Art/Architecture Activities — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Willy Wonka

JerzTheaterMusical Theatre Education PacketsCharlie and the Chocolate Factory / Willy Wonka

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Lesson plans for art/architecture. (See also sections on English literature and writingmathsocial studies [geographyhistoryeconomics], science and healthmusic, and faith connection.)

8.1.) Coloring and Creativity Pages for Willy Wonka/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Coloring: Younger children will notice that Willy Wonka, Charlie, and the other ticket-winners look different in the illustrations in the book, in the 1970s movie, the 2005 movie, and on these pages. Younger children may enjoy coloring these pages.

Caricature: Middle-school children may be interested in drawing their own versions of the characters. Teens may be interested in exploring the concept of caricature — selective exaggeration. For instance, on these pages, Augustus is mostly a mouth, and Mike has a head and eyes shaped like a TV. What are some other details in the pictures that help reveal the personality of the people depicted?

Illustration: Preteens and teens may enjoy finding the passages in the book that go with the scenes depicted. (For instance, in the book, Charlie is so happy to find the ticket that he feels like he’s floating, and Violet is standing on a chair waving the ticket over her head.) What about drawing other characters… what would Mr. Slugworth look like? What does the book say Oompa-Loompas look like?

8.2)  Try WonkaVision at home!  Buy sheets of blank Shrinky-Dink paper, available at local art supply stores or online (ex. Rainbow Resource).  On the rough side of the paper, use colored pencils to draw a picture of Mike Teavee and/or a bar of Wonka chocolate. (You could also trace Mike, or your favorite pictures, from the Coloring Pages above.)  Carefully cut out your pictures, and follow the package instructions to shrink them in the “TV-box” oven.

8.3) Create a candy/dessert collage using pictures cut from magazines and sales circulars, perhaps adding in some actual candy wrappers.

8.4) Make a diorama of your favorite room (or scene) from Mr. Wonka’s factory.

  • Turn a shoebox on its side, then
  • use scissors, glue, and the art supplies of your choice to decorate the interior of your ‘room’
  • (construction paper, cardstock or thin cardboard, tissue paper; fabric scraps, cotton balls, beads, rocks, clay, candies, or doll furniture; popsicle sticks, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, etc.).
  • If you make your own furnishings and characters/figures, consider sticking them into small balls of clay to hold them upright, or give them tabs (like on paper doll clothes) along their bottom edge to bend and glue to the floor.
  • (Or, make a diorama of the room YOU created/described earlier in English/Writing activity #2.4.)

8.5) Most “Still Life” paintings involve arrangements of flowers and fruit. Visit the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in downtown Greensburg for examples, where free backpacks of “Still Life” activities are available for use inside the museum.

  • In honor of Wonka, arrange a Still Life of candy. Position different colored & shaped candies in/on a jar, bowl, or plate, and include a partially unwrapped chocolate bar in the arrangement. Then draw or paint the candy arrangement.
  • Or, bring your drawing pad and colored pencils to a place where a variety of candies are sold— be it a candy store, or the bulk candy aisle of Giant Eagle—and draw a section of what you see there.

8.6) Many of the illustrations in Roald Dahl’s book are portraits of the characters. Quentin Blake, Dahl’s most famous illustrator, tends toward less-detailed, childlike drawings, while Joseph Schindelman offers more lifelike, finely-detailed drawings.

Try making a portrait:

  • Look through fashion or other magazines to find a face you can cut out. Cut the face in half and glue the half-portrait onto a sheet of drawing or white paper. Try drawing the missing half of the face, using the magazine picture as your guide (…like a mirror).
  • Practice the proportions of the face.
    • Draw a head shape, like an oval.
    • Lightly draw a vertical line down the center of the head, and a horizontal line across the center of the head– or just slightly above the middle.
    • Find the point where the two lines intersect; that is where the bridge of the nose will be– so draw eyes on the horizontal line, on either side of the intersection point.
    • Then look at the lower half of the face; draw a second horizontal line halfway between the chin and the first line.
    • The nose should come down about as far as this second line, so draw it bottom/nostrils just slightly above the line.
    • Draw a third horizontal line halfway between the chin and the second line you drew; this line marks the bottom of the bottom lip. Faces vary, but basically the mouth goes between the second and third line.
    • If you lightly draw two vertical lines, each starting in the center/pupil of each eye and extending down to the third/lowest horizontal line, then these two lines will show you how far the corners of the mouth can extend to each side.
    • Draw eyebrow above the eyes. The eyebrows mark the uppermost point of the tops of the ears, or slightly below the eyebrows, and the bottoms of the earlobes end about where the nose ends.
    • Finally, add some hair to your portrait to cover up part of the top area of the head shape, until you are satisfied with the amount of forehead left showing above the eyebrows.
  • Visit your local art museum to learn more about portraits. (The Westmoreland Museum of Art in Greensburg lets patrons use a free backpack of activities on portraits during their visits; landscape and still life backpacks are also available.)

Try making a profile (side-view) silhouette (shadow form):

  • Tape a piece of paper on a blank wall.
  • Have a friend or sibling stand sideways in front of it, and position a lamp or flashlight on the other side so that the shadow of a face shows on the paper (make sure the nose shows on the paper!).
  • Use a pencil to trace the profile shadow on the paper, and remove the paper from the wall. If the paper is white, color in the silhouette shape, or cut out the shape and glue it onto a differently-colored sheet of paper.
Try the silhouette activity again, but make a layered profile of the five children who visit the factory.
  • Consider how one child could change hats or hairstyles or expressions to portray all five children. For example, Mike could wear a cowboy hat, Veruca could stick out her tongue, Violet could blow a bubble, Augustus could be holding a candy bar to his mouth— or have a double chin.
  • Or, you could use five different children to pose, so each profile will naturally be slightly different.
  • Use five different colors of construction paper, and trace one profile silhouette onto each sheet.
  • When finished, carefully cut out all five heads.
  • Using an elongated sheet of paper, or half a poster board (cut longways), practice arranging the five faces in a line so that they overlap each other, yet the front of each face (nose, lips) sticks out from the face beside it.
  • When you are satisfied you can see each profile, glue each down. Now you have a side view of the children as they look at Mr. Wonka!
  • (If you have an adult with a top hat who would pose for a silhouette, consider doing this project with Mr. Wonka as well.  He could be glued on the left side, looking at the children, while their five faces look back at him from the right.)

Try making a caricature. A caricature is basically a portrait in which one or two distinctive qualities of the person being drawn (such a face shape, or hair, or a particular facial feature) are exaggerated in the drawing—made extra large or small or more pronounced. For example, you might make Mike Teavee with a TV-shaped head and TV-shaped eyes, and you might give Violet an over-developed jaw from constant gum-chewing.

8.7) Just as Wonka’s factory is full of amazing and seemingly impossible things, M.C. Escher fills his prints with amazing and seemingly impossible architecture and creatures. Research this artist and study his works.

Then let younger students make sponge prints that change from one shape to another like Escher’s  transformations. Transformation #1: Take two colors of poster paint– lighter would be better, so mix in white paint as needed to make pastels– and two small, same-size rectangular sponges.

  • On an elongated piece of paper (from a roll, or from attaching two legal sheets together at the short end) or a poster board, start on the far left and make five prints, all in a row, with the first sponge. The first two may be dark with a lot of paint, the last two lighter.
  • Then take the second sponge, in the second color, and add a sixth and seventh rectangle to the two of prints.
  • Then back up, and print your second-colored rectangle right on top the fifth rectangle in the line.
  • Then back up and print on top the fourth, then on top the third rectangle– even though the second paint color may be light at this stage.
  • When all the rectangles are dry, paint or draw details onto the first rectangle so that it looks like an old TV with screen & buttons.
  • Move on to the second rectangle and make it into a TV, but leave out one or two of the details from your first TV.
  • Move on to the third rectangle, and leave out another detail from the TV.
  • Then look at the last & seventh rectangle in your line; add details to make this rectangle into a Wonka bar.
  • Back up to the sixth rectangle print, and decorate it to look like the same Wonka bar– but leave out one or two of the details. Move back to the fifth rectangle in line, and drop out another detail when decorating it to look like a Wonka bar.
  • Now it should look like the TV transformed into a Wonka bar! (This project will work with other rectangular shapes, like a birthday present that tranforms into a framed painting, or a microwave, etc.)
Transformation # 2: Buy/borrow a bag of ready-made sponges made for children’s sponge-painting projects, and select two that are most similar in shape. Or, buy two soft sponges to cut into shapes of your choice– but again, let it be two objects of similar in shape (ex. airplane & flying bird; tree & umbrella; 5-pointed star and a doll– for head, arms, and legs would match arms of the star).
  • Select two different colors of paint to use, and an elongated piece of paper, or poster board.
  • Using your first paint color, make five prints of your first object, all in a row starting at the left (the first two prints should be very dark/heavy with paint, the last two prints lighter).
  • Then prepare the second sponge with the second paint color; use it to print darkly/heavily a sixth & seventh object at the end of the row you had started.
  • Then back up, and press/print your second sponge directly on top of the fifth item.
  • Finally, with the paint getting lighter on your second sponge, print an overlap on the fourth item and the third.
  • When all the shapes are dry, paint details onto the first printed object to make clear what it is; subtract one detail when you paint details on the second print, and again for the third.
  • Then paint details onto the last & seventh object in the row, to show clearly what that object is. Move left and drop one detail as you decorate the sixth print, then drop another detail as you do the fifth object. (The fourth object in line will remain plain.)

Let older students attempt to create a tessellation. A tessellation is a repeating pattern of shapes that fit together, usually varying in color; a chessboard is a simple example. Escher made tessellations with frogs, fish, reptiles, and birds. (See Dale Seymour Publications for more examples.)

  • Begin with a small square of paper (like a post-it note/memo pad, or cut your own square a little larger).
  • This first square as a pattern for your tessellating shape. Alter the shape of the top of your square by cutting a bump, or wavy line, etc.
  • Then alter one of the sides of the square so it is no longer perfectly straight.
  • Set out two or three different colors of paper, and begin tracing the two altered/interesting sides of your pattern onto the paper (not the straight sides); then scoot the pattern down to trace the top line again as the bottom of the shape.
  • Move the pattern back up into its original position, then scoot it over sideways, so that that the final side of the shape with be the altered side traced again.
  • Repeat this procedure until you have several traced shapes in 2-3 colors; cut them out and glue them onto a fresh sheet of paper, carefully matching the edges and alternating colors.

8.8) French artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec made memorable advertising posters for Parisienne dancers, performers, and clubs like the Moulin Rouge. His eye-catching images, striking use of color, and minimal text—opting for only a few words of vital info—became hallmarks of later advertising posters. Sometimes he would finish coloring only the figure he most wanted to catch the eye, and/or frame that figure in a light/bright color, while leaving other figures unfinished or in silhouette. Research Toulouse-Lautrec and study especially his poster prints. Then, attempt to create a poster, in his style, to advertise Mr. Wonka and/or his factory.

8.9) Pittsburgh artist Andy Warhol created iconic images of soup cans, money, and Marilyn Monroe. Learn about Warhol and his works, perhaps including a trip to the Warhol museum (one of the four Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh).

Then create a portrait of Mr. Wonka in the style of Warhol’s Marilyn:

  1. Draw what you think would make a good advertising image of Wonka. To get ideas, you might research/study how the faces of Betty Crocker (cakemix) and Aunt Jemima (syrup) were changed and updated on packages over the years; or look for other sample images on grocery store shelves—anyone from Paul Newman to the Keebler elves.
  2. Reproduce/Xerox Wonka’s image four times (or six, or nine times, if you like), preferably on cardstock, and color each one differently (if you choose to paint on color, rather than using dry media like crayons, colored pencils or oil pastels, be SURE to use cardstock).
  3. Finally, mount/glue the four colored portraits onto colored posterboard (which you can trim to frame the multiple images better).

Create an original print in the vein of Warhol’s dollars and tomato soup cans– but try repeating images of a Wonka Bars instead of dollars, and cabbage soup cans (in honor of the Bucket family) or cans of chocolate sauce instead of tomato soup.

8.10) Prince Pondicherry commissions Mr.Wonka to build him a palace entirely made of chocolate.  Research other royal “dream homes,” such as Louis XIV’s Versailles, the Hapsburg’s Schonbrunne or Esterhazy, “Mad” Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein (which appears as a setting in the film musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!), the Nasrid dynasty’s Alhambra, or an Asian castle like Japan’s Himeji (Shirasagijo).  Research the vanity home of a famous or successful non-royal person, such as Casa Loma, San Simeon, the Red House, or Fallingwater.  To whom do these belong?

Since Western PA boasts both the Duncan House (at Polymath Park) and Fallingwater in close proximity, consider taking a Frank Lloyd Wright field trip!  Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids, by Kathleen Thorne-Thomson, introduces young people to the architect’s general style through 21 hands-on activities, while Franklin Toker’s Fallingwater Rising (a ‘One Book, One Community’ selection of Westmoreland Heritage and the Westmoreland Library network) gives older teens & adults an exhaustively detailed account of the conception and building of the world-famous home.

Besides the chocolate palace, what other unusual building materials, & what other unusual homes, can you think of? Enviromentalists might build with hay-bales or garbage.  Montreal, Quebec (Canada) has an Ice Hotel, and China an ice amusement park. Some homes and buildings seem mostly made of glass (the Crystal Palace, the Farnsworth House, Reichstag,etc.). Most residents of Coober Pedy, Australia, live underground in abandoned opal mines, while the people of “Fair Chimneys,” Turkey, hollow out homes and churches from soft lava-stone mounds. Consider homes from history, such as log cabins or sod houses; longhouses, teepees, pueblos/cliff dwellings, or igloos; or the woven huts (grass, leaves) of the Trobriand Islands of Papua New Guinea.  What of gypsy wagons, houseboats, or treehouses? (Also see Treehouses in Social Studies/Geography #4.6.)  Research your favorite!

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Author: Leigh Jerz
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17 Sep 2011 — art sections posted here

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