Project Title: Monet-Inspired Frogs Using Construction Paper and Paint
Description: Students will learn about master artist, Claude Monet, by following a frog named Philippe in the children’s book, Philippe in Monet’s Garden. They will learn how to draw a frog and create a collage.
Author: Dayna Ensminger
Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary Level, ages 5+
Historical Art Examples or References: Philippe in Monet’s Garden by Lisa Jobe Carmack; examples of Claude Monet’s art, specifically his water lilies and Japanese bridge paintings
Vocabulary: Painting, collage, overlap, sponge painting, blending, tints/lighter, 2D, 3D
Materials: Construction paper (blue, green, and pink), scissors, glue, pencils, erasers, sponges, blue tempera paint, white tempera paint
1. Read the book, Philippe in Monet’s Garden by Lisa Jobe Carmack, to students. Discuss the troubles Philippe ran into and how Monet saved him. Ask students to pay attention to the background pictures in the story. Compare that to paintings of Monet’s pond.
2. Point out that Monet’s art looks like smears and blurs up close, but from farther away, we can see the painting more clearly. Tell the students we’re going to paint like Monet, but to get those smear and smudges, we’re going to NOT use a paint brush, instead, we’ll use sponges!
3. Ask students what happens when you add white to another color. (Answer: it gets lighter.)
4. Demonstrate how to dip your sponge into the blue and white paints, and “hop like a frog” all over your blue construction paper.
5. Cover paper in blue and white paint using only sponges.
6. Allow to dry.
7. Do a step-by-step teacher demonstration how to draw Philippe, our frog, onto green paper. Draw a large circle, add a bump on the left and a bump on the right for the frog’s two big back legs and close the legs with 3 toes on each leg. Add two more front legs. Finally, draw on some facial features: two eyes at the top of the circle, two small diagonal lines for his nose, and a huge smile.
8. Use green crayons to add spots. Color mouth red or pink. Eyes black. Optional: outline in crayon.
9. Cut out Philippe.
10. Glue Philippe to sponge-painted background paper.
11. Curl one strip of pink paper (size 1″x 4″). Bend the opposite end and glue to Philippe’s mouth for a long, frog tongue!
12. Optional, if time: cut out lily pads from green construction paper. Crumple colorful tissue paper squares and glue onto lily pads for water lily flowers. Glue lily pads onto background with Philippe.