Activity 5: Inspiration through impressionism (Claude Monet)

Posted By on Dec 15, 2013

Monet student example

Monet student example

Students will become inspired with how Monet captured light in his paintings of nature. Not only could Monet convey meaning through his paintings (Google monet paintings and click on link Images for Monet paintings) but also through his words (see below).

The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration. – Claude Monet

Purpose: To show students how an artist such as Monet was inspired by nature to create masterpieces. Perhaps students can create their own masterpiece using his technique of capturing light (using lighter shades of colors, such as whites, yellows, grays, and tan tones).

Materials: Monet’s paintings (web-site or book), watercolor paper, watercolor paint, paintbrushes, water cups, recycled paper, and pencil or pen.

Common Core Standards:

English Language Arts Standards:

Reading: Literature:

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5 (fourth) Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7 (third) Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7 (fourth) Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.7 (fifth) Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fictions, folktale, myth, poem).

Next Generation Science Standards:

Disciplinary Core Idea Progression:

Physical Science Progression (PS4.B): Objects can be seen when light reflected from their surface enters our eyes.

Understandings about the Nature of Science:

Science is a human endeavor:

Science affects everyday life; Creativity and imagination are important to science.

Procedure: (Show students Monet’s work and discuss his technique of capturing light)

• Display Monet’s images on a Smartboard or check out a large book on Monet’s paintings. Go through the paintings and ask students if they can see how Monet captured light. Ask students how they think Monet achieved this? Ask them if they would like to attempt to capture light in their own paintings. Paste a piece of watercolor paper to pdf (see below)

• Ask students to write a quote (like Monet did) about the inspiration behind their painting. Have students share their paintings and quotes with each other. These can be showcased in the classroom.

• Note: Sometimes students are inspired by quotes. Students can choose from the following quotes and paint a picture (using Monet’s technique of capturing light) for a quote. The National Wildlife Federation has a wonderful calendar 2012-2013 with beautiful photographs of nature and animals (and the following quotes).

• Students can also express their interpretation of a quote through writing (see below)


An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. – Martin Buber

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. – Native American Proverb

The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come. – Chinese Proverb

In the wilderness is the preservation of the world. – Henry David Thoreau

We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. – William Shakespeare

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. – Frank Lloyd Wright

We must protect the forest for those who can’t speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, and trees. - Qwatsinas, Nuxalk Nation

All good things are wild and free. – Henry David Thoreau

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts. - William Hazlitt

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

Let nature be your teacher. – William Wordsworth

Keep your sense of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world. - Catlin Matthews

The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth. – Chief Seattle


National Wildlife Federation 2012-2013 calendar





This quote inspired me because _________________________________________________________________________




Written and illustrated by _________________________________

Rating Activity 5


Teachers rating Activity 5 for effectiveness in helping students learn ____

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Teachers rating Activity 5 for level of enjoyment _____

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Students rating Activity 5 for helping you learn _____

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Students rating Activity 5 for level of enjoyment _____

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PDF Version

Completed Student Examples :

3rd Grade :

Monet Inspiration Tree

Monet Inspiration Sun and Ocean

Monet Inspiration Snow Caps

4th Grade :

Monet Inspiration Sunset

Monet Inspiration Sun’s Reflection

Monet Inspiration Mountain Sunset

5th Grade :

Monet Inspirations Tree By The Lake

Monet Inspiration Strong Luminescence 

Monet Inspiration Golden Ocean Sunset

Monet Inspiration Cozy Cottage

Monet Inspiration Canyon Sunset