Flight of the Geese


Watercolor-Resist Landscape Drawings

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, students learned about the Japanese style of printmaking known as ukiyo-e, the principles of seasonal migration, as well as warm and cool colors and wax-repel water color painting. Students created their own ukiyo-e-style watercolor scroll paintings based on the woodblock print by Ohara Koson by first breaking down the shapes found in an image of a goose in flight and then recreating the forms through a step-by-step drawing. Next, students filled in the goose shapes with gray crayon to create silhouettes and added a sun in an off-center location using yellow and orange crayon. Finally, students added a watercolor background to emulate a sunset and the warm colors found in the Albert Bierstadt painting, “Sunset Over the River”.




To create a successful wax-resist painting using crayon and watercolors to emulate the silhouettes of geese flying against a sunset sky.


Goose Drawing

To successfully draw a goose using a step-by-step approach to break the goose form into several distinct shapes.


Warm Colors

To recognize the difference between warm and cool colors and to select the appropriate colors needed to create a sunset sky.

Big Ideas


The change of seasons happens around the world and is marked by different indicators including changes in temperature, animal behavior, and other natural occurrence.


Birds, among other species, migrate from one place to another at various times during the year to seek out better climates, food, and mating grounds.


The sky is amazing in its diversity of forms from vibrant blues and ominous thunderclouds to breathtaking sunsets and dazzling stars.

Grade Level

Art Standards

Interdisciplinary Standards

Essential Questions this Lesson Will Address:

  1. Why is looking at the sky such a big part of our collective human experience?
  2. How does the migration of birds remind us of patterns in nature and in art?
  3. Why might cultures around the world depict the sky differently in their artwork?

Visual Art Standards Met in this Lesson

Standard 1(a)

Students will develop their own ideas and images through the exploration and creation of art works based on themes, symbols, and events.

Standard 1(b)

Students will develop their own ideas and images through the exploration and creation of art works based on themes, symbols, and events.

Standard 1(c)

Students will understand and use the elements and principles of art (line, color, texture, shape) in order to communicate their ideas.

Standard 3(a)

Students will explain their reflections about the meanings, purposes, and sources of works of art; describe their responses to the works and the reasons for those responses.

Standard 3(b)

Students will explain the visual and other sensory qualities (surfaces, colors, textures, shape, sizes, volumes) found in a wide variety of art works.

Standard 3(d)

Students will explain how ideas, themes, or concepts in the visual arts are expressed in other disciplines (e.g., mathematics, science, literature, social studies, etc.).

Standard 4(a)

Students will look at and discuss a variety of art works and artifacts from world cultures to discover some important ideas, issues, and events of those cultures

Standard 4(c)

Students will create art works that show the influence of a particular culture.