Here is another quick and beautiful art lesson for early elementary children. I came across a souvenir sailboat that I purchased one summer thinking that it would make a great visual for an art lesson. Three years later, I finally put it to use.
I did this project in one 60-minute art session but you could easily do it in two.
Step One: Cutting out the Sailboat
I began with cutting out the sailboat in patterned paper (scrapbook paper). At this point in the year, the children know what a trapezoid is, so I showed them how to take a rectangle and then cut away the ends to make a trapezoid. This becomes the hull of the boat.
Next, demonstrate how to cut two sails with one bigger than the other. If the kids cut their sails too small, encourage them to keep them. They just started another boat!
I encouraged the kids to make at least one large sailboat but two are fine. If one is smaller; even better. This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate perspective (large sailboat close to the bottom of the page, small sailboat towards the top).
Step Two: Painting the Sunset and Ocean
Time to get out the paint palettes and brushes. I use reddish orange and yellow plus blue, green and purple tempera paint. Start with the yellow paint and brush a line across the middle of the paper. This becomes the horizon line. Mixing a bit of yellow paint with the red, blend the colors directly onto the paper. Encourage long, sweeping strokes.
Next, apply blue paint mixed with either green or purple to the paper. It's important to paint the ocean last so it'll still be wet when the kids add texture.
I use a craft scraper to create the waves but plastic forks work equally as well. make sure not to wait too long before scraping the paint and just as important, try to encourage the kids not to dump on the paint! Or you'll have a real mess!
The artwork is from Mrs. Hetrick's first grade class at Brandon School