PAINTED WOOD GRAIN – Colour, Line, Shape

Students examine the patterns of ovals and lines in the grain on a small wooden panel and practice mindfulness as they create a painting of colourful lines and shapes inspired by the wood grain.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 9

Subject

Language Arts
Science
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

colour line shape wood grain

Materials

Crayola Watercolour Paints Crayola Paint Brushes Water Containers Paper Towels Wooden Panel, e.g., Birch, Maple, Ash - .5 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm (.25" x 8" x 8") - 1 per student

Shop Crayola Products

Steps

PAINTED WOOD GRAIN – Colour, Line, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Use a small wooden panel such as birch, ash or maple about .5 cm x 12 cm x 12 cm.
  2. Examine the patterns of ovals and lines on your wood panel.
  3. Look at the panel from all directions.
  4. Decide which side will be the top.
PAINTED WOOD GRAIN – Colour, Line, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use watercolours to create a design by following the patterns made by the grain of the wood.
  2. Think about how the colours you choose make you feel.
  3. While you are working practice mindfulness.
    Pay attention to how:
    - the colours you choose make you feel
    - paint flows across the surface of the wood
    - your body responds as you add each new colour
    - thoughts flow in and out of your mind without distracting you
    - you accept your own ideas and don't make judgements about them
    - you stop and slow your breathing down to refocus your attention
    - you keep yourself calm and relaxed 
PAINTED WOOD GRAIN – Colour, Line, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. From time to time as you work look at the painting from a distance.
  2. Decide if you want to make any changes, for example,
    - any of the colours.
    - which side is the top
  3. Once your work is finished look at it with fresh eyes.
    - How does it make you feel?
    - What does it remind you of?
    - What do you see that makes you say that?
    - What do you like best about the painting?
  4. Give your work a title.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • identify patterns of ovals and lines in the grain on a small wooden panel;
  • use watercolours to paint a design inspired by the patterns found on their wooden panel;
  • practice mindfulness while painting their design;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • describe their process and share their ideas with others.

Extensions

Have students:

  • create a 3-dimensional sculpture using wood and other found objects;
  • include details that suggest the grain of wood;
  • write an artist's statement to accompany their work; (Downloads - WriteArtistStatement.pdf)
  • work with others to create a display of the sculptures and statements;
  • share the display with others.

Prepare

  1. Prior to or in conjunction with this lesson teach students about trees, their importance, and how they grow.
  2. Download and display the Line, Colour and Shape posters available on this website.
  3. Read and add to the summary list – Colour Around The World – (Downloads – CulturalColour.pdf)
  4. Gather and make available books about colour and cultures, for example, Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox, and Leslie Staub; All the Colors of the Earth, by Sheila Hamanaka; Color - Messages & Meanings: A PANTONE Color Resource, by Leatrice Eiseman; and Secret Language of Color: Science, Nature, History, Culture, Beauty of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet, by Joann Eckstut, and Arielle Eckstut.
  5. Gather wooden panels enough for each student to have one.
    - choose wooden panels that are .5 cm (.25") thick and that have a visible grain such as maple, ash or birch
    - have the wood cut into pieces about 20 cm x 20 cm (8" x 8")
    - provide time for students to sand the edges if needed
  6. Prior to this lesson teach or review mindfulness, and provide time for students to practice it.
    - being fully engaged 
    - paying attention on purpose in the present moment
    - keeping your mind free from distractions and judgement
    - being aware of your breath and slowing it down
    - noticing your state of mind
    - being aware of your thoughts but not letting them distract you

Introduction

  1. Display several wooden panels alongside each other.
  2. Ask students to look at the panels closely for a minute.
  3. Share first impressions of the wood grain patterns that they see.
  4. Ask students to imagine how they might paint the panels letting the wood grain inspire them.
  5. Explain that painting a wood grain design can be a way to practice mindfulness.
  6. Review mindfullness strategies for when they are painting, for example, 
    Pay attention to how:
    the colours you choose make you feel
    - paint flows across the surface of the wood
    - your body responds as you add each new colour
    - thoughts flow in and out of your mind without distracting you
    - you accept your own ideas and don't make judgements about them
    - you stop and slow your breathing down to refocus your attention
    - you keep yourself calm and relaxed 
  7. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Identify patterns of ovals and lines in the grain on a small wooden panel.
  2. Use watercolours to paint a design inspired by the patterns found on your wooden panel.
  3. Practice mindfulness while painting your design.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity. 
  5. Describe your process and share your ideas with others.

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:
    - used colour combinations that I enjoy
    - created a design inspired by the grain in the wood
    - paid attention to what I was feeling in the moment
    - slowed my breathing to focus my attention
    - used lines and shapes to create a unique design
    - completed the painting carefully
    - described my process in a clear and easy to understand way
    - shared my ideas with others
  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 designs and their colour choices
    - how they decided on a title for their design
    - how it felt to paint on wood and with the grain of the wood
    - how they practiced mindfulness as they were working
    - what they learned about themselves by doing this project
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.
  5. Display all the panels as a body of work. 
  6. Encourage students to view the panels over the next few weeks and to notice how they are different and how they are the same.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, holds design to the side, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the design.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - PaintedWoodGrain_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students write a reflection that includes things such as:
    - How they decided what colours to use.
    - What they like best about their design.
    - What the design says about them.
    - How the colours make them feel.
    - How they feel about the finished work, and why.
    - How they practiced mindfulness as they worked.
    - How practicing mindfulness affected their state of mind.