Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2nd Grade-- Visualization Exercise with Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"

2nd grade students are preparing for a unit on Wassily Kandinsky. To get into a proper Kandinsky mindset, I decided to have students listen to four selections from Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and produce images based on visualization of the music, just like Kandinsky did.

Students divided a 12"x18" sheet of drawing paper into quadrants and used markers and colored pencils to record images that came to mind as they listened to each selection. I am always impressed by the consistency from year to year as 2nd graders recognize themes that are scary, silly, or proud and important-sounding.

The selections:
1. The Gnome

2. Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks

3. Baba Yaga: The Hut on Fowl's Legs

4. The Great Gate of Kiev

Here are some of the results! I encouraged the students to write descriptions of their work, but as we had about 5 minutes to work on each drawing, our spelling was a bit rushed!
Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his "I Have a Dream" speech

Lots of spider-chasing in this series! In selection four: "army men saluting the [unintentionally backwards] flag;" I cannot decipher #3 but judging by the arrows it appears that the small brown creature comes to an unfortunate end in the alligator's jaws!


  1. Thank you for sharing a terrific idea to use with Pictures at an Exhibition! Now I have an art lesson to tie in as well. Resources like this are invaluable for a homeschooling mom - I appreciate your willingness to share!

  2. Thank you. I have learned so much from other Art Ed blogs that I am happy to share what I can in return!