This lesson integrates social and emotional health with visual arts and English language arts. It addresses emotional dilemmas through reading the book Love Monster and the Last Chocolate. Although this is a picture book and it is usually read in younger grades, it is a great tool for fourth-grade students because of its easily recognizable theme and relatable dilemma.
Read aloud the book Love Monster and the Last Chocolate by Rachel Bright. Lead the students in summarizing the text. Using the details in the story decide as a class what the theme and main idea are. Take the time to clarify the difference between the two if needed.
Teacher: Today we are going to take a closer look at dilemmas. A dilemma is a difficult decision that is hard to make. What was the dilemma in this story? Is sharing easy? Why or why not? When should we share? Are there times when we shouldn’t share?
Have students think about what kinds of dilemmas or choices they encounter that are stressful. Give students the opportunity to share their thoughts with a neighbor, and call on a few students afterwards to share their experiences with the class.
Teacher: When we face dilemmas, we can apply some of the following skills to help us think through our decisions:
Which of these things did the Love Monster do in the story? Which of these things did he not do, but could have helped him? (For example, the Love Monster could have gathered information by examining the box of chocolates.)
During our activity you will need to make some decisions about a work of art that you will be creating. Some of you might find it difficult to make those decisions.
Today we aren’t drawing chocolates, but we are going to draw something just as delicious: we will be drawing cupcakes. The cupcake you draw should represent someone you know and should be your very best work. It should have that person’s favorite flavors, toppings, or colors, or a theme that the person might appreciate. You have to decide if your cupcake will represent your mom, your dad, your friend, your teacher, or even you. Now here’s the dilemma: when you finish your drawing, you have to decide if you are going to give your artwork away to that person or keep it for yourself. You might be really proud of your drawing when you are finished, and it might be difficult to let go of it. Go through the decision-making process that we talked about to help you make your decision.
Give students a piece of black paper and pencil to begin with. Prepare the students to draw BIG! The cupcakes should be very large, taking up at least three-fourths of the page. Using the “Simple Cupcake Drawing Instructions,” help the students make a light pencil outline of a cupcake. This is a basic outline. Different is good, so encourage students to make original choices to create unique cupcake designs!
After pencil designs are complete, do a quick check for understanding and make sure drawings are large enough.
Go over the following vocabulary:
Show students an example of a finished cupcake drawing, and have them identify some of the characteristics mentioned in the vocabulary.
Teacher: Can you figure out what materials were used to create this artwork? How do you think the artist used those materials to create the shadows and highlights?
Show students how to add details from the drawing instructions below, including a cast shadow, an oval for the plate, and a horizon line for the table. This is a good time for students to add any other unique details to their designs.
Show students how highlights and cast shadows can be built up by using oil pastels to overlap colors. Explain that you can layer different colors to make new colors. Step-by-step pictures can be seen below.
Have students write some kind of poem, such as a cinquain.
Cupcake Cinquain Example
This lesson can be used to meet standards in many grades and subject areas. We will highlight one grade’s standards to give an example of application.