Art, Culture and Religion

Paint like Chagall

Tell the children the story of Marc Chagall. He was an exceptionally talented painter of Jewish descent, and a leading figure of cubism, an art movement which used geometric shapes to depict everyday life.

Chagall was born into an impoverished Jewish family in Łoźno (now Belarus). He was the oldest of nine children. His father was a herring merchant and his mother was an illiterate housewife. Chagall himself often turned to his childhood in his paintings, using numerous Jewish and Eastern Orthodox symbols and architectural features in his works that were common in the Eastern Europe of his youth.

Even though Chagall spent most of his adult life as an immigrant in France where he achieved great fame and respect while he was still alive, he always missed his home, despite its poverty.

MATERIALS

  • the examples of Marc Chagall’s works (attachment 10.1)
  • game rules (attachment 10.2)
  • two dice
  • pencils
  • crayons or paint
  • white or navy-blue paper

Step 1

Show the works of Marc Chagall to the children. Point out the characteristic features of his paintings that make his art easily recognisable.

Print out attachment 10.2 containing the rules of the game. Explain to the children that each round begins with throwing 2 dice (or two throws with one die). Depending on the number on the dice, the child should draw one of the objects from Chagall’s painting. For example, if the child gets a 1 and a 6, they draw a wheel, if 4 and 4, a guitar, and so on.

Step 2

Depending on the number of children playing, you can make it into a group activity. Divide the children into groups of 3-5 members and hand out pieces of either white or blue A3 paper. Each person in the group throws the dice one after the other and draws their picture on the same sheet, creating one composition.

After getting six random elements to draw, the children can colour in the picture. It is best to choose those colours which dominate Chagall’s paintings – blue and red, with a dash of green and yellow.

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