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K-12EducatorsThe Arts

Making a Collage in the Style of Matisse – Lesson Plan

Students create warm- and cool-color animal collages in the style of Matisse.

  • Length: 3 to 5 class periods
  • Grades: 6-8

Concepts/Objectives:

  • Students will describe, analyze, and interpret using art elements and principles of design.
  • Students will understand the media of collage.
  • Students will create collages using warm and cool colors.

Resource Used:
Warm and Cool Colors/Cut-Paper Collage
Found On: Spectrum of Art Part 1: Making Art

Vocabulary, Materials, and Handouts

Vocabulary:
abstract, balance, collage, color, color groups, cool colors, contrast, elements of art, emphasis, pattern, primitive, principles of design, proportion, rhythm, texture, value, warm colors

Materials:
paint, water, brushes, palettes, scissors, glue sticks, 12" X 18" black construction paper (one piece per student), 9" X 12" white sulphite 80# paper (six sheets per student) or colored paper in a variety of colors, pictures of animals, TV/VCR or DVD player, images of cutouts by Matisse

Handouts:

  • Background on Matisse
  • Multiple-Choice Questions
  • Answer Key

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Instructional Strategies and Activities

Show the video segment, focusing students’ attention on the collage by Matisse. Show other collages by Matisse (using web sites or books) and give out the “Background on Matisse” handout. Discuss these questions:

  • What is a collage?
  • How does Matisse show visual rhythm in his collages?
  • How does Matisse use color in his collages? Which colors come forward visually? Which recede?
  • How are color and music related?

Then use the following activity to prepare students for making their collages.

Learning to look and see
Directions to students: Examine a picture of an animal. Describe the animal in terms of simple shapes (circle, oval, triangle, square, etc.). Be sure to include detail (a minimum of six shapes). Use a maximum of 15 minutes. (Note to teacher: This exercise can be written or verbal.)

Now draw the animal using those shapes. If you have time, repeat with three different animals.

Applying what you know and see
Directions to students: Create a collage using cool color shapes in the background and warm color shapes for the animals.

  1. Lay pattern shapes in colors on black paper. Do not overlap the pieces (the black paper should show through).
  2. Glue down this background design.
  3. Using several different warm colors for each animal, cut out animal shapes. Vary the animal sizes for a more interesting composition. Make your animals BIG.
  4. Arrange your animals on the background before gluing them down. Decide whether to use symmetrical or asymmetrical balance in your composition.
  5. When you are satisfied with your composition, glue it down.

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Open Response Assessment

Prompt:
You have learned about warm and cool colors and visual rhythm by watching the video excerpt “Warm and Cool Colors” and by looking at collages by Henri Matisse. You created your own collage using warm and cool colors.

Directions:
Compare your collage to a Matisse cut-out collage. Describe how your picture reflects visual rhythm. What kind of music would your painting play? Include art terminology in your response.

Open Response Scoring Guide

4 3 2 1 0
Student provides a detailed and in-depth description of how his or her collage compares to a Matisse collage. Student clearly identifies how the collage reflects visual rhythm. Student clearly identifies and describes the music his or her artwork would play. Student consistently uses art vocabulary. Student communicates clearly and effectively, with insightful use of examples or relevant details about visual art. Student effectively describes how his or her collage compares to a Matisse collage and effectively identifies how it reflects visual rhythm. Student effectively identifies and describes the music the artwork would play. Student uses overall correct art vocabulary. Student communicates effectively, with some use of examples or relevant details about visual art. Student generally describes how his or her collage compares to a Matisse collage. Student generally identifies how it reflects visual rhythm. Student generally identifies and describes the music his or her artwork would play. Student uses basic, correct art vocabulary. Student communicates at a basic level, with a few examples or relevant details about visual art. Student minimally describes how his or her collage compares to a Matisse collage. Student minimally identifies how it reflects visual rhythm. Student minimally identifies and describes the music the artwork would play. Student uses minimal art vocabulary. Student communicates ineffectively, with no examples or relevant details about visual art. Blank, no answer, or irrelevant response.

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Support - Connections - Resources - Author

  • Elderfield, John. The Cut-Outs of Henri Matisse. New York: Baziller, 1978.
  • Context for the Creation of Jazz—a web page with background on Matisse and his Jazz project for teachers from the Greg Kucera Gallery (www.gregkucera.com/matisse.htm)

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