1- Present information about Hokusai-
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Katsushika". Get the kids to practice pronouncing the name.
Hokusai was a Japanese artist who lived from 1760-1849.
Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji which includes the internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s. Put Hokusai, The Great Wave on the Time Line.
Hokusai had a long career, but he produced most of his important work after age 60.
Constantly seeking to produce better work, he apparently exclaimed on his deathbed, "If only Heaven will give me just another ten years... Just another five more years, then I could become a real painter."
2- Look at Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji and discuss how the mountain looks different in each one (size, location in the picture, colors). Make sure to point out The Great Wave. This is the most famous so I want the kids to remember it and be able to recognize it.
These prints were created in the style called Ukiyo-e.
3- Discuss printmaking. (this is sort of a deviation from where we are headed with the assignment, but I wanted to take the opportunity to teach a little about printmaking anyway. This step can be left out, particularly with younger ones if desired.) You can also discuss the Ukiyo-e style at this point if you want. Wikipedia has information about details of it.
Show the students some printmaking tools (cutter, brayer, lino blocks) to better explain the process of printmaking. (I’m including this because I happen to have these things on hand, but if you don’t just skip this step.)
4- The assignment- We are going to do our own series called 6 Views of Baobab Trees. (I choose this because Baobab trees grow in Tanzania and the girls are familiar with them. You could also use an Oak tree or any object or landmark you can imagine. Choose something you think will interest your student.)
11 year old- Draw a Baobab tree from 3 different views- above, far away, close up. I want you to imagine that this is the same Baobab tree, so if you draw a house near the tree in one picture it needs to be there in the others, just from the different view.
9 year old- Draw a Baobab tree from 2 different views- far away and close up. Imagine that this is the same tree in both pictures, so if there is a house near the tree in one picture it needs to be near the tree in the other picture.
6 year old- Draw one picture of a Baobab tree to contribute to the collection. Make the tree far away and add lots of details around it.
The oldest is still finishing her pictures so I'll come back and update the post with images once she finishes.