Monday, June 20, 2011

Dandelion Poetry Project

The abundance of dandelions in Calgary this year has provided me with lots of inspiration.  You might remember this project. a similar vein I have been doing a collaborative project with my colleague Kim McCullough. ( a teacher who is a fantastic author).  She also collaborated with me on the Woven Nest.

We are trying to develop projects that combine creative writing and the visual arts.

The premise for this project is "dandelion wishes".  You can click on the picture to see larger.


- watercolor or heavywieght sketch paper
- disk tempera
- paintbrush
- fine and heavy sharpie
- white sharpie, white gel pen, or computer/hand written text
- glue if using computer/handwritten text

We did this project with Grade 4.  Kim spent a Language Arts class with the kids discussing dreams and wishes.  By the end of the class they had typed out a poem.

We started the art portion by sketching out a silhouette profile.  After seeing the results I would advise all future classes to sketch out  the hand and/or arm. It just ties it together better.  They also sketched in the seed head and some loose seeds blowing away.

I had a few reference photos to assist them.  Next time I think I will have them pose and have a fellow student sketch out their profile.

They then painted in their backgrounds using disk tempera.  Most opted for the twilight scene.

To get that spotted texture you can see in the first picture just sprinkle on some water drops while the background is only partially dry.

Let dry.

Using black tempera they painted in the larger portions of the silhouette and then used black sharpies for the finer detailing of the seeds.

Here you can really see that spotted texture.

Next you need to add the text of your poem.

You can use white pencil crayon, white gel pens, white sharpies, or cut out typed/handwritten text which you then glue into place.

Click on photos for a closer view.

Great work Grade 4! 


  1. Thank you so much for your time. You are making a difference in the art education of my students and school. This is a beautiful collection of work, the entire blog, and I am so thankful that you share it with us. Success is not a measure of achievement but of contribution; you are certainly a success. Merci, merci, merci.

  2. I just want you to know how thankful I am for such great ideas that inspire ME. I have been so locked up in my creating. I can see myself doing a few of these today and just letting my art happen. When I get done I will post on my blog and show you. Thank you thank you thank you....

  3. What a beautiful project! I LOVE the combination of art and creative writing. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at

  4. What a fabulous project. Love how you combined art and poetry! This would be a great project to do at the beginning of the year - what are their hopes and dreams for the year ahead.
    thanks so much!

  5. Thanks, Gail (and Kim)! My class loved working with you and their work is beautiful!

  6. Tonya (and Gail) It was a blast. They were so keen-they really took ownership of their artwork. Every one of those pictures is an original, just like the students. ;-)

    More to come for sure!

  7. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [22 Jun 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  8. you can see what I did with your inspiration. thank you for sharing.

  9. Genius! YOU are a genius!

    These are so beautiful, Gail. What a brilliant idea!

  10. So lovely. I borrowed it and we did a variation of this. Thanks for the helpful instructions.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  11. Hi Gail,
    I'm a brand new teacher, and I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog!! I loved your 'painting in the style of Ted Harrison' and I cannot wait to try this one out with my 4/5's. THank you so very much for sharing your wonderful ideas!!!!!

  12. I just stumbled across your site from Pinterest. Love these gorgeous Dandelion silhouettes. I've always been fond of the Dandelion and these truly capture the memories of a child. I do believe I will borrow your idea and do this with my girls soon.

  13. Brilliant idea! Thank you for the inspiration :) I love collecting ideas for class.

  14. Great work! It is very beautiful and inspiring!