Art Lesson Plan: Henri Matisse Multi media

Henri Matisse Multimedia

Submitted by: Pam Stephens, Midway Park Elementary Euless, Texas. (Now the Associate Professor of Art Education at Northern Arizona University)
Grade Level: Elementary - grade 3 (adaptable 2 through 5)
Alternate Lesson: Matisse Still Life Collage by Linda Woods
Alternate Lesson: Collage with Figure Proportions by Weezie Johnston

Have some fun! Start with Greg Percy's song "From Matisse to You."


Objectives(s): Student will:

  • Actively explore masterworks by Henri Matisse.

  • Accurately interpret Goldfish.

  • Effectively demonstrate orally, visually, and/or in writing a deep understanding of Matisse’s masterwork.

  • Reflect upon learning.

Essential Questions

  • Who is Henri Matisse?

  • What is the meaning of Goldfish?

Brian shows careful attention to detail. He is planning how to use the green organic shapes to add emphasis and draw attention to the goldfish.


Internet Resources:

Henri Matisse Online - Artcyclopedia
Matisse for Kids at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Carol Gerten Fine Art- Henri Matisse
WebMuseum: Henri Matisse




Resources & Materials

Print of "Goldfish" by Matisse .
DVD: Dropping in on Matisse. (Created by Pam Stephens, the author of this lesson) See the companion book..

12" x 18" (30.5 x 46 cm) white Drawing Paper. and 12" x 9" (30.5 x 23 cm) white Drawing Paper.
Scissors., White Glue.
Blue Watercolor Paint., Brushes., water, salt
Textures (texture panels)
Old Crayons. without wrappers
Orange Tissue paper.
Variety of scrap paper


  1. Display and discuss how harmony is created with line, shape, and color in Goldfish and how every part of the painting leads the eye to the goldfish. (Note from Judy: Children might even like to have a real bowl of goldfish)

  2. Contrast and compare collage to paper cutouts

  3. Define and discuss multi-media designs


Create a Multi Media Design

  1. Using textures, make a rubbing on the larger paper.

  2. Put this paper aside.

  3. Using plenty of water, paint the smaller paper with blue watercolor paint.

  4. Sprinkle salt across the surface of the wet paint.

  5. Allow to dry overnight.

  6. Cut a fishbowl shape from the blue paper and glue to the collage area.

  7. Cut goldfish from tissue paper and glue to fishbowl,

  8. Use scrap construction paper to create organic shapes such as vines and blooming plants to encircle the goldfish bowl. 

  9. Reflect upon learning

Assessment Rubric






Actively explore the artwork of Henri Matisse

Will not or cannot explore artwork of Henri Matisse

Explores the artwork of Henri Matisse in limited ways

Actively explores the artwork of Henri Matisse in a variety of ways

Accurately interpret Goldfish


Will not or cannot interpret Goldfish

Interprets Goldfish with limited accuracy

Accurately interpret Goldfish supported reasoning and facts

Effectively demonstrate orally, visually, and/or in writing a deep understanding of Matisse’s masterwork

Will not or cannot demonstrate orally, visually, and/or in writing any understanding of Matisse’s masterwork

Demonstrates orally, visually, and/or in writing a limited understanding of Matisse’s masterwork


Effectively demonstrates orally, visually, and/or in writing a deep understanding of Matisse’s masterwork


Thoughtfully reflect upon learning


Will not or cannot reflect upon learning


Reflect upon learning in limited ways

Thoughtfully reflect upon learning in a variety of ways


Student Reflection

Who is Henri Matisse?

Explain how you have created harmony in your multi-media design.



Submitted by: Linda St. John's Lower School, Houston, Texas
Unit: Collage/painting/printmaking
Lesson Plan: "Matisse" Still Life Collage
Grade Level: Elementary (these are 2nd grade - adaptable through middle school)
School Web Site: St. John's Lower School (click on Art stories until you see Linda's picture)


4 Lesson Summary:

Students in Grade Two were introduced to still life artworks by many artists.  We investigated various themes and subjects painted.  Techniques of overlapping were also introduced. Following the introduction of still life painting, we switched gears to creating our own still life collages from imagination.  Potato prints and stamps were added for pattern and texture.  We used construction paper and tempera paint in the creation of these little masterpieces.



Potatoes, knives, Tempera Paint., Construction Paper., Prang Watercolor Pan Sets., Brushes., water dishes, Scissors., White Glue.

Note: Scratch-Foam stamps. could be made and purchased stamps could also be used.


This lesson was an imaginary still life. Linda used Matisse examples, but also other artists (See Artcyclopedia). It was also a collage. They used potato prints and stamps with Tempera Paint.. Students could paint on anything they wanted to in the still life... patterned backgrounds, patterns on vases, etc. They could use cut paper patterns (multiple cuttings) or they could paint or stamp patterns. 


Teachers: Adapt Pam Stephens lesson plan to fit this lesson from Linda. Pam has given this lesson to Incredible Art Department as a "teaching lesson" - giving you a plan format to follow. Pam is now teaching art education methods courses.



Submitted by: Weezie Johnston, St. John's Lower School, Houston, Texas
Unit: Collage/figure Studies - Matisse
Lesson Plan: "Matisse" Collage with Figure
Grade Level: Elementary (these are 4th grade - adaptable through middle school)


5 6 7



Pose-able Mannequin white 12x18 (30.5 x 46 cm) Drawing Paper. (or larger), assorted Construction Paper. (fadeless is best), black Construction Paper., Hole Paper Punch., Crazy Shape Scissor Set,.Scissors., White Glue., Matisse art prints:


From Weezie: Matisse lesson began with the children drawing groups of mannequins in various poses.  We discussed showing action and motion in the human figure. Discuss figure proportion.


Each table of four students had a group of mannequins they were allowed to pose as they wished to show movement. Next, I showed them many Matisse collage pieces for inspiration. We discussed geometric vs. organic shapes, positive and negative space, and the elements of color. They were each given a sheet of white Drawing Paper. and many sheets of varying colors, Hole Paper Punch., crazy scissors, and White Glue.. They covered the white paper completely with the cutouts from the colored paper. Lastly they selected a mannequin pose from their original drawings to draw on black paper. They cut it out and placed it on top of their collage and... voila, they were done!


Note to teachers: Tweak Pam Stephens' lesson plan format to fit this project. It is easy to do.



Add to or Comment on this Page:

More To Explore