Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5th Grade Henri Rousseau Inspired Art

My 5th grade students recently learned about French artist Henri Rousseau, who never left France his whole life. Despite never seeing the jungle in real life, he created many convincing portrayals of the jungle! Rousseau is considered a self-taught artist.

The students learned 5 ways that Henri Rousseau got his ideas for his jungle art:
1) Illustrations in children's story books
2) Seeing jungle plants at the botanical gardens in Paris
3) Seeing tableau of taxidermy animals from the jungle
4) Hearing stories and vivid descriptions of the jungle from the men who had been on the French expedition to Mexico (Rousseau met these men while serving in the army for 4 years after high school)
5) His vivid imagination

I then asked the students what resources they had to see jungle ideas, despite not having been there either. They quickly realized that they could use their school iPads to see all sorts of jungle scenes! I encouraged them to use mostly their imagination for their artwork, and only use the iPad as a resource when trying to figure out what color a leopard's eyes are, or what shape a parrot's beak is, for example.

Here are some finished pieces by 5th grade students:

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