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Twilight at Stroudwater by Charles Frederick Kimball (1879)

Charles Frederick Kimball
Twilight at Stroudwater,
1879

Sunrise, Sunset

Language Arts Lesson, Grade 3

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:

  • Describe and interpret the feeling of sunset in Kimball’s Twilight at Stroudwater.
  • Read (or watch) and interpret The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor (Aladdin Paperbacks, 1986).
  • Read and interpret Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher (Clarion Books, 1997).
  • Write a haiku that evokes the feelings of sunset using descriptive vocabulary.
  • Visually communicate the mood they created in their haiku by making a drawing.

Lesson Activities
Teacher Reflection 1

Looking and reading (one to two 45-minute classes)

  • Using Kimball’s Twilight at Stroudwater, begin a discussion about the painting.
    • What do you see?
    • What colors do you see? Where do you see warm colors (reds, oranges, yellows, pinks)? Where do you see cool colors (blues, greens, purples)? Where are the colors the lightest? Where are they the darkest?
    • Can you see the brushstrokes? Where can you see them? How would you describe them? Are they clear and sharp or loose and brushy?
    • Where do you think this is?
    • What is the weather like?
    • What season is it? Why do you think so?
    • What time of day is it? Why do you think so?
    • What is the mood of the painting? How does it make you feel? Why does it make you feel that way?
  • Have students discuss what they do at sunset.
    • How does the sunset change with the seasons?
    • How does the sunset make you feel?
    • What does the sunset mean to you?
    • What is the opposite of sunset?
  • What do the students do at sunrise?
    • Do you see the sunrise?
    • How does the sunrise change with the seasons?
    • How does the sunrise make you feel? What does the sunrise mean to you?
  • Have the students write their impressions of what they do and how they feel at sunset. These notes will serve as the basis for their haikus.
  • Introduce the book or video The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor. After reading the book or watching the video, review the story with the students.
    • What do the events in the story have in common?
    • Why are they centered on the sunrise?
    • What is the mood of the story?
    • How does the story make you feel?
  • In addition to studying the text, have the students describe and analyze the illustrations.
    • What colors are used?
    • What is the drawing like?
    • How do the illustrations help you to understand the story?
    • Compare the illustrations to Twilight at Stroudwater, how are they similar and different?
  • Next, read the story, Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher. The descriptive language in this story is quite beautiful. Discuss the words Fletcher uses and how they evoke a feeling or mood. How do the descriptions help you to see an image in your mind?
  • Discuss the connection between the descriptive words used in the story and the illustrations. How are they similar?
    • What colors are used?
    • What is the drawing like?
    • How do the illustrations help you to understand the story?
    • Compare the illustrations to Twilight at Stroudwater, how are they similar and different?

Writing and illustrating (two or three 45-minute classes)

Teacher Reflection 2

  • Now students have the opportunity to synthesize what they have learned about creating a sense of mood and time of day in art and literature. Students will write a haiku about sunset, what they do at that time of day, and how they feel.
  • Introduce the students to the 5-7-5 syllable format of a haiku and read several haikus to them.
  • Students refer to their notes and to the books they have read for examples of images and words that describe sunset and mood. Students use descriptive vocabulary to communicate the feelings they wish to express.
  • Once the students have finished their poems, have them illustrate it. Refer back to Kimball’s Twilight at Stroudwater and review how the artist used color, shape, space, and brushstrokes to create a certain mood. Before the students begin their drawings, have them think about what kind of mood they want their drawing to convey. They should choose the construction paper background based on that feeling: lighter colors tend to be brighter and happier, darker colors tend to be more somber and serious. Is their scene a brilliant, colorful sunset or is it almost dark and full night? Even though they will be coloring over the colored construction paper, that color will come through in areas and will affect the overall mood of the piece.
  • Use the Self-assessment – Interview questions about sunset drawings to discuss their poem and drawings with the students. Use the Teacher checklist/rubric – Sunset haikus to assess the students’ work. To conclude, have the students present their poems and drawings to the class.

Materials

  • Copy of The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor (book and/or video)
  • Copy of Twilight Comes Twice by Ralph Fletcher
  • Paper and pencils for writing
  • 12” x 18” colored construction paper
  • A variety of drawing tools (your or the students’ choice)
    • Crayons
    • Markers
    • Colored chalk
    • Colored pencils
    • Pastels


 

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