MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background

Students use construction paper to create a landscape scene that gives the illusion of depth and can be used as a backdrop in a stop motion animation.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 3 to Grade 8

Subject

Mathematics
Visual Arts
Media Literacy
Director's Cut

Vocabulary

background foreground middle ground organic shapes space

Materials

Crayola Glue Sticks Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Scissors

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Steps

MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step One

Step One

  1. Use coloured construction paper 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12").
  2. Choose the colour of paper you want for the sky.
  3. Divide it into thirds horizontally – 7.6 cm sections. 
    - choose bright green for the foreground
    - choose a softer green or brown for the middle ground
    - choose a soft blue or violet for the background
  4. Cut the coloured paper into strips for each section.
  5. Cut the middle ground strip slightly wider – about 8 cm.
  6. Cut the foreground strip about 7.6 cm wide with a slightly wavy edge.
  7. Cut the background strip about 3 cm wide that keeps changing to about 2 or 1.5 cm wide with a wavy edge that look like distant hills.
MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Glue the middle ground paper on first.
  2. Let the foreground paper overlap the middle ground paper slightly, and glue it in place.
  3. Let the background paper overlap the middle ground paper slightly, and glue it in place.
MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Three

Step Three

BASIC TREE

  1. Cut out a trunk with 3 short branches at the top.
  2. Cut out 3 organic shapes – 1 big, 1 medium and 1 small.
  3. Glue the organic shapes to the short branches on the trunk.
MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Four

Step Four

BASIC LANDSCAPE SCENE

  1. Make a big tree about 18 cm tall.
  2. Make a small tree about 6 cm tall.
  3. Think of the paper divided into thirds.
  4. Place the big tree in the third on the left. 
  5. Glue it in place with the base of the trunk close to the bottom of the paper.
  6. Place the small tree in the third on the right and half way up the paper.
  7. Glue it in place.
MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Five

Step Five

DETAILED LANDSCAPE SCENE

  1. Use the same technique to make 3 sizes of trees.
  2. Add more organic shapes to the big tree.
  3. Cut out paper shapes to represent grasses, clouds, sun and other details.
MEDIA LANDSCAPE SCENE – Foreground, Middle Ground, Background - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Glue the shapes in place.
  2. Use the scene as a backdrop for your stop motion paper animation.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use construction paper to create a landscape scene that is the setting for a story;
  • divide the picture plane into foreground, middle ground and background;
  • use size and placement of objects to create the illusion of depth;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

  • use their scenes in a stop motion animation;
  • use construction paper to create a poster advertising their animation;
  • organize a film festival to share their work with other students in the school.

Prepare

  1. Prior to this lesson have students:
    - Write an imaginary story that takes place in the country. Guide them to identify the details of the setting for their story.
  2. Prior to this lesson introduce students to the rule of thirds. 
    a way of composing images so that the picture plane is divided into thirds
    - two imaginary vertical lines, and two horizontal lines make 3 columns, 3 rows, and 9 sections 
    - the grid is used for the placement of important elements and leading lines
    - a dominant element is placed on or near the intersection of two of the lines
  3. Download and display the Space poster available on this website.
  4. Download a landscape image from the Internet, for example, Ontario.
  5. Place construction paper separated by colour in an easy to access location.

Introduction

  1. View and discuss the image of Ontario.
  2. Identify the horizon line, foreground, middle ground and background in the photograph.
  3. Guide students to see the division of space and things that create the illusion of depth, for example,
    - objects higher on the picture plane appear to be further away than those in the middle ground and foreground
    - objects in the distance appear to be smaller than those in the middle ground and foreground
    - colours in the distance appear to be paler and duller than those in the middle ground and foreground
    - details and colours in the foreground are brighter and sharper than those in the middle ground and background
    - cast shadows make objects seem 3-dimensional
  4. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Use construction paper to create a landscape scene that is the setting for your story.
  2. Divide the picture plane into foreground, middle ground and background.
  3. Use size and placement of objects to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students. For example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - composed a landscape with foreground, middle ground and background
    - used size of objects to show depth
    - used placement of objects to show depth
    - used colour to show depth
    - used the rule of thirds 
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective and why.
    Talk about:
    - how the works are similar yet different
    - how colour affects the sense of space
    - how placement and size of objects in the picture plane tricks the eye
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the artworks – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Landscape_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Landscape_self-assessment.pdf)