Our theme for March 2020 was Art and we chosen a fabulous picturebook: Henri’s scissors by Jeanette Winter. If you are a fan of Matisse you will love this book. You can find all our teaching ideas in our videos.

Peritextual features
Front and back covers: Compare the illustrations e.g. front is end of Matisse’s life and back is the beginning
Dust-jacket flaps: Read the blurb and talk about collage / cut out art.
Endpapers: Read the quotes about Matisse;
On the back endpaper is a short note from the illustrator about why she created the picture, this is interesting to share.
NB : Notice the first four double spreads are small framed images. Compare these to the spreads where we are told about Matisse’s illness and the resulting collage work. They fill the page. How does this make them feel?

Teacher education


Visual:  Recognising how the combination of words (narrative and quotes) and images work together to convey meaning;
Recognising shapes – geometric shapes v organic, free form, curvilinear shapes inspired by nature.
Art:  relating to and understanding works of art:  colour, size, technique, materials.
Disability:  overcoming limitations caused by health and determination to rediscover the creative process and create a new form of art and expression.

Notes from the classroom
Getting acquainted with Henri Matisse’s art and his unique technique of “painting with scissors”.
Reading and writing -bibliography of the artist.
Roll – A – Masterpiece collage game;
Creating an illustrated, collage story of stages in Henri Matisse’s life using a text from the book Henri’s Scissors (cooperative group work).

Additional Suggestions

As March also celebrates International Women’s Day, we decided to contribute and recommend a picturebook about Frida Kahlo called Frida Kahlo – The Artist who Painted Herself by Margaret Frith illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Like Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo also overcame disability to produce great works of art. She also died in 1954. For a review of some of the many Frida Kahlo picturebooks including the one by Margaret Frith, check these three links:

Kirkus Review: Frida Kahlo: The Artist who Painted Herself
MeBondBooks: Three Picture Books About Frida Kahlo
MamaFilz: Frida Kahlo picture books
MamaFilz: Frida Kahlo picture books
Teaching Resource: Here have a link to a great Frieda Kahlo inspired lesson by Scholastic.