For about 5 years, I have been doing a lighthouse lesson with my 4th grade students. I decided to move this lesson to my 5th grade curriculum, so I skipped lighthouses with 4th grade last year, and did them this year with 5th grade. We had some great results!
I began the lesson with a discussion on landscapes and seascapes by Winslow Homer. Then, the students learned that they would make a picture that was part seascape, and part landscape. I asked if they could think of a beautiful building that is always found at the edge of the land, near the water. Then, I had many small photographs for them to look at for ideas while drawing their light house.
For the sky, the students had many choices, but the most popular choice was to use watercolor pencils to make a sunset. They were also able to use watercolor paints, or crayons or colored pencils.