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In this two-part lesson, students learn about still life drawings and a Styrofoam plate method of printmaking




3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Still Life Printmaking
By – Stephanie Slatner
Primary Subject – Art
Grade Level – 3-12
1st Lesson of Printmaking Lesson
Number of Students: 19

Concept/Goal: To learn about still life drawings and a method of printmaking.

Activity: Students will use a still life to make a drawing and then transfer to a Styrofoam plate to use as a method of printing.

Tools; Special Equipment; Supplies: Styrofoam plates, newsprint, drawing paper, pencils, brayers, printing ink, and trays


Still life – A painting, picture, or photograph of inanimate objects
Printmaking – The artistic design and manufacture of prints, such as woodcuts or silk-screens
Three Dimensional – Having or appearing to have extension in depth
Two Dimensional – Having only two dimensions, especially length and width

Lesson Design:

This is a two-part lesson based on Janet Fish and Henri Matisse’s still life paintings. The children will use these as inspiration for their own creation of a still life. The still life will then be transferred onto a Styrofoam printing plate and printed in a signed and number series.

Anticipatory Set/Motivation: I will set the tables up so that the still life is in full view in the center of the room. We will get into groups of 3 or four students and they will be given a few reproductions of still life paintings and photographs. They are to use this information to come up with a definition for a still life. We will then have a reporter from each group give us their interpretation of what a still life might be.

Modeling/Demonstration: We will go over a few drawing techniques and I will show how actually looking is going to change the way you draw forever. Instead of drawing a bowl how you think it should look, you really look at it and draw the bowl that you see. I will talk briefly about what we are going to do with this still life drawings and that the most important thing is line not shading or coloring. A print will only show the lines at the end of this two-week lesson.

Guided Practice/Independent Practice: They will be given a piece of newsprint to work on drawing the still life that has been set up in the room.

Closure: I will ask what trouble the students might have had drawing what they see. I will also talk again about what to expect next week in class.

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