13 May, 2011

Monet in the morning and at noon, Claude Monet by the light of the moon

Hey!  Look at this post!

When looking at images of Claude Monet's water lilies, you are sure to notice some of them look very similar, but have differences in color.


Or look at this example.

Our class has learned that Monet liked to paint at many different times of day,
 looking at the same objects or places in many different kinds of light.

Hmmm, I thought to myself.  How could the children paint the same thing, in different kinds of light?  

Ah ha! I've got it, glasses!

I rescued an old cardboard box from our recycling bin, and cut it into three rectangular pieces.  I cut two eyeholes into each piece, and then taped some pieces of lighting gel over the eyeholes.  I pulled the pieces out of some sample books my DH brought home.  I used some darker blue pieces for one pair of glasses, a warm orange for the second pair, and a rosy magenta for the last pair.  
My hope was that wearing these glasses would simulate the light of different times of day.  The magenta was to simulate the cheerful morning, the orange, the fading afternoon light, and the blue, twilight.

I demonstrated how the children could do as Monet did, and paint the same thing at "different times of day," by wearing the glasses.  I set up our little Monet scene, with the little wooden Japanese bridge and the felt pond with water lilies next to some paper, water color paints, brushes, and of course, the glasses. Each child could choose which time of day he or she wished to paint.

The children loved wearing the glasses!  

Here is one of my students (whose mother happily gave me permission to use his picture.  Thanks, F!) He wore the dark blue glasses. 

 Here is his painting.  He told me it was raining on the pond, in his work.

Here is another student, working on bridge shapes.

The children were also very interested to see that the colors of paint in the watercolor box were difficult to distinguish, when they were wearing the glasses.  They kept looking at the colors, pulling the glasses up and down again.  

The children also wore the glasses when checking out our visiting turtle, 
"cooking" in our housekeeping area, and while block building!

If you need to simulate times of day or different lights, indoors, I would recommend this "glasses" method.  It worked out very well, and boy the children loved these glasses!

Happy Weekend!



  1. That's a brilliant idea! My preschoolers would love this activity too. Thank you Karen!

  2. I have come to visit after you left me a comment on my blog.... this is really inspiring exploration of Claude Monet.... thanks so much for sharing! Best Wishes, Jenni


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