Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Picasso's Guitar: Cubism for 2nd graders

Picasso, 1919
Talk about higher level thinking skills!  This one is a doozy.  I think it is a great way to introduce younger grades to the idea of abstraction.
We start by comparing some of Picasso's early, more realistic works with his later ones involving abstractions and cubism.  We discuss the fact that Picasso mastered realism in his teenage years, and because he had a very creative mind, he wanted to try new ways of making art that were unique to him.  So cubism was one of these inventions - taking forms apart, turning them into geometric shapes, and putting them back together.  It was a way for the viewer to engage with the art, or "figure it out," like a puzzle.

We begin by drawing the front and back of a guitar

Next we color one in the negative space, and one in the positive space

Then we start arranging the parts, which have been cut into sections

Some of the final (and very impressive, I must say) results:


  1. What a great art lesson to introduce cubism to younger children. These are wonderful! I'll have to file this one to try later.

  2. I just completed a project using Picasso's "Three Musicians" to introduce my students to collage.

    My students had difficulty completing their compositions.

    Learning how to arrange things so as to create original compositions takes a lot of practice.

    I will have to try this lesson again with better results, I hope.

    Thanks for posting your results, they look great

  3. I agree - these concepts are tricky. I am going to post an update to this lesson soon, because I had to adjust it a good bit for different ability levels. I just love Picasso's creativity and it is so fun to watch kids "get it" during a good class conversation!

  4. This is a great lesson! I love the results. I did a similar lesson with my High School students. You can check out the lesson here:

    Picasso is fun at any age! Thanks for sharing.


Comments are very appreciated - thanks for stopping by!