Teaching Art

This lesson carves out learning regarding collage, overlapping layers, how to draw with scissors, proportions of the figure and cheesy one-liners from Full House. Even though my students have no idea who Joey Gladstone is I can still have a bit of fun teaching them a 90’s catch phrases along side some essential learning for my primary peeps.


The lesson began introducing students to the artwork of Matisse. Although I showed students some of his early work, I focused on his later work of cutting and arranging shapes from paper. To begin the artwork, students used some painted they made at the beginning of the year as well as plain colored paper to arrange squares and rectangles like puzzle pieces to create a patchwork background for their artwork.


Students then spent one lesson trying to cut out the figure without drawing it first like Matisse. After gluing the cut-outs into their sketchbook, students then drew the figure and we discussed what was more challenging.


To create the silhouette that would dances it’s way onto their artwork, students could decide if they wanted to draw the figure or draw with scissors. Once their silhouette were cut out, students glued it onto their background and then began cutting other shapes to add to their composition. From leaves and swirls to coral-like branches, students continued practicing their cutting and problem solving skills to create their artwork.


Venus McArtsy even stopped by to cut it up with the kids! Her song about Matisse played while the students worked and by the end of the lesson they knew Matisse’s major milestones as an artist.

On the last day of the lesson, students put a layer of latex glue on top of their collage which gave it a glossy seal. Students also played a variation of a Roll-a-Dice game to practice drawing shapes and silhouettes from nature before we called, CUT!


Students found this art project both challenging and fun. They also loved learning about the life and artwork of Henri Matisse. Although they may have not gotten my many references to 90’s pop culture maybe one day they will realise that their art teacher was all that and a bag of chips! As if!

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