Sunday, October 13, 2013

Art With a Hint of Halloween

       Since the fall is upon us, and Halloween is drawing near, a lesson with a seasonal theme can be fun for the students. Usually this is something geared more toward the elementary art classroom, but there are projects that can be appropriate for middle and high school students as well.  
       For elementary students, a great lesson inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, would include the use of mixed media. First, the students would observe van Gogh’s painting. The students would then draw a scene using oil pastels to mimic the brush strokes in the painting, concentrating on some of the swirls in the sky. From there they could add a tree and a cityscape. After they are content with the drawing, the students then would use watercolor paints to fill in the sky and the rest of the background. When it is completely dry, they could add a “wavy” paper ghost. This can be achieved by not gluing the ghost flat to the paper, but just placing glue at the top edge, middle and bottom edge of the ghost.  

        For middle or high school students, a lesson inspired by Edvard Munch’s The Scream, is great for this time of year. Once again, the students would first observe and discuss Munch’s painting. For this lesson, the students could use neon tempera paints to create their own expressive version of someone screaming. The students then could write a short story about their painting.
        For a multicultural lesson, a Day of the Dead project can be implemented. Students can learn about this Mexican holiday while they create a Day of the Dead skull. This can be achieved by using many different medias, such as paper mache or clay. This also can be created just as a two dimensional project using paints, pastels or colored pencils. These are just a few lessons that can be tied into this time of year. The possibilities really are endless.


  1. I really enjoy this lesson plan because it incorporates essential elements of art education while bringing in a holiday students are familiar with and enjoy. Sometimes there is controversy in art classroom, where the school wants the art teacher to incorporate holidays, but then sometimes that takes away from the true essence of art and turns it into craft. Then certain elements such as are history, design elements, and techniques are disregarded. This lesson does a good job or keeping both important qualifications to please both the schools requirements as well and the art education foundations. This is sometimes harder to accomplish in younger grades. Keeping the art and not turning it into craft!

  2. I like the concept idea of the students painting like Van goh. Introducing the Day of the Dead to the students adds diversity to the class.