My students and parents LOVE this lesson. I do this one with First Grade. This year, I did the lesson with Grade 1 and the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Combo classes.
I think it always turns out great. The nice thing about this is if they make a mark they do not like, they can just color over it and it becomes a bigger boat or another sail. It also reinforces how to draw basic shapes.
This year, I had extra wide sharpies which made it easier for my students to color in large sails or large boats.
I think one key to success is to make sure the students go slowly around the outside and then they can move quickly when they are in the middle of the image.
My K/1 Combo class did this lesson. They painted the background first doing the sky white then adding blue, they then painted the ocean with blue, green, and white. We did not rinse between colors so that was one less clean up step. I had them wipe their brushes on scrap paper or their placemats.
While that was drying, I showed them our “magic square” trick. A square can be cut into 2 triangles or 2 rectangles.
They then made boats with the squares of painted paper. I often use my old demo lessons chopped up for things like this. I also have some art room helpers who will take the paint leftovers from a paint day and paint on “oops” papers.
That paper is made by my upper grade student helpers. While I am pretty conservative in pouring paint, there is always a bit of leftover paint on the supply plates and it is a good way to use that up. (Reduce, reuse recycle: it’s good for the budget)
They then cut and assembled the boats however they wanted to.
Students used green, blue and white paint to create oceans. They could add texture with a fork or white clouds if they chose to.
Triangle, rectangle and square shapes were reviewed and students were shown how to cut various sail and boat shapes.
I have been doing these for years-they were a variation on a lesson in the Art Attack program that my daughter’s school adopted many years ago. I usually do this with First Grade but you can do it with just about any age group and can change the silhouette subject.
Silhouettes and watercolor are fun and they look pretty.
Students first draw their sailboats with a permanent marker. A great way to reinforce shapes. (triangles, trapezoids, half circles).
Then they paint shadows under the boats.
Then they paint the sky in warm colors.
Then they paint the sea in cool colors.
For second grade, one year, the students did dinosaurs-warm ground, cool skies. Same lesson-different subject.