Instructional Plan Title: Corn Prints and Henri Matisse

Keywords: Texture, Pattern, Repetition, Variety, Movement, Balance, Henri Matisse, Indiana Corn, Grain

Curriculum Area: Art

Grade Level: Fourth Grade

Appropriate Group Size: This is a whole group activity. It would work with any class size.

Time Expected to Complete Instructional Plan: Two 50 minute periods

Instructional Objectives: This lesson is designed to align with lessons the students have studied on agriculture, particularly the uses of corn and other grains and the development of Euro-American civilization in Indiana. The students observe prints and paintings as the teacher discusses various design elements (listed in the "Keyword" section) used by the artist Henri Matisse. The students look at and discuss Indian corn. The students create prints.

Indiana State Proficiencies: Grade Four

#8 Understand and apply elements and principles of design effectively in their work.
#9 Develop and apply skills using a variety of two dimensional and three dimensional media, tools, and processes to create works that communicate personal meaning - - printmaking.
#10 Reflect on, revise, and refine work using problem solving and critical thinking skills.

#2 Recognize significant works of Western and non-western art and understand the chronological development of art movements.

Materials and Resources: Corn Husks, Paper cut in the shape of corn cobs, various colors of tempera paint found in Indian corn, Newspapers, Paint, Glue, Indian Corn, Images from Corbis, Saskia, and Grove Dictionary of Art Online located at IUPUI University Library Community Project

Images - CORBIS Images:

Matise, Henri
Flower Festival at Nice 129K
Francis G. Mayer/CORBIS

Goldfish, 97K
Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Red Room by Henri Matisse 168K
Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Cezanne, Paul
Flowers in Blue124K
Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Lady in Blue, 92K
Burstein Collection/CORBIS

Mont Sainte Victoire 187K
CORBIS/ Philadelphia Museum of Art

Monte Sainte-Victoire, 127K
Francis G. Mayer/CORBIS

Preparation: The teacher should have several images which show paintings or prints by Henri Matisse. The teacher needs to be prepared to discuss Matisse's use of pattern, texture, color, balance, variety, movement, and emphasis. At the beginning of the class, the teacher talks about the design elements listed above, explaining the art elements in the first and second paintings and then asking the students to explain the elements in the remaining paintings. The teacher shows the student the Indian corn and talks about the uses and visual patterns of Indian corn. The teacher demonstrates the printmaking procedure.

Student Instruction: Using their fingers, the students make a print that looks like Indiana corn. They use the tips of their fingers and varying colors of paint to make printed areas that look like kernels of corn. They do not make a pattern with the color, but the over all effect would make the surface appear textured. The finger prints need to be aligned, much like the realistic Indian corn, but they also need to have a random color variation. They attach the corn husks to the Indian corn which gives the Indian corn print a more realistic look as well as using nature to enhance their man-made product.

Student Assessment: A rubric will be used to determine if the students accomplished the necessary skills mastery in the production area. A sample rubric follows the lesson plan.

Expansion/Interdisciplinary Connections: An expansion lesson would follow the next week which would include making potato carvings and using these to print a patterned project. This lesson further develops the same vocabulary of design elements and expands the printmaking process while at the same time the use of the potato as a vehicle for printmaking promotes the agricultural theme that ties in with the curricular units being taught in the classroom.

Family Activities: The teacher should encouraged the students to print with other found objects at home under their parents supervision, particularly other food and grain or any found objects. This would be a natural way to compare and contrast the effect that different objects have on the composition of an artwork. In order to encourage this, the teacher would send home the "Parent Notice" found at the end of this lesson plan.

Teacher Notes: I have listed images I used with this lesson. However, almost any painting or print from Matisse or Paul Cezanne that clearly shows the design elements, presented with this plan could be used with this printmaking lesson.

Parent Notice

In art this week, we made prints that looked like Indian corn. It was messy, but fun! Our teacher told us about Henri Matisse, and we talked about patterns, textures, balance, rhythm, and emphasis while we looked at Matisse's paintings. At home, I could try printing with other things I find around the house. It would be interesting to find out what things make good prints.

Indian Corn Printmaking Rubric

  Followed Directions     5
  Neat     5
  Solid Construction     5
  Looks Good     5
  Looks Like Corn     5
  Kernels in Pattern     5
  Colors in Random     5
Community Skills
  Area Clean     5
  Class Behavior Appropriate     5
  Tasks Done on Time     5
Total Points 50