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Students create a stained glass “Rousseau’s Jungle” here with gel glue and oil pastels




3, 4, 5  

Title – Stained Glass Rousseau Jungles
By – Kristin Wisnewski
Primary Subject – Art
Grade Level – 3rd-5th

Introductions: This is a favorite project of all my 3rd grade artists and the younger students all look forward to the day they get to make their own! Students of all abilities will be able to make spectacular pieces of art. These stained-glass jungles are absolutely beautiful! Materials:

  • silk flowers and leaves or pictures of flowers and leaves
  • pencils
  • Black construction paper 12×18
  • gel glue (white glue will not work!)
  • oil pastels


  • The students will become familiar with Henri Rousseau.
  • The students will demonstrate their creativity and imagination by embellishing backyard flowers to make them appear jungle-like.
  • The students will blend colors to give their works interest and life.

Circle Time:

      1. I begin this lesson by introducing the students to Henri Rousseau, including his unique ability to use imagination while creating his masterpieces. A major focus is on the fact that he never actually went to the jungle to paint, rather observed ordinary foliage and used his imagination to create beautiful jungle plants.
      2. Next we observe art by Rousseau and discuss the qualities:

        a) dream-like effect


        b) the layering of background, midground and foreground


        c) his frequent use of an animal and sun or moon


        d) use of overlapping etc.


    3. I then display and describe the project as follows.

Project Instructions:

      1. While observing silk plants or pictures of plants, students will sketch a rough draft of flower and leaf ideas (

about 10 plants or more

      2. Placing the black paper in the landscape position, students will draw a pencil horizon line 1/4-1/3 of the way from the top of the paper.
      3. Draw a sun or moon above the horizon line. (

It may be in the sky or in the setting position.

      4. Draw plants in the foreground, midground and background. Make sure flowers overlap. Some in the background should overlap the horizon line and may even slightly overlap the sun or moon. Plants should be no smaller than a golf ball – larger is better – and should not include much detail.
      5. The teacher will then need to outline all pencil lines with the gel glue. Try to keep the lines as neat as possible by squeezing the glue constantly (

avoiding air bubbles

      ) and keeping the tip slightly above the paper. If some lines are so close that the glue will spread too much, do not outline. The students can always add the little details later. Let glue dry for at least 24 hrs.
      6. When the glue is completely dry, the students will color their jungles with oil pastels. Encourage them to blend color and to try combinations of color on every leaf and petal. Do not leave any areas uncolored. Color evenly so that no black shows through. You want to have a nice thick layer so that it doesn’t look like “crayon coloring”.
      7. Polish the hardened glue with a tissue so that there isn’t any oil pastel on it. The result is a beautiful stained-glass effect.

A favorite of every student!

E-Mail Kristin Wisnewski !

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