Tuesday, January 4, 2011

team matisse.

A couple of years ago my 4th grade collaborative project was inspired by the wonderful collages that Matisse created during the last 15 years of his life.

The classes looked at a number of these pieces and identified Matisse's use of flat natural and geometric shapes,  pattern, and bright colors. We also agreed that due to his use of these elements, Matisse had created images that were abstract in style. We also discussed using music as the inspiration for artwork.

The students worked in teams of 4 to create their own versions of Matisse's cut out compositions. They worked on large paper sheets (24x36") to facilitate multiple bodies surrounding the same art support.

Students had approximately 70 minutes to complete their collages.
Groups were given different colored and sized paper throughout the hour. I feel that this gradual release of supplies allows students to utilize each of the colors more effectively. They get the most out of each color and size instead of being overwhelmed by too many choices to make at the very beginning.

Emphasis was placed on using a variety of sizes of shapes in the collages, to create more visual interest and to create, along with overlapping, a small bit of 3d space in their abstract images.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I am hoping to do a similar lesson with my 4th grades this year. My music teacher is teaching instruments soon and this lesson should nicely correlate.

  2. This project looks awesome! If the students worked in teams, what happened to the finished projects? Did the students get them back or did you keep them?

    1. i return them to class whole. Usually the classroom teacher solves that problem! I've had some teachers do "lottery" drawings for them, some kids offer them to each other.

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