Third grade students spent several weeks exploring the rainforest, learning about different tribes, studying the climate and researching its wildlife. The children wrote detailed animal reports, beautiful poems and fictional accounts of a child’s life in the rainforest. In art, they studied colorful paintings of a French artist, Henri Rousseau, whose masterpieces of jungle life served as an inspiration for the creators of the animated movie series “Madagascar.” The students marveled at the artist’s depiction of animals and admired his brightly colored plants of exaggerated proportions. This artistic exploration was accompanied by the music of French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saens, and his famous musical suite “Carnival of the Animals.”
Students imagined what elements of music they would use if they were given the task of composing pieces depicting different types of wildlife and had fun identifying each of the animals from Saint-Saens’ best known composition. Equipped with their knowledge and inspired by both art and classical music, these talented young artists created beautiful portraits of animals using mixed media technique.