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Arts & Activities - Page 16

by Marla Rohrbach Rainforests and Rousseau O ne of our fifth-grade art-curriculum objectives is to create a relief print. In this era of budget cuts, I was looking for a way for my students to meet this objective by making colorful prints without using a lot of expensive printing ink. I knew I wanted to use a rainforest animal theme, as well as share the colorful art of Henri Rousseau. We began this lesson by viewing examples of Rousseau’s jungle and rainforest paintings. I had prepared a PowerPoint to introduce students to his life and work. They were amazed to learn he had never visited a jungle or a rainforest. He gained his knowledge of plant life by visiting the Paris’ botanical gardens, and his knowledge of jungle animals came Kelsea Eva Go to and click on this button for links to websites related to this article. from taxidermy specimens. We learned about the rainforest and its plants and animals by visiting the website, The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. They have great educational resources for teachers, one of which is “Introduction to the Rainforest” (www.rainforest-alliance. org/sites/default/files/site-documents/education/documents/ introduction_rainforests.pdf). From this presentation, students learned about the four layers of the rainforest, what plants, animals and insects live in each layer, and the importance of preser ving and protecting the rainforest. They were fascinated by the diversity of plant and animal life. As they viewed the presentation, they looked for ideas and subject matter they could use in their prints. After their introduction to Rousseau and the rainforest, students were ready to create their own rainforest art work. MATERIALS LEARNING OBJECTIVES Upper-elementary students will . > • • • • learn about the rainforest, its inhabitants and conservation. discuss an artist from a different era and culture. produce a relief print. make decisions about what is needed to improve and complete their artwork. 16 > • • • • 9" x 12" foam printing sheet 9" x 12" newsprint paper Visuals of rainforest plant and animal life Brayers and black-printing ink • • • 9" x 12" white construction paper 3" x 9" pieces of colored tissue paper Examples of Rousseau’s work november 2012 • 80 YEARS x

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