• The Apple Seller, c. 1890. Pierre Auguste Renoir. Oil on fabric; 25-7/8 x 21-7/16 in. Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. 1958.47

A Is for Apple, A Is for Art

Grade Level: 
Student Level: 

This highly interactive 30-minute lesson introduces kindergartners to three celebrated artists: Renoir, Picasso, and Matisse. Using colorful paintings from the museum's permanent collection, students find apples or other fruit in each painting. They then discover how artists use a variety of colors to convey the apple's appearance. After examining a real apple under different lighting conditions students begin to see how light affects the apple's form, and how artists capture the reflections and shadows that they see. A post-videoconference activity of drawing apples using highlights and shadows offers students a rewarding classroom exhibition of their own artwork.

Program Format: 
  • Open with introduction about the museum, and explanation of what they will see - paintings with apples and/or fruit.
  • View The Apple Seller by Renoir, and discuss the shadows and reflections.
  • View Interior with an Etruscan Vase by Matisse, and students look for different fruits.
  • Sing a song about apples ("The Little Appleseed".)
  • View Still Life with Biscuits by Picasso, and students identify elements in the painting.
  • Students review the three artists' works, and ask remaining questions.
  • Students will understand how light affects form, and how artists capture shadows and reflections in their paintings.
  • Students will be able to describe the concept of past and present as it relates to visual art.
  • Students will be able to observe visual clues or details in artworks or artifacts and determine if the work/object is old or new.
  • Students will be able to use active listening strategies to identify the main idea and to gain information from oral presentations.