In the fall the view out the art room window is a beautiful bunch of sunflowers surrounding our flagpole. This year I had the 3rd graders take a close look at those sunflowers, touching them, smelling them, looking really closely at all of their parts- THEN we looked at the life and work of Vincent van Gogh. I read them a book about Vincent’s life and then we looked at the sunflower paintings that he made while he was in Arles. We discussed how he loved the combination of blue and yellow, and each student made their own van Gogh- inspired sunflower painting. They learned how to use quick brushstrokes, and how to add lots of texture to their paintings (the opposite of what they usually do!). The results were beautiful, and a local farm cafe will display copies of their work in the spring.