• Hunting in the Alps

    Adalbert Waagen, Hunting in the Alps. Oil on canvas, 52 x 41 1/2 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

  • Sky Trees III

    Madina Croce, Sky Trees III, 2014. Oil on Linen, 23 ¾” X 35 ¾”. Collection of the Carlsbad Museum & Art Center, Carlsbad, NM, USA.

A Tree

Visual Arts


4: America: Symbols and Celebrations

1-2 45-minute lessons


Why do we need trees?
How can asking questions help us learn more about an artwork?

I can recognize various symbols and themes in daily life.
I can understand characteristics of Elements of Art, including shapes, colors and texture.
I can recognize that artists may view or interpret art differently.
I can use a variety of media to create art.
I can recognize key components in works of art from different artists, styles or movements.
I can identify the lines, colors and shapes in works of art.

Direct Instruction:

Discuss the artwork Hunting in the Alps, by Adalbert Waagen:

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can we find?

Paraphrase responses and point to areas of the image students discuss. Have students identify the colors in the image. Introduce the idea of warm colors and cool colors. Ask students to describe the colors in this painting as either warm or cool.

Next, focus the conversation on the trees in the painting:

  • What kind of trees do you think they might be?
  • Describe the parts of the tree.

Demonstrate how students will create a colorful tree collage using mixed media. Encourage students to add more images in the composition along with the tree.

Independent Practice

Students will create a tree using mixed media.


Were they able to demonstrate the colors and materials used in artwork?

Materials Needed

white paper (12”x18”), old newspaper, magazine, tempera paints, scissors and glue


warm and cool colors, contrast, shapes, balance and form

Artwork in this Lesson

  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
    • Adalbert Waagen | Hunting in the Alps
  • Carlsbad Museum and Art Center
    • Madina Croce | Sky Trees III