Hokusai's Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji

Timeframe: 3-45 minute sessions
Grade Level: 5th
Materials: 12x18 white tag board (2 sheets per student), white copy paper scraps, warm color tempera cakes, paintbrushes, water, oil pastels (black, gray, and shades of blue), scissors, glue, black liquid watercolor, styrofoam plates, wooden scratch tools

Here's what we did:
Students viewed Hokusai's Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji. They located Japan on a map and discussed the importance of Mount Fuji in Japanese culture. This particular set of students really connected with this project because they were familiar with a local Japanese eatery called Mt. Fuji. 

Next, students created the background. They used one piece of the 12x18 white tag board to create a background. They used black, gray, and shades of blue oil pastels to color in a back and forth motion across the paper. It can be easily seen in this photo. They did not smear the pastels. Crayons would also work well for this project. I made sure the students understood that the back and forth motion had to be controlled by their wrists and hands. They were not free to "scribble scrabble". Then, they did a wash over the entire background with black liquid condensed watercolor watered down to a gray. (This created a resist with the oil pastels. "Resist" is a great vocabulary word to introduce with this project, and it lends easily to science mini-lesson about oil and water.)

On the second sheet of 12x18 white tagboard, students drew the basic shape of a volcano and cut it out. 

They used the wooden scratch tools to carve random designs into the back of the stryofoam plate. This created a stamp which allowed for further discussion of Hokusai's woodblock printing method. Then, they used warm color tempera cakes to paint the back of the plate and stamp it onto the basic volcano shape. I asked the students to go off of the volcano sheet with their stamp. This means that  A LOT of paint got on the tables. I made sure they understood that it was okay to get the paint on the tables because tempera cakes wash up easily.

They used the copy paper scraps to cut out a cloud and the ash that is running down the side of the basic volcano shape. Finally, they glued everything to the background.
This project was done in conjunction with a 5th grade science unit on the forces of nature. It is a great arts integration project.

Images and Text Copyright 2012 Amanda Koonlaba-There's a Party in the Art Room