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Friday, March 30, 2012

The Flying Dutchman

I really am enjoying teaching this lesson. Our fifth graders went to the Symphony to see the Flying Dutchman Opera by Robert Wagner (1843). There was a meteorologist who taught them about clouds that are high and low and integrated it into the historic legend of the Flying Dutchman! We read a few books about the legend and the kids were hooked, so it is fully integrated with science, music, history, and literature. Here are the first finished products of the flying ghost ship!



  1. Can't believe mine is the first comment - because these are BEYOND SPECTACULAR! And you can show how you've used all the art standards, and literacy, etc... Great lesson!!

    Question: I am always torn about spraying student work done in chalk pastels or oil pastels. I don't want them to smear, but I also don't want to use up a whole can of spray on one class, and sometimes the spray can dull the colors if it's pastels on black paper. So I'm curious as to what you do.

    1. You are so sweet, Thanks Phyl! That is such a compliment coming from one of the greatest art teachers of all time, I truly think you are phenomenal, Phyl!Those cats blow me away! I would LOVE to do that, but just cannot imagine where I would store them all! My classes have 30-35 kids and four of those groups per grade level. I spray the chalk pastels with fixative spray. It is expensive. I can get quite a few artworks with one can. I have used hair spray too. Havn't noticed it dulling the colors. I don't do alot of chalk on black paper, we use oil pastels on black, but I've always liked when people do the glue lines on the black paper and fill in the spaces with chalk pastel!

  2. what a great lesson - i love stencilling, especially the way you've crafted these clouds. nice work!

  3. Every day I log on to see what my bloggie friends have to share and I am never disappointed. When I saw your student's Flying Dutchman projects I was taken aback that they were done by 5th graders. To say that they are amazing would be an understatement! I love all of the curricular connections as well. I bet your Principal thinks you walk on water! Nice work!!


    1. Pat, thank you for the incredibly kind comments! It made my morning! This lesson is fun, simple, and the kids really get into it since it involves pirates and a ghost ship! I was actually intrigued as well when we got into the history of it all!

  4. The colors of the chalk around the clouds are spectacular. I have a couple of boxes of pastels sitting in my cupboard. Whenever I open it and see them I get a little guilty that I shy away from using them because of the mess. Mind you, I use messy paint ALL the time without batting an eyelash!! I really do need to plunge in and break open those boxes!!Thanks for the inspiration:))

  5. So great for so many reasons!!!

  6. This lesson is so different and unique!

  7. These are absolutely amazing! I'm doing an Ocean Adventure camp this summer and would love to do a variation of this project. Question, how did you get the black ship 'behind' the cloud in the second image, was it cut around the cloud stencil? I couldn't tell from the picture.


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