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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Monet & Impressionism- Drawing from Memory v. Drawing from Life

Created on September 12, 2016 by KatieMorris

Students will learn about Impressionism, especially Monet, and how and why he painted from life. After the art history lesson, students will be instructed to draw the same subject from memory and from direct observation plein air to compare the experience.

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2 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. The students will view and discuss a slides presentation about Monet and Impressionism.
2. The students will be able to identify characteristics of the Impressionism movement.
3. The students will draw a water lily from memory.
4. The students will paint a scene of a pond with water lilies from direct observation, plein air.
5. The students will compare their work from memory to the work from observation.
6. The students will reflect on the processes used in the lesson and take aways from Impressionism.

1. Sketchbooks or loose paper (drawing paper or construction paper)
2. Pencils
3. Choice of color media- colored pencils, oil pastels, chalk pastels, gouache & brushes, etc.

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1. Introduction
-Assess prior knowledge- can students recognize or guess any information about Monet painting displayed?
-Show slides presentation about Monet and Impressionism
-Why did Impressionist artists like to paint plein air? What allowed them to do this?
2. Compare working from memory to working from observation
-Ask students to draw object/scene from memory in 5-10 minutes.
-We used water lilies because there is a small pond near the classroom but you could use another subject
-Use new piece of paper and go outside to draw from direct observation for rest of class.
3. Reflect
-Write about what it was like to draw from memory and observation, what you learned, what you prefer.
4. Finish
-Option to finish plein air drawing

The teacher will monitor students’ work to make sure they are on task. The teacher will conference with the students about their work and their observations. The paragraph will also allow the teacher to assess the students’ understanding.

This really made my students see the benefits of drawing from observation. They were surprised by the difference in their before and after drawings.

Claude Monet