Koi Fish Paintings (5th)

Years ago I found a pin on Pinterest that inspired me to do a Koi fish lesson with my students but I never quite got around to it - until now!
To begin we looked at a PowerPoint I threw together about Koi fish and their symbolism in Asian art (both Japanese and Chinese). After getting through the background part, I did a step-by-step koi fish drawing demo with my students on a sheet of copy paper.
Once students completed their practice drawing, I gave them a sheet of 9"x12" watercolor paper and they once again drew a koi fish. To help them with their drawings I created a step-by-step worksheet to leave on the table as they worked. I also played a video that I found on YouTube of koi fish swimming (View Pure version here)! That way students could see how their bodies moved in the water, some possible color choices, and other up close details. It is 2 hours worth of relaxing koi fish goodness!

As they were drawing, students were encouraged to look at their overall composition and add lily pads or other elements to help balance the space.
Once their pencil drawing was complete they outlined with fish with crayons and then painted their
work with liquid watercolor paints.
I gotta tell you - many of my 5th graders were hating pretty hard on their pencil drawings in the early stages. I explained to them that drawing is probably the hardest thing to do in art! Our brains see the shapes of things in real life and then when we can't translate that onto paper, we often get really frustrated. Then I went on to ask them if they could talk when they were born? No. Could they walk? No. They couldn't even hold up their own heads because their neck muscles weren't even developed enough!
Drawing takes practice. A LOT of practice.
And besides.. koi fish look super weird anyways. :)

Overall I am really pleased with the results!
This student didn't get to finish, but was off to a great start!

If you are interested in a more thoroughly explained lesson plan with visuals, teacher and student directions, the PowerPoint, and all other resources I used for this project, please check out my store!
Also available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

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