Level V-Art Lesson 5: The Lion Collage from Kenya
Learn to use Eric Carle's process to create a collage
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 7 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
The Tacoma Art Museum recently featured a display of Eric Carle’s collages. On almost the same day that we had the pleasure of viewing Mr. Carle’s work, we discovered another collage. On a placemat made in Kenya was a collage that pictured two lions. We immediately purchased the placemat and think of this lesson as a collage mixture of Eric Carle’s technique, lions, and banana plants. (Did you know that on the island of Papua New Guinea there are over 200 varieties of bananas?)
The result of our mixture is a lesson that will free students to explore and invent paint textures while introducing them to the exhilarating fun of making a collage. Along the way, they will also learn to make a graded wash for the background of the collage.
The lesson begins with an easy guided drawing. It’s the collage that will be challenging. The key for students will be to take their time, to be careful with their breakaway or X-Acto knife, and to have a stiff cardboard under their work to protect the table surface where they work.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the lion collage.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- Warm-up for the lion drawing (this is included with the lesson)
- Fine tipped permanent black marker (#ad)
- #2 pencil or an HB drawing pencil
- Drawing board (#ad) (Make your own by cutting an 18" x 24" piece of 1/4" masonite)
- Paint palette (#ad)
- Masking tape (#ad)
- Tempera paints (#ad) or acrylic paints (#ad)
- Set of brushes (Use a variety of good quality watercolor brushes)
- Four sheets of 11" x 14" drawing paper (#ad)
- Sheet of 11" x 15" watercolor paper (#ad)
- Bottle of water for rinsing brushes
- White glue (#ad)
- Breakaway knife (#ad)
- Piece of dense cardboard or other surface to protect your table when you are cutting
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Learn about Kenya’s history, geography, and climate.
- Learn about the history of the banana split.
- Learn what parts of the banana plant can be eaten.
- Learn what kinds of things can be made from banana leaves and stems.
- What climate zones are good for growing banana plants--what makes a climate zone? Where do bananas grow besides Africa? How many varieties of bananas exist? A good resource is The Complete Book of Bananas (#ad) Study the parts of a plant: What is the difference between a leaf and a stem? What kinds of cell formations do woody stems have that other stems do not?
- Learn about Kevin Richardson and his relationship with lions in South Africa.
Art and Literature:
- Read Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna (#ad) by
- Wild Heart: The Story of Joy Adamson, Author of Born Free (#ad) by
- Learn about the work of Eric Carle at these three websites.
- Watch a video of The Tiny Seed, and enjoy some of Eric Carle's work. How does this story compare to the story of The Sower?
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Warm-up: 20 minutes
- Painting papers for the collage: 60 minutes
- Cutting and pasting the collage: 120 minutes
- Total time: 200 minutes