After giving students a brief, yet comprehensive, view of the history of this period, they can begin examining the work of the Impressionists.
Materials needed for this lesson plan are books, posters and/or small post cards of the Impressionists' work; art paper; watercolors, tempera paints, chalk or pastels.
Have each student decide on one painting they like best. As they reflect on the piece, have them list what particular elements of the painting align to the six characteristics of Impressionism. They should be able to describe in detail either orally or in writing why they think the elements they pick are pertinent.
Next, have each student pick a place or scene in their life similar to the one in the painting they have just reflected on. Have them create an impressionistic piece that will compliment their chosen artwork.
When complete, hang the students' work alongside small copies of the original artwork. Have the class point out what is similar and what might be different.