Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chinese Scroll Paintings, 4th-5th Grade

I didn't have the chance to do this project this past year, but I did it the year before. It was a huge success, but it took a lot of time.

I started by teaching the kids about Chinese Scroll Paintings, and the history of them. I created a worksheet where they answered questions and had to sketch ideas for their designs.

The students worked on 12x24 white paper, to get the "scroll-like" feel. They lightly sketched their design using a pencil, and then were taught all about watercolor techniques. They were encouraged to do a lot of washes at first, and then go back when it was dry to add more dry brush details. They had to add chinese symbols using black ink as a finishing touch.

I finished them off by mounting a piece of thin, black paper at the top and bottom of the 'scrolls', and then hanging with yarn. The "oooo's and ahh's" of the hallway were endless.


Charlene said...

Great project! Couple questions, did you use standard drawing paper and if so how did you keep it from curling up? Did you have a handout of Chinese characters for the students to copy?

Katie said...

Hi Charlene--
Yes, we use a handout that I made by gathering chinese symbols online--pretty simple.

The paper is our standard drawing paper, but I use thicker 80lb I believe paper. (It may be thicker) It does curl a LITTLE, but, once you staple on that black border at the top and bottom it helps. I also usually put them under a stack of something heavy for a day or two to get out the crinkle.

jlc said...

what a GREAT project!!!

i love art teachers!! then again, i'm biased because my mom happens to be one!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer before the kiddies arrive!! :)

K-Sue said...

I really like these. We may have to try them.

Alicia said...

That's a great idea! My kids love art. Two of them actually take art lessons every Monday. If you search my blog, under the label "ART" you will see some of the paintings my 8 year old son has done!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm going to be a new art teacher this fall and I'm so glad I found your blog! I love your lessons and it's great to see so many pictures.
I was wondering what lessons do you start the year off with? I will be teaching 1st and 2nd grade art- the first graders have never had art and I want to make sure I start off with something really sucessful that will get them hooked.

Kelly (Also is PA!)

allison said...

I am not certified in Art, but was moved to Art this year temporarily. I LOVE these pictures. Is this something someone with no knowledge of the history of art or different painting techniques could pull off?
Could you tell what techniques you used. I would be glad to spend the time to google it.

Katie said...

@anonymous- Start off with something simple, line design, etc....and gradually move on. The kids love learning about art history, so dont be afraid to add that in.

@Alison-You would want to google watercolor techniques like a wash, drybrush, etc. It's easy! just play around. I CANNOT believe that a school would put an art teacher who isnt certified in art into that setting...that's crazy to me! No offense at all, but our training is so we have the tools to teach art. I would be mortified teaching gym or library for example. If you need any more help, please, use my blog!

Caroline said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog earlier today. I start my art ed classes tomorrow, I'm really excited. Your blog looks really interesting I'm going to follow.

Janice Skivington said...

Hi Katie,
I am a brand new art teacher, I am in a private school and I teach all the grades K-9. the amount of prep work I have been doing is just overwhelming. Everyone says it will get easier. I am very grateful to you and to the other art teachers who have been putting the examples and lessons up on their blogs. This has been so much help for me. I have a request; could I have a copy of the worksheet and handout that you used for this chinese lesson? I want to try this just like you did but that worksheet intrigues me. I really thank you for all that you share. great job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie
I love your site. You and Kathy from "Art Projects for Kids" have given me some great ideas for my 4th grade art class. I am thankful to you both. I am sure I am not the only one who thinks this. Could you please forward me your lesson plan on Chinese scroll painting. I would love to give this a shot.
Thanks again,

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie,

I absolutely love your idea! Do you think you could send me your lesson plan?? It would be so appreciated!

you could send it to

thanks a ton!


Miss Packham said...

Thanks for sharing. I've borrowed a few of your ideas now! I had my students try out this project. It sure did take awhile, but they look fabulous in the end! Thanks for all the great ideas...your lessons are inspiring.

lola davis said...

Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed this page. chinese art CA

Unknown said...

Any chance you could e-mail me a lesson plan and/or links to any materials you used?