Cities in Art | Kindergarten Letter Designs| Explorations by In-Service Teachers | Monet's Water Gardens, Grade 1 , Tennessee Arts Academy


Cities in Art 

Name: Julie Rivera, Studio Art Teacher
Address: Wildwood School, Amherst, MA

These images were made by third graders as part of a series investigating the theme of "Cities In Art". Our work moved from realism towards abstraction as we explored different artists' approached to portraying cities. These pieces were inspired by Paul Klee and the idea of imaginary cities. In the first class we used different sized pieces of corrugated cardboard to stamp print our ideas with a focus on structures. We worked on watercolor paper with black acrylic paint, so that we could then use watercolor the following week. (Tempera paint would not remain permanent.) When adding color, we worked imaginatively, but were concious of cool and warm colors and how they work together in a painting.


Kindergarten Letter Designs

Name: Anna Pertzoff – Director of The Children’s Studio
Address: Florence, MA 01062, (413) 587-9729,

I challenged my kindergarten students to use a letter as a design element. The children repeated their letters over and over, creating new designs and patterns. Many chose to add another letter to complete their piece. The following week we looked at all of the shapes and designs they had created and agreed that painting the spaces would be a great way to pull out the shapes. The children were given only the primary colors plus black and white. They mixed and mixed. I walked around the room and noticed that they were creating extraordinary palettes and suggested that every color they loved might be added to their prints. They loved that idea as a recording of their colors and as a challenge.

I love doing this project, especially with younger children. It allows them the creative freedom that may be in their minds, but growing fine motor skills may prohibit. They are able to create buildings, words and shapes that may not come as easily with their own free hand.


Explorations by In-Service Teachers

These line printing explorations were created in the Teaching of Visual Arts course at Smith College. For a course description, visit the class website:

After looking through the CD-ROM and experimenting with line printing during class, each student selected a section of Creating With A Line, Part II of Thinking With A Line, to study before creating these images. Oil pastels were used to add color to printed compositions.



Monet's Water Gardens

Name: Nancy Stahelek
Address: Grade One, Sunderland Elementary School, Sunderland, MA

The lesson began with a discussion of Claude Monet and his artwork. Books
and prints were used to visually orient the children to his work. A video
entitled "Linnea in Monet's Garden" (also in book form) was viewed by the class.
A pre-viewing guided discussion included who the main characters were and
how they ended up visiting Monet's Garden. France was displayed on a map. The
class was asked to search for the 3 "B"s (the bench,boat and bridge) in the

Following the video, the class painted their own ponds using the sponge
painting technique in various shades of blues, greens, violets and yellows
(sunlight) filling as much of the page they desired.

In the second session, three additional painting techniques were
practiced. The first used the brush as a printer (the waterlilies), the second
technique was the simple brush stroke (the lily pads), lastly the "cardboard line"
in contrasting black was used for any of the 3 "B"s. Most of the children
enjoyed the varied techniques and colors and made many variations of the
Japanese bridge.


A Scene from the Tennessee Arts Academy Visual Arts Workshop

Teachers explore the process of line printing in a group.  They begin with the large curved line tool.  After spaces begin to fill, the small curved line printing tool was handed out.  To keep the exploration exciting and to add a new element, red paint and straight line tools were offered to the group.

The colorful painting below shows a group line printing exploration that was later painted by the group.