Possible Classroom Concepts: Science – Stormy Weather
Literature – Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Language Arts – Idioms (“It’s Raining Cats and Dogs”)
Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Surrealism – Rene Magritte
When I first heard about the children’s story and subsequent movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett, I instantly thought of Rene Magritte’s “Gloconde” ( I’ve always thought of it as the Raining men painting, not to be confused with the1983 pop song “It’s Raining Men!” )
Magritte was a Surrealist painter in the 1920s. Surrealism is a form of art that is dream-like in nature. Unrelated objects are placed together. Probably the most famous Surrealist painting is Salvador Dali’s drooping clocks named “The Persistence of Time”. ( It can be seen here : http://www.wikiart.org/en/salvador-dali/the-persistence-of-memory-1931 ) You can find more information about these two artists in the picture book Dinner at Magritte’s by Michael Garland. A young boy named Pierre and Salvador Dali join Magritte and his wife for dinner. Strange things occur in the illustrations that are variations of Magritte and Dali paintings. See how many you can recognize. Find some examples of Magritte’s work here: https://museummasters.wordpress.com/tag/magritte-for-kids/
Primary students would enjoy Magritte’s Marvelous Hat by D. B. Johnson. You can find a video preview of this story here: https://vimeo.com/38385363
Another video about Magritte can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD53mLZ_y8k
Here’s an example of one of the Magritte lessons that I taught before I retired.
This project was very involved and took multiple class periods. However, your classes can create a more simplified “Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful” picture.
Probably the easiest way is on some kind of computer drawing program. I used Kid Pix. Begin by choosing a sky or landscape background. Then, just choose a stamp shape to be your creative weather event. Repeat your stamp big and small all over your picture. Voila!
If you don’t have access to a computer lab,Try this:
First, you will need a background. You could use
preprinted sky or rainbow stationary,
landscape or cityscape pages from magazines
the kids could draw or watercolor paint a sky.
Next, just stamp your wild weather with one of these two items:
Here’s a wild weather project for intermediate students:
Stickers might work just as well. No cutting involved. Lightly press them on watercolor paper. Paint your watercolor background. When dry, gently remove stickers. Color in the weather details with magic markers.