Yellow Days: Studying Vincent van Gogh's Painting
- Grades: PreK–K
- Unit Plan:
- Identify van Gogh's painting, "Sunflowers."
- Note that van Gogh used wiggly lines and he liked to glob on the paint.
- Make a reproduction of van Gogh's "Sunflowers."
- Recognize the color yellow in the sunflowers.
- Light green 12" X 18" construction paper
- Sponge chunks
- Tempera paint palette: yellow brown, black, green, purple, blue, red, magenta, pink
- Easel, and thick paint brushes
- A collection of different shaped vases
- Sunflowers in a vase
Set Up and Prepare
- Pre-draw a horizontal pencil line approximately 4 inches from the bottom on every student's light green paper. (Make sure you are holding it long-ways...like a door.)
- Mix yellow paint with a little brown to get a mustard color.
Step 1: Have students sponge paint the bottom 4 inches with the mustard-colored paint.
Step 2: Let Dry.
Step 1. Show display of different vases. Note shape, color etc. Describe different characteristics of different vases.
Step 2. Using a pencil, demonstrate how to draw a vase on the light green paper that has the mustard paint at the bottom. Emphasize how the base of the vase overlaps the painted area.
Step 3: Have the students draw the vase on their papers.
Step 4: Have the students paint the vase any color they want.
Step 5: Let dry.
Step 1: Observe sunflowers in a vase. Note the angle of the stems. Note leaf shape.
Step 2: Demonstrate painting stems and leaves. Note how the stems start from inside the vase and go up.
Step 3: Paint stems and leaves coming out of the vases on the light green paper.
Step 4: Let dry
Step 1: Observe the centers and petals of real sunflowers. Note color, shape, patterns, and that the petals all start from the center.
Step 2: Demonstrate how to make flowers on stems. Emphasize that it's all right to overlap on what was already painted. Make long yellow strokes starting from center and pushing out. Do this in every direction.
Step 3: Show students how to use the paintbrush to tap in brown and black paint at the center of the flower. Remind them it is all right to paint on top of the yellow petals at the center.
Step 4: Let dry
Read Van Gogh by Mike Venezia and Camille and the Sunflowers...A Story about Vincent van Gogh by Laurence Anholt
- Write a group story about Vincent van Gogh. Display it with the painted sunflowers.
- Interactive: Discuss and write about how many vases of each color students can see on the bulletin board that displays the students' Van Gogh reproductions (example, "I see 5 blue vases."). Display the writing with the painted sunflowers.
- Have students tell three facts about Vincent van Gogh.
- Plant sunflowers in baggie and wet paper towel. Later, transplant into pots.
- Was there enough time?
- Were the students successful or frustrated?
- Could the students tell me about Vincent van Gogh?
- Were students able to make a reproduction of van Gogh's "Sunflower" painting?
- Did the students use globby paint and squiggly lines like van Gogh?
- Were they able to identify the color yellow?
- How many students were also able to identify the colors green, black, and brown?