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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Edward Hopper: Lighthouses

Created on November 17, 2016 by lightARTed

Students learn about the American Realist painter, Edward Hopper and become familiar with his series of lighthouse paintings. Students also learn about the history, the purpose, and parts of a lighthouse. Students the create their own version of a lighthouse with a variety of watercolors.

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Students will be able to understand the importance of lighthouses, basic history, and the parts of a lighthouse.

Students will become familiar with the artist Edward Hopper and his series or realistic lighthouse paintings.

Students will create a lighthouse watercolor painting demonstrating detailed design and watercolor painting techniques.

Watercolor paper,
Pencils and erasers,
Lighthouse handout,
Liquid watercolors,
Tempera watercolor cakes,
Watercolor pencils/crayons, etc…

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1. Optional: read the book, Beacons of Light by Gail Gibbons.

2. Introduce lesson about lighthouses and Edward Hopper with PowerPoint.

3. Demonstrate how to draw a lighthouse.

4. Students practice drawing before they start their final piece.

5. Demonstrate water coloring techniques using a variety of watercolor media.

6. Students carefully paint their lighthouse pictures.

Did the student draw a lighthouse?
Mandatory parts: the roof, tower, light, balcony seascape/landscape background, and daymark.
Optional details: light keepers house, lightning rod and ball vent, windows, door, shingles, plants, pathways, etc...

Did the student demonstrate watercolor techniques? Neatness?

Optional: read the book, Beacons of Light by Gail Gibbons.

Teacher-made PowerPoint about Edward Hopper and lighthouses.

Handout with pictures of a variety of lighthouses and how to draw steps.

• What is a lighthouse?
• What do lighthouses look like?
• Why do we have lighthouses?
• Are they important and why?
• Where are lighthouses located?
• What is the most important aspect of the lighthouse?
• How could one lighthouse be distinguished from another?
• What style of lighthouse did you use when making your drawing?
• Does your lighthouse have day markers? Why or why not?
• What questions do you still have about lighthouses?


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
[K-4] Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
[K-4] Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[K-4] Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[K-4] Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures
[K-4] Students identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[K-4] Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Edward Hopper

American Art, Realism

Line, Proportion/Size, Shape, Space


Geography, History/Social Studies, Science