Printer Friendly

Magnificent butterflies.

Antique butterfly specimens collected from all over the world were the subject of three lessons for first and second grade students.

In the first lesson, the students observed the shapes, patterns and colors of these beautiful, exotic specimens. Then, each student completed a crayon drawing that reproduced one of the butterflies as exactly as possible. This assignment emphasized careful, scientific observation. To assure attention to detail, I told the students to "look like a scientist through a make-believe magnifying glass" and enlarge their butterfly to fill an 18 x 24" (46 x 61 cm! sheet of paper.

Shapes, Patterns, Colors

The following week's discussion focused on the shapes, patterns and colors the students discovered while observing the specimens. I asked the students to invent a butterfly and to keep these concepts in mind while drawing. I suggested that they paint the butterfly's body in the center of the paper using any color and then fill each side of the paper with interesting wing shapes.

We had observed from the specimens that butterflies have four wings. The students worked hard on symmetry, a concept discussed while examining the specimens.

Each student completed an 18 x 24" (46 x 61 cm) tempera painting. Intricate wing shapes, interesting patterns and unusual color combinations appeared in their finished paintings.

During the final week of this project, we talked about all the places where they had experienced seeing butterflies. Gardens, meadows, the noses of cats, dogs and bunnies, at the school playground, on a friend's shoulder and near a pond were some of the locations brought to mind.

Using Life Experience as a Guide

I asked the students to paint environments for their butterflies. Some environments were imaginary; others were real places remembered fondly. The paintings represented careful thought about making suitable places for their invented butterflies using life experience as a guide.

The three lessons, one emphasizing observation, one emphasizing pure imagination, and one relying on memory and experience produced magnificent results. The students cut out their butterflies and attached them to the environments. These artworks were exhibited in the lobby greeting parents, teachers and students with an impressive display of symmetrical shapes, patterns and colors.

Carol Borelli is an art teacher at New Canaan Country School in New Canaan, Connecticut.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Davis Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:three art lessons for first and second graders involving butterflies
Author:Borelli, Carol
Publication:School Arts
Date:Oct 1, 1995
Previous Article:Rachel Ruysch: blending science, nature and art.
Next Article:Patterns of collaboration.

Related Articles
Environmental aesthetics: recreating the rain forest.
Eye to eye with insects.
How bright is a butterfly? The prettiest pollinators match wits with bees.
Butterfly may use flowery stepping-stones.
Observing a Magical Transformation.
Butterfly ears suggest a bat influence.
Butterflies Aren't Free.
Spiral Snails.
Symmetrical butterflies: middle school.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters