors!!!

Enjoy PowerPoints and Student Activity. Bear in mind that it can easily be adapted for whichever Mountain, wherever in the world, you choose to explore!!

The following quote and site will introduce you to the Pindos Mountain National Park. “The park is, for the most part, a large wooded valley encircled by peaks, all over 2000 meters. Almost eighty species of birds live in the Pindos area, including the Imperial, golden, and short-toed eagles, the lanner falcons, the Egyptian vulture, and quite a few species of breeding woodpeckers. This is also one of the areas where bears, wolves, and wild cats are found, as well as red squirrels, wild boar, roe deer, beech martens, and otters (along the streams). A large variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects complete the picture.”
http://pindosnationalpark.gr/en/

ARCTUROS is a non-profit, non-governmental, environmental organization (NGO) founded in 1992, focusing on the protection of wildlife fauna and natural habitat, in Greece and abroad. The ARCTUROS site greatly helped students find information so as to finish their project. Explore their site… it’s amazing, as amazing is the work they do!

http://www.arcturos.gr/en/

“Wildlife and the Pindos Mountain” Activity 

For a PowerPoint on Epirus and Pindos Mountain… Click HERE!

For Instructions on the Project… Click HERE!

For a PowerPoint on Student Work… Click HERE!

For a DRONE experience over Pindos Mountain and its famous Vickos Gorge… Click HERE!

Enjoy… and think creatively!

Gilgamesh, the Sumerian Hero

Could “Gilgamesh, the Sumerian Hero” help you better understand… How do heroes accomplish such amazing feats? Or what turns an ordinary man into a hero? Have you ever wondered if we are all a little bit of a hero? What do great cities like Uruk look like?

The Sumerians, like many people of the Bronze Age (starts about the mid 4th millennium BC to about 1000 BC the latest), had a very spirited oral tradition. There were no books at the time, available for people to enjoy reading and get their imagination run uncontrolled and wild. Storytellers played an important role, getting people excited with stories about the great Heroes, fantastic achievements, strict morals and ethics. Gilgamesh, the Sumerian Hero, never failed to dazzle the Sumerians and he dazzles us today!

Gilgamesh was, the story tells us, one of the kings of the Sumerian city of Uruk.  His name is on the list of kings of Sumer recovered from the library at Nineveh.  Did he exist as a real person or was he just made up by the Sumerians?  We may never know.  Like many other Heroes around the world, he was a part god and part human. He was also endowed with divine powers, a great sense of duty and ethics. Could we call Gilgamesh the first superhero?

Imagine… the unimaginable, and Gilgamesh did it. Along with his faithful friend Enkidu (friendship is always important for a Hero) they traveled the world fighting terrible monsters, rescuing people in need, moving mountains and rivers… in other words, protecting and saving the people of Sumer from any imaginable calamity. How do we know all these amazing facts? Clay tablets, preserved at the Library of ancient Nineveh and written in cuneiform writing, inform us with interesting details!

“Gilgamesh, the Sumerian Hero,” Educational Videos and Interesting PowerPoints

Introduction to Mesopotamia and the Epic story of Gilgamesh
Based on a 4000 year old story the Epic of Gilgamesh, this is an animated comic created by Sean Goodison for his degree project for his final year of studying computer graphic design.

http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/geography/story/sto_set.html

https://studylib.net/doc/5237467/gilgamesh—the-first-superhero-

For the PP on “Gilgamesh,” the “teachercurator” prepared… Click HERE!

“Gilgamesh, the Sumerian Hero” and Interesting Student Activities

For Information on Student Activities… Click HERE!

For Student Worksheets… Click HERE!

Teaching with Vincent Van Gogh

Grade 3 students inspired by Van Gogh and his Sunflowers!

“Teaching with Vincent Van Gogh” is a set of student activities and worksheets inspired by the great Dutch artist everyone admires.

When the globally acclaimed “Van Gogh Alive – The Experience” exhibition made its way to Thessaloniki, I prepared my students for an organized Educational Trip.

“Make no mistake – this is no ordinary art exhibition. From start to finish, visitors will be surrounded by a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, colour, and sound that will compel them to leave the world behind and immerse themselves in what has been called an ‘unforgettable’ multi-sensory experience. Van Gogh’s masterpieces come to life as visitors experience the sensation of walking right into their paintings – a feeling that is simultaneously enchanting, entertaining and educational.”

“Teaching with Vincent Van Gogh” Activities

If you are interested in Teaching with Vincent van Gogh, I put together a List of Student Activities, from Museums in the US and Europe (the great Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam) that, hopefully, justifies my name “teachercurator”. Some of these Activities were used by colleagues of mine, in our different school Departments.

For Van Gogh Lesson Plans and Activities … Click HERE!

For my PP on Van Gogh … Click HERE!

For WAC (Write Across the Ciciculum) Activity on Adjectives … Click HERE!

For a PP of “Sunflowers” student work … Click HERE!

For a PP on the Roulin Family … Click HERE!

For the “Do you know Vincent” Activity Worksheet and PP … Click HERE! and HERE!

Bibliography

https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/group-and-school-visits/schools/lessons-and-teaching-materials

Heracles and the Lion of Nemea

My students love nothing more than a good Greek Myth like Heracles and the Lion of Nemea!!!

Myths are such fascinating stories. They were created at a time, so far away from our fast-paced, cosmopolitan, technologically savvy world, and yet, they are still relevant in helping shape modern thinking. Myths talk about duty, penance, responsibility, love, exploration, sacrifice, originality, imagination, creativity, effort,  humility, industry, curiosity, character, kindness, strength, success, resilience, arrogance, spirit ….

They can still advise us on the faults of political arrogance (Theseus and the Minautor), global warming (Phaethon and the Chariot of the Sun), the power of creativity (the Wings of Daedalus), penance not punishment (the Labours of Hercules), exploration (Jason and the Argonauts) …

For years now I have found myself relying on Greek Mythology like Heracles and the Lion of Nemea so as to enrich my curriculum. From Grade 1 to all Grades of High School, my students get a taste of these fascinating stories, “reading” them, in ways appropriate for their level.

As a result, students are 100% engaged, and teaching is so gratifying!

Use it to introduce ideas like Mythology, Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, Art, Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Arts

Heracles and the Lion of Nemea Lesson Plan Analysis

Essential Questions

Do ancient Greek myths help students a glimpse of what people thought in the past, what they considered important and how their morals worked?

Do ancient Greek myths contribute to the classic and modern understanding of life?

Goals

To help students connect the past with the present

Assist students learn about mythology from works of art

Enduring Understanding

Ancient Greek myths are narratives, formative or reflective, of social order or values.

Ancient Greek myths serve as a warning for people on how they should and should not be.

Steps to Success – Heracles and the Lion of Nemea

  1. The Power of Music

Start your Lesson with a song from the “Lion King”

The Lion King – Circle of LifeIntroduction to the Lesson – Heracles and the Lion of Nemea – No more than 2 minutes.

2. Review of the Essential Questions

Do ancient Greek myths give students a glimpse of how people thought in the past, what they considered important and how their morals worked?

Do ancient Greek myths contribute to the classic and modern understanding of life?

3. Visual Learning – “7 Roar…some Lion Facts”

Show students the PP “teachercurator” has prepared, discuss Lion Facts and thus prepare students for the Lion of Nemea story … Click HERE

4. The Power of Story-Telling – Get your students to your classrooms’ coziest area, then sit them down and tell them the story of Hercules and the Lion of Nemea. It is important for them to “feel” and “live” the Myth. So, my advice is not to read the myth, even from the finest book. Use your dramatic voice and “act” it out, captivating your students’ imagination.

5. Practice Visual Learning

6. Be Inquisitive

Discuss each picture – ask students the questions “teachercurator” prepared for you. For the PP in Hercules and the Lion of Nemea … Click HERE

For the QandA the “teachercurator” has prepared … Click HERE!

7. Review Enduring Understanding

Ancient Greek myths are narratives, formative or reflective, of social order or values.

Overall Ancient Greek myths serve as a warning to people on how they should and should not be.


Heracles and the Lion of Nemea Assessment Activities

This is what my Grade 1 students created for the Hercules and the Lion of Nemea Lesson. I downloaded and used an “Internet” free Lion mask, I cut different colored strips of paper, asked students to paint Lion’s face, glue the strips … and VOILA!

https://www.huggies.com.au/kids-activities/role-play/lion-mask

For a WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) Activity … Click HERE!

There are so many more amazing Activities on the Internet!!! … just explore what suits you and your students, best!

School Classrooms Since Antiquity

A few years back, preparing an introductory Lesson Plan for my Grade 1 School Classroom Unit, I came across this wonderful Gallo-Roman sculptural relief of the 2nd century AD. I instantly connected to the standing young student, the “late” arrival to the Classroom. I immediately felt the need to share it with my students. As a result “School Classrooms Since Antiquity” developed.

Use “School Classrooms Since Antiquity” in order to introduce ideas like Education, School, Classroom, Heroes, Mythology, Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome, Art, Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Arts

“School Classrooms” Lesson Plan

Essential Question

Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education and subsequently, School Classrooms, today?

Goals

To help students understand the importance of Education

Assisting students to connect the past with the present

To help students learn about education from works of art

Enduring Understanding

Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Steps to Success

Introduction to the Lesson -Essential Question

Compared to antiquity, how similar or how different is Education, and subsequently School Classrooms, today?

Visual Learning – Part 1, “My Classroom … then”

Show students the PP “teachercurator” has prepared and at the same time … Click HERE!

Be Inquisitive – Questions and Answers

Discuss each picture and then ask students the questions “teachercurator” prepared for you … Q&A CLICK!

Goals

To help students understand the importance of education.

Assisting students to connect the past with the present.

To help students learn about education from works of art.

Visual Learning – Part 2, “Classrooms … now”

Show students the “33 Eye-Opening Pictures Of Classrooms Around The World” so you can discuss it.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/gabrielsanchez/this-is-what-going-to-school-looks-like-around-the-world

Be Inquisitive

Guide students to Comparisons between the past and the present. Compare pictures to their own classroom. Furthermore, discuss with students what they like/dislike in each picture and what they would like to have in their own classroom. Be creative!!!

Enduring Understanding

Education is the process of helping students acquire knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Assessment Activity

Music was a very important component of Ancient Greek Education and students were expected to learn how to play musical instruments. Inspired by the 2nd and 3rd Slides, have students do the Getty Museum “Classy Cardboard Lyre” Art Activity because it is easy, exciting, creative, fun, and educational!

https://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/classroom_resources/tips_tools/downloads/aa_cardboard_lyre.pdf