Friday, May 1, 2015


Sunflowers are my favorite. They were my flowers at my wedding. They're all over my house. So Vincent Van Gogh's sunflower series is one of my favorite things to teach. This was one of my favorite kindergarten projects last year and since who knows when I'll be teaching kindergarten again, I brought it back this year.
Kelsey Fortune | | Van Gogh Sunflowers Kindergarten Art Lesson
I start by showing the kids this picture and talking about sunflowers. We talk about the parts of the flowers; stems, petals, etc. Then we talk about what else is in the picture; background, vase, table. I also tell my kids that the artist who made this artwork is Vincent Van Gogh and at the end of class, I'm going to see if anyone can remember his name and they might get a prize. 

Once the kids get to the tables, I pick some little helpers to pass out supplies. Each kid gets one of each of the following:
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • 9x12" turquoise paper
  • 9x6" Orange paper (last year I had a perfect tan color to make the vase but I guess I forgot to order it this year :( )
  • 9x6" yellow paper
  • 3x6" green paper
  • 3x2" black paper
  • 9x2" brown paper

Kelsey Fortune | | Van Gogh Sunflowers Kindergarten Art Lesson
After everything is passed out, we all start together. I don't always love follow-along projects (what I call "Pinterest Projects") but this one ends up with tons of variety even when we all make them together.

First, glue the brown rectangle to the bottom of the turquoise paper. 

Next fold the orange paper in half long ways (hotdog) and cut out a vase. We talk a tiny bit about symmetry here but I don't spend a ton of time on it. 

Then I ask my kids to point to the bottom of their vase and then the middle and then the top. We only put glue on the bottom and middle and then glue it on the brown rectangle. 

This is the part when it starts to get fun/stressful depending on the kid. We put our scissors up. We're done. No more scissors. We use our fingers to tear green stems and glue them behind the vase and then tear yellow circleish shapes and glue them to the top of the stems. And lastly, we tear tiny black circles to glue in the middle of the yellow circles.  

Kelsey Fortune | | Van Gogh Sunflowers Kindergarten Art Lesson
 And we're done. This is just one example of how they can turn out. Each kid has really unique flowers, even if the other elements are similar. 
Kelsey Fortune | | Van Gogh Sunflowers Kindergarten Art Lesson
Do you have any projects that you just love to teach that you always bring back year after year? Does anyone else have students that FREAK OUT when they have to tear paper instead of using scissors??


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