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LESSON PLAN: Multi Media - Henri Matisse  
Submitted by: Pam Stephens Midway Park Elementary Euless, Texas
Grade Level: Elementary - grade 3 (adaptable 2 thru 5)
Alternate Lesson: Matisse Still Life Collage by Linda Woods
Alternate Lesson: Collage with Figure Proportions by Weezie Johnston

Have some fun! Start with Greg Percy's song "From Matisse to You"

Brian shows careful attention to detail. He is planning how to use the green organic shapes to add emphasis and draw attention to the goldfish.


Student will:

Essential Questions

  • Who is Henri Matisse?   

  • What is the meaning of Goldfish?

Resources & Materials

Print of Goldfish

Video: Dropping in on Matisse (Crystal Productions 1-800-255-8629 or Art Video World 1-800-644-3429)

12” x 18” ” white paper and 12” x 9” white paper

Scissors, Glue
Blue watercolor, brushes, water, salt
Textures (texture panels)
Old crayons without wrappers
Orange tissue paper
Variety of scrap paper

Internet Resources:  

Henri Matisse Online - Artcyclopedia
Matisse for Kids at the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Carol Gerten Fine Art- Henri Matisse
WebMuseum: Henri Matisse


  1. Display and discuss how harmony is created with line, shape, and color in Goldfish and how every part of the painting leads the eye to the goldfish. (Note from Judy: Children might even like to have a real bowl of goldfish)

  2. Contrast and compare collage to paper cutouts

  3. Define and discuss multi-media designs


Create a Multi Media Design

  1. Using textures, make a rubbing on the larger paper.

  2. Put this paper aside.

  3. Using plenty of water, paint the smaller paper with blue watercolor paint.

  4. Sprinkle salt across the surface of the wet paint. 

  5. Allow to dry overnight.

  6. Cut a fishbowl shape from the blue paper and glue to the collage area.

  7. Cut goldfish from tissue paper and glue to fishbowl,

  8. Use scrap construction paper to create organic shapes such as vines and blooming plants to encircle the goldfish bowl. 

  9. Reflect upon learning

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