This lesson started out for one of my Kindergarten classes that tends to work a lot faster then rest of my Kinders. I needed a lesson that had merit, but that wouldn't take weeks to complete. I had not originally planned on having other classes do this project until it was clearly a fun and impressive project for the kids.
We started out by watching a video while looking for shapes and colors.
Immediately after watching this video I projects some of Piet Mondrian's paintings. I asked the kids to raise their hand when they could tell me a color and a shape. Once all the kids had their hands in the air I asked them to whisper their ideas to their table mates. I then brought all their attention back and I asked them silly questions about there being triangles or octagons - oranges and purples.
Next I gathered the kids around the table for a demonstration. I showed the kids how to use their ruler (straight edge) by holding it down and keeping their fingers out of the way to draw a line with their Sharpie. We problem solved if the ruler moved or if their fingers got in the way - because you can't erase Sharpie. I split up my paper into squares and rectangles until it was 'right'. I asked the students if there was a special number of squares and rectangles to make it 'right' - they said no. I asked if theirs had to be like mine to be 'right' - they said no (quite enthusiastically I might add).
When my paper was split up I was ready to paint with primary colors. I asked a student to pick what color they wanted me to start with. I painted all the shapes I wanted that color without washing out my brush. When I wanted to change colors I showed/reviewed how to clean out my brush, dry my brush, and start with a new color. Before I sent the kids back to their seats we problem solved common issues with tempra paint -- brush not cleaned out all the way, not drying the brush, water too dirty.
I then sent the kids back to their seats and passed out paper, Sharpies, rulers, water, and primary tempra paints.
When the students were done they put them on the drying rack! The next class we outlined their Sharpie with black tempra paint.
These turned out very Piet Mondrian while still being very unique.