Parisian Picnic

Parisian Picnic lesson plan

Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne inspires original mosaic artwork as you explore Paris, France.

  • 1.

    Study Cézanne's still-life paintings. Notice that the subject matter often contains fruit and draped fabric. Look at the shapes and colors, and how the artist uses soft color marks. These bits of color create an Impression of the object being painted, which is where the art movement Impressionism got its name.

  • 2.

    Now look at a landscape done by Cézanne, or one of his contemporaries, Monet. Notice the colors they used in their work. Look carefully at some outdoor scenery. What colors do you see? How do the colors change as the sun moves in the sky? Find several photographs of Parisian landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower. What kinds of food would you take on a picnic in Paris?

  • 3.

    On a sheet of white construction paper, sketch a picnic in Paris with Crayola® Colored Pencils. Include a small image of a Parisian landmark in the background, and a larger picnic still-life in the foreground. Look at Cézanne's still-life paintings for ideas.

  • 4.

    Tear a variety of colors of construction paper (any color except black) into small pieces to color your Parisian Picnic. Begin with the background, and move forward. Layer your pieces for a richer effect. Use lighter colors to show areas of light, and darker colors to show shadows. With a Crayola Washable Glue Stick, attach the paper to your drawing.

  • 5.

    When your drawing is filled with torn paper, use dark Crayola Construction Paper Crayons to add lines and details to your Parisian Picnic. Be sure to press hard, so your lines are bold.

  • 6.

    With Crayola Scissors, cut small construction paper labels. Write the French words for foods and other items illustrated in your Parisian Picnic.


  • Students research and identify elements included in Cézanne's and other Impressionists' landscape and still-life paintings.
  • Students find and recognize well-known Parisian landmarks.
  • Students create an original mosaic artwork that draws on their knowledge and observations about Paris and Impressionism, and label the items depicted in French.


  • Plan and prepare a real Parisian Picnic to celebrate Bastille Day (July 14), Cézanne's birth anniversary (January 19) or Monet's birth anniversary (November 14).
  • Research the work of other Impressionists. What local museums include their art? Study their paintings.
  • Compare and contrast various artists' approaches to still life paintings or mosaic techniques.