Explorer Art: Northwest Passage

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My students have been beyond excited to learn about the first Canadian Explorers, especially the stories, the risk and the adventure.  I came upon this book, called Northwest Passage, written and illustrated by Stan Rogers.  The students were so intrigued by the voyages of John Franklin, including the extreme conditions and mysterious disappearances.  The book has such powerfully painted illustrations which inspired us to paint as well.


The project took a total of three lessons.  The students started by painting the background with cool colours, after observing the colours and brush strokes in the artwork of the book.


Next lesson, after the paint had dried, the students did practice ships and sea animals, by looking closely at examples from the book.  When they had a picture that they liked best, they drew it with pencil on their paintings, then outlined with sharpie.


When finished, they used brown and white paint mostly to add colour to their ships.

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To finish it off, if they wished, the students used glue to add blue sparkles to their oceans.

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They look fantastic on display and the students are proud of their work!


A great lesson that I would recommend trying!

One Response

  1. Haven’t popped by for a while but can see you are being as creative as ever.

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