2nd grade Henri Matisse Cutouts

This 2nd grade Matisse Cutouts project is an oldie but a goodie. It’s not the 1st time we’ve learned about everyone’s favorite Fauve, Henri Matisse, and how he pioneered painted paper cutouts. But each time I teach it, I come up with another element to add.

We learn how Matisse discovered painting almost by accident when he was sick early in his career and painted while he got better. Then, in 1941, after decades of art success, he gets sick again. This time, he can’t move like he needs to paint the way he’s used to, on canvases. So he creates a whole new way of making art – his painted paper cut outs.

This is a short enough project that it stays fresh for everyone. Also, there’s a great Mati and Dada cartoon that the kids enjoy that’s a great learning reinforcement (or hook or closure.) AND…just this year I created a roll and draw sheet of famous Matisse cutout symbols. Lots of fun!

I love it when the students learn the classics but then take it forward by creating their own cutout symbols or shapes or create a different way to use Matisse’s.

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