Claude Monet | Water Lily Pond
from the Lesson Zone Index

Grade 2-6

Students will be introduced to the art of French artist Claude Monet, by being introduced to his art, and then by creating their own masterpiece after his work. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

Color Plate of Water Lily Pond (1897)
Cardstock or Medium Weight Paper
Oil or Tempra Paints
Paint pallet (cardboard or paper plate)

Step 1
Tell students, "This is Claude Monet's Water Lily Pond. It is one of the most famous paintings by this impressionist artist. The painting of his garden in Giverny, France, represents his emphasis on light and a spontaneous painting style, evidenced by his visible brush strokes. The way in which the light danced on the bridge, water and trees was just as important and element in his scene as the elements themselves."

Step 2
Tell students, "We will be learning about Monet's unique painting style, and then each of you will recreate his Water Lily Pond yourself. We will spend the next two art classes on this project, working on your painting in sections."

Step 3
Ask students, "Who can tell me how Monet captured light in his painting?" and "How with you go about reproducing this effect?"

Step 4
Tell students, "I will show you how to paint one of the trees, and then you will spend the rest of the class period on completing the upper portion of the painting. We will save the bridge for next time. Since Monet's style seeks to give the viewer the essence of a scene, rather than picture perfect view, you will be painting most of the work with a sponge."

Step 5
Tell students, "Now it's your turn. Begin by taking a piece of paper from the center of the table. With a pencil, draw the contour of the lily pond. This line will define the bottom edge of the work you will complete today. When you have completed this step you may begin painting."

Step 6
Tell students, "This is our second day working on our Water Lily Pond painting. Last time we observed that Claude Monet's art is characterized by an emphasis on light and visible brush strokes. Today will focus on completing the pond and foot bridge. Since the railings of the bridge are narrow, you will need to use a paint brush. You will find them in the middle of the table."

As the students paint you can quiz them with questions about Claude Monet, or about his painting style and how they are applying what they know to their recreation of Water Lily Pond.

Have fun!






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