Thursday, 31 May 2012

Wild Geese Handprint Paintings

Year 1/2 artwork
Lesson Background:
I used this lesson 5 years ago after seeing it in a Book Week activity pack.  As my students are currently studying a unit on flight, I thought it would be nice to revisit this lesson.  Usually my lessons are very "artsy" whereas this one is more craft-based, but it did use quite a few skills they have been learning this year (colours that work well together from the colour wheel and light and shade), plus they are so cute I couldn't resist!

Lesson Materials:
1 sheet of coloured art paper per child (in sky colours)
coloured oil pastels
good quality white acrylic paint
1 paintbrush per child
black permanent markers

Lesson Steps:
1.  The students chose whether they wanted to create a sunset scene or a day time scene and picked colours for their artworks accordingly.  They then selected a piece of coloured A3 paper (light or dark blue for daytime or orange/yellow/pink for sunset skies).
2.  The students chose corresponding day time or sunset oil pastel colours.  We revised which colours blend well into one another (e.g. light blue into dark blue or orange into red, etc).  The students then placed their oil pastels on their sides and coloured across their pages to create the sky.
3.  The students used light and dark green oil pastels to draw in reeds at the bottom of the paper.
4.  The students painted the side of one of their pinky fingers and hand below the pinky finger with white paint.  They curved their hand to create the shape of the goose body (hand below pinky finger) and neck (pinky finger) and stamped it onto their sky background. 
5.  The students stamped however many more geese they wanted onto their sky ( I suggested between 3-5 and spaced apart). 
6.  The students wiped the paint off their hands and then painted just the side of their pinky fingers.  They then stamped these 3-5 times on both sides of the geese bodies to make wings.  I reminded them to keep their fingers curved otherwise they would get very unnatural-looking perfectly straight wings.
7.  The students used orange oil pastel to draw beaks, legs and feet on the geese.
8.  Some students chose to outline the beaks, legs and feet with black permanent marker.
9.  When dry, the students used a black permanent marker to draw 1 or 2 eyes on each of their geese.

NOTE- I was a tad disappointed that the geese didn't seem to stand out as brightly as last time I did this artwork.  I realised this was partly due to the children not putting quite enough paint on their hands but mostly due to the poor quality of the paint.  Next time I will source better quality white paint!!
Also- I would suggest doing this artwork one step at a time (you demonstrating, then the children copying) with young children as my students had quite a bit of trouble when they got to the wings!

Student Artworks from Year 1 & 2:

One of my sample artworks

One of my sample artworks

By Serina (Year 1)

By Charlotte (Year 2)


  1. Dear 1/2B I loved your artworks well done

    1. Dear 1/2B I loved your geese artworks especially the colors you chose for your background. Well done everybody!
      From Serina

    2. I think everybody did a wonderful job and everyones artwork could be up be up there if there was enough room.

  2. wow!everyone did brilliantly in this!

    1. charlie(ee!) said...7 June 2012 at 19:46

      everyone has done a brilliant job and our class is like mini artists.