First Grade: Friedensreich Hundertwasser

IMG_6584As a beginning art teacher, new to this wonderful world of teaching art to children, I have a lot to learn.Art, art movements, mediums, and artists, oh my.  My catalogue of go-to artists include Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Mondrian, O’Keefe, and a few more.  I rely on art teacher blogs a lot. Thank goodness for the Internet, YouTube, and Pinterest.  And thank goodness art teachers are so kind in sharing their materials with the world through social media.  This community of educators is really inspiring in how much of themselves they repeatedly share.

Last month, while searching online for ideas to enchant my first graders, I stumbled onto this blog:

I had never heard of Friedensreich Hundertwasser before.  But, now that I know of him, I cannot get enough.  I love his colors, his vibrancy, how he plays with spirals, organic shapes, and space.  A perfect artist for my kids to learn about.  Also, a perfect reason for me to visit Vienna, Austria in the near future.  He is well known in Austria for his architecture and environmental advocacy, in addition to his distinctive artwork.

My lesson plan is not very different from Jacquelien’s.  I had my students sponge paint their backgrounds. The only thing I had to make sure they did was limit the amount of paint they placed on their paper and how they painted.  Some students ended up smearing their paint all over the place and it made for some muddy colors.  As one art teacher told me, “One of the most important things you can teach your students is how to stop.” They have to learn control. Yes, children, it may be fun to smear the paint all over the paper, the table, your chair, but that is not why you are here. Do that at home (smile).

The other thing I changed was the color of the lollipops and stem. Students could chose their colors instead of using black.  Results were mixed on this.  I tried to convey the idea of contrast, tried to show the power of the color wheel; but some students just like “their” colors.  They like pink and everything has to be pink!  Here are a few examples:






Pretty fun! The next thing I tried was a new evaluation system I learned from Art of Ed  I am currently taking a class called Assessment in Art Education, and it’s helping me form assessment plans. Objectives listed on the left, and all four classes evaluated with yes or no for the objectives.


Tally marks are an easy and effective way to evaluate your lesson to see what was successful and what needs change.

Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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