Yesterday’s Artists, Today’s Inspirations: Homeschool Art History Class 6, Claude Monet

Boy! To say this week’s class was my favorite so far would be an understatement. Not only because MONET but also because we had amazing weather, I was feeling pretty well, and the kids seemed extra interested in our project. So much fun!

We started class by copying our information into the timeline.  Under Claude Monet’s picture (who I’ve decided was very handsome) we wrote:

Claude Monet



Our fast facts were as follows:

  1. Monet loved to paint outside. He would get as up close and personal with his subject as possible.
  2. He loved to paint the house and gardens he had created in Giverny, in France.
  3. In the summer of 1899, he completed twelve paintings of the Japanese footbridge.

I read aloud from a book about Monet and then we looked closely at one of the paintings of the Japanese footbridge. We talked about how Monet loved to work outdoors and then I told my students that we were moving our work outdoors. It was a beautiful day and I knew it might be our last chance to be outside for art class.

This week we learned about chalk (or soft) pastels. I sat among the children and showed them how I had, earlier in the day, created my own Japanese footbridge on cardstock. Every student was given two cardstock sheets upon which I had created a bridge using masking tape. The idea was to use chalk pastels to create our sky and lily ponds. Once we had created the background, we’d be able to remove the tape and a white bridge would magically appear on our paper.

Each student was given the instructions to create two different bridge scenes, using completely different colors in each picture, indicating a change in the time of day. Monet would often paint for several hours, outdoors, using one canvas and then switch to a different canvas once the light changed. He’d repeat the process the next day, painting earlier in the day on the first canvas and then switching at the exact same time as he had the previous day.

A few students preferred to only create one picture but every student seemed to enjoy the process (except one of my own children who was having a hard time, sadly). After the chalk pastels were completed, we used Mod Podge spray to seal their work onto the paper!  It was smelly and windy, which posed a few problems, but my wonderful helpers made it all so much easier. Our kids all seemed to love the process and most chose to share when we returned to the classroom.




We are taking a few weeks off from art class but when we return, we’ll be learning about Grandma Moses.

For more on Monet, your local library will be a great resource. I think we checked out at least ten items on his life and work. Our favorite item was this dvd, however.  Make sure you review the material before showing it to your children because everyone has different standards on what is acceptable!  My children and I loved it. We also thought that the actor playing Monet looked like Jared Padalecki.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for a video I will be creating where I walk you through our student notebooks!  Thanks for reading.


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