Hokusai and The Great Wave

Age 5 - 6 | Year 1 - 2 | 1 session


We learned all about the influences of Japanese artist Hokusai. I showed them this cartoon video, before discussing what they remembered and learn about him from the video. Anytime I teach the students about a new artist I get them to complete an artist card (if time permits). It's best to do this right after they've either watched a video about the artist or I've done a presentation about the artist. It's just a quick way for the students to reinforce what they've just seen by writing it down. If for some reason the internets down, or I have a little extra time that day, I'll read them a short story of the artist. Here's one about Hokusai.


Video: Art With Mati and Dada - Hokusai

Story Book: The Great Wave by Veronique Massenot


Year 13D Paper Collage of Hokusai's Great Wave



What You'll Need:

  • A4 Blue Card Stock

  • A4 Different shades Blue paper

  • A4 White Paper

  • Scraps of coloured paper

  • Scissors

  • Brown Card Stock

  • Popsicle Sticks

  • Hot glue + Sticks

What To Do:


Make Some Waves

Take the different shades of blue paper and cut a few strips of different lengths. These will be the waves. I pre-cut a lot of these strips with my paper cutter before class to save time, and also to create uniform strips. I knew the kids would struggle with cutting neat strips.


Glue one end of the strip onto the blue card stock paper. Push the strip to make a sort of paper 'hill' and glue the other side of the strip down. Do this with all different lengths and shades of the paper to create the ocean.


Rock The Boat

Create a little boat by cutting a boat shape (semi-circle) from brown card stock. Cut a popsicle stick in half and use one half as the sail shaft and then use some scrap paper to create a sail. We hot glued this to one of the wave to secure it.


Year 2 Ink washed paintings of The Great Wave



What You'll Need:

  • A4 White Card Stock

  • White Oil Pastels or White Crayons

  • Blue Ink

  • Water

  • Paint Brushes

  • Pencils

What To Do:


Draw a simplified version of the Great Wave on the card stock. I demonstrated this as a directed drawing, allowing the kids to follow along step by step as I drew the wave on the board.


Next, colour the white tips of the waves, and any frothy details you'd like to add. Also colour the background too using white oil pastels. If you don't have pastels, then white crayons work too.


Brush blue ink diluted with water across the entire drawing. The white colouring will resist the blue ink and create a beautiful Great Wave painting!


Free time Fun!


Have your tried this? Let me know in the comments.

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