Students will experiment with watercolor techniques and use watercolors to create an Asian inspired design.
Students will construct a lantern from 4 watercolor panels.
Students create a beautiful hanging paper lantern.
Find images relating to Asian art such as a dragon, Buddha, Fan, Fish, flowers, bamboo, geisha, Mt Fuji, and water (See resources below). Create 4 watercolor panels to make a paper lantern.
Demonstrate how to create a wash and other techniques such as wet on wet, splatter, wet with salt with watercolor.
Each student paints a wash on four 10"x13" (25.4 x 33 cm) panels. After the wash has dried students sketch and paint an Asian inspired design on each on each panel leaving a 1 ½" (3.8 cm) margin around the design.
Fold 1 ½" (3.8 cm) of all sides in and glue to the back. This makes each panel rigid enough to support the lantern.
Punch holes along the long sides of the panel, make sure the holes line up with each other
Make tassels by wrapping string around your hand, tying, and cutting one side of loops.
Start at the bottom of two panels, string on tassels and lace panels together like a tennis shoe. Repeat until all 4 panels are laced together.
Knot the remaining string at the top and hang.
Above: Folding the paper. Student examples- Click on the images for full size.
"Every Memorial Day thousands of people gather at Ala Moana Beach Park for the Lantern Floating Ceremony led by Her Holiness Keishu Shinso, the spiritual head of Shinnyo-en. The ceremony remembers those who gave their lives in conflict, allows for reflection on the memories of loved ones and dedicates prayers for a peaceful and harmonious future. Just as the waters of the Pacific merge with each ocean, the wish for peace and happiness extends from Hawaii across the globe."
"Lantern floating is an Asian spiritual tradition that beautifully symbolizes the wish for all beings to live in peaceful coexistence. As the lanterns are released onto the ocean they take with them our healing prayers for victims of conflict, famine, disaster and disease as well as our hopes for the happiness of all― past, present and future." 
"Lantern floating is [also] a time-honored Buddhist rite originating in Japan and conducted in order to pay respects to our ancestors and comfort the spirits of the deceased. During this Toro-Nagashi, or "lantern offerings on the water," candle-lit lanterns are individually set afloat on the ocean and are said to ferry spirits ‘from the shore of delusion to the shore of salvation.’" 
This lantern was created with watercolor paper, watercolor paint, Tracing Paper, India ink, glue and yarn. Students can expand on their designs by adding the "roof" and yarn chord hanging below. Students can study Chinese calligraphy before inking the "windows."
Every Memorial Day, Hawaii has a Lantern Floating Ceremony led by "Her Holiness Keishu Shinso." Also called Toro Nagashi by the Japanese, they use these at their Bon Festival festival based on the belief that they guides the spirits of the departed back to the other world. Simple rice or tracing paper is attached to Balsa Wood or other light wood.
Watercolor lantern are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air.
Not sure how to complete the above lesson? See this how-to video of another version of this lantern from Elmer's Glue YouTube page: