Sub Plan: Matisse Vase of Flowers

Here is a quick Matisse-inspired lesson suitable for grades K-1. All you need is copy paper and markers. It is just right for a substitute teacher, or anytime you need a low-mess 40-minute project.

matisse vase 2

We began by looking at this painting by Matisse.

Matisse's Woman in a Purple Dress

Matisse ‘Purple Robe and Anemones’ 1937. Source:

We identified patterns in the artwork: I said, “thumbs up if you can see an orange striped wall…a vase with wavy stripes…a floor with black diamonds” etc.  We noticed Matisse used a lot of colors as well.  Next students folded the copy paper into quarters. I modeled how to draw of a vase of flowers on a pedestal in the very center of the paper.

Then the children drew a different colored pattern in each quadrant of the paper. They added a pattern to the pedestal and base as well. Some even added fruit to the pedestal, just like Matisse.

matisse vase of flowers 1

We had enough time to watch this cute video of When Pigasso Met Mootisse by Nina Laden (via



Do you have a favorite sub plan? 


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