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Middle [6th-8th] Lesson Plan

The Tree Of...

Created on January 14, 2013 by ArtKat0508

Student create a mixed media tree incorporating symbolism.

28 Keeps, 6 Likes, 2 Comments

9 sessions; 50 minutes per session

Students will define and use symbolism.

Students will discuss the use of symbols in Gustav Klimt's painting "The Tree of Life".

Students will understand that art can be made from recycling paper that would have been thrown away.

Students will define and use design principle within their composition.

sketchbook or scrap paper
canvas board
any paper that would have bee thrown away including magazines, old books, homework and notes
elmers white glue
12x 18 white paper
acrylic paint
gloss or gel medium
sequins, glitter stickers etc..

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Day 1
Discuss symbolism and the use of symbols in Gustav Klimt's "Tree of Life." Together as a class brain storm about possible topics for our trees. In their sketchbooks practice drawing a tree that reaches from the bottom of the page to the top of the page with the branches reaching to the left and to the right. Next add symbols to represent the topis(theme) of their tree.

Day 2
Discuss recycling and pass out scrap paper. Students fill the canvas board with scrap paper from one color family and neutrals.

Day 3
Students draw a tree onto the large paper following the same directions as the sketch. The tree is cut out and the positive is taped to the canvas board collage. the tape it rolled and placed under the tree so that it won't be seen when painting.

Day 4 and 5
Student mix a color of acrylic paint that contrasts the color of paper that they choose for the collage. They paint the whole canvas board being careful to brush away from the tree.

Day 6 and 7
Students draw their symbols onto small scraps of poster board and cut them out to be stencils. They use both the positive and negative shapes. Any other stencils or objects that could be a stencil I have (lace for example) can be used
in the painting. Students layer the new stencils over the tree and background using black white or a color related to their theme.

Day 8
Students can add glitter, stickers, sequins feathers or any other attachable object to enhance the theme they chose. A detail brush is used to clean up edges or add lines into the composition.

Day 9
Student critique and reflection essay

Essay question: Explain how symbolism is used in your artwork. What was successful? What would you change, improve or expand if you could do it again?

Rubric: Complete, Correct, Craftsmanship and Creativity

Gustav Klimt

Contrast, Movement, Rhythm/Pattern

Acrylic, Collage, Mixed Media

English/Language Arts, Science

  • paintpeace 01/15/2013 at 10:39pm
    these art examples are fabulous. This looks like a "can't miss" project.

  • paintpeace 03/22/2013 at 02:19pm
    Ok. I need help. I tried it out at home, and the acrylic paint ended up acting like glue for my stencil, so as I removed the stencil, it tore the collage. Rolling up all the little tape circles took a long time-- I tried putting one every few inches, and I am worried my middle schoolers don't have the patience. So, more advice needed. I still love your examples.