Level II-Art Lesson 5: The Ukrainian Cat
Learn to draw a cat and imitate the bright colors an patterns of a Ukrainian batik
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 3 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
On a research trip we discovered this batik cat that had been painted by a theater student in Odessa, Ukraine.
The batik cat and its background are covered with interesting patterns that invite us to play with pattern as we create our own version of the cat.
The drawing of the cat itself is very simple. A number steps are provided to help the student create the complicated pattern that covers the drawing. These steps can be followed as desired, or can be used as a springboard to invention.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the cat.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 warm-up for the Ukrainian cat
- 1 fine point black magic marker
- 1 piece of white laser glossy printing paper
- 1 set of washable colored markers
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Social Studies: Use this lesson as an introduction to the geography and history of Ukraine. Here is a brief history of Ukraine.
- Collect examples of pattern in objects around you by drawing them or by creating rubbings.
- Learn about the cat paintings of Laurel Burch, an American artist.
- Watch a Ukrainian artist use sand painting to tell the history of Ukraine.
Science: Study the sleep patterns of cats, their diet, the number of eyelids they have, why their tongue is rough, and where their sweat glands are located.
Learn about a unique Ukrainian cat breed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
- For a list of random, surprising facts about cats, go to
- A popular cat in Russia and Ukraine is the Siberian cat. Learn more at
- Learn about a unique Ukrainian cat breed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Literature: There are lots of stories about cats: "Puss in Boots," "Millions of Cats," and "Dick Whittington and His Cat" are a few of them.
- Watch the funny, touching Ukrainian cartoon, "Once Upon a Black Cat." What do you notice about Ukrainian architecture?
- Read a play script that tells stories from Ukriane at http://playsforyoungaudiences.org/wp-content/files_mf/ukraniantales_excerpt.pdf The script includes a cat, of course!
Writing: Be a news reporter and write an article that proves or disproves one of these cat myths. Research the reason why the myth may have developed or report how they were proved/disproved through an experiment. Resources for writing:
- The myths: cats have 9 lives, black cats are bad luck, and cats always land land on their feet
- The research:
Exercise: Pilates was inspired by cats. Try this exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=KyTcwZIrG9g or teach your CAT pilates with this exercise: http://the-hazel-tree.com/2011/07/31/this-week-pilates-practice/!
JUST FOR FUN: Watch a brilliantly funny video about cats at http://www.youtube.com/watch?
- Enjoy other lessons that feature Ukraine: The Ukrainian Rooster, the Face With Hidden Surprises, The Convent in L'viv, The Carpathian Church, and the Eastern European Firebird.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction through guided drawing: 25 minutes
- Finishing the drawing: 35 minutes
- Total time: 60 minutes