I already had a parody of the Mona Lisa 'dabbing' above the regular poster of the real painting and my students were pretty much obsessed with it.
When I found a few reference posts on pinterest, I decided to tackle a Mona Lisa parody project with my students.
I printed off this head and hands template from Art Projects for Kids.
Throughout the unit I shared facts from this list.
And since everyone loves a good whodunnit, I started the whole unit off with the mysterious story of the stolen Mona Lisa. Prior to the first class, I took down my Mona Lisa poster and left a small white sign that declared the missing/stolen Mona Lisa.
I did not hang up any pictures or images for inspiration, I started with a story of the missing painting. If you are looking for a good version, I read the one page story for the first few classes, but after that, I basically had it memorized. Here is another one you could copy and have your students read.
After learning how the painting was stolen and then recovered, I explained that it elevated the painting to THE most famous painting in the world. As a result, other artists started to make funny versions of the painting called parodies. I showed them a bunch of examples of parodies of the Mona Lisa.
Parody--an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect.
After explaining what a parody is, I realized that there are many instances that arise in cartoons or movies in which references are made to famous songs, works of art, etc.
Many times, students don't have the background knowledge to 'get' the joke. So I decided to enlighten them with a little game called: Parody or Real Thing. Some students recognized these images immediately because they had seen them in a previous class or I had showed them last year.
Other images, they had never seen before, so I quickly gave them a mini art history lesson about the painting, artist or time period. It was a way to get the info in really quickly. I used a slide show for my initial introduction of the game, and then had them say out loud, what they thought---Parody or Real Thing.
I showed them the Parody or Real Thing slide show after the initial introduction of the project. That same day, I introduced my Mona Lisa inspiration wall. I painted a big 6ft tall sloth in the Mona Lisa pose, with a Starry Night background---this gave students a lot of ideas on how they could incorporate other famous paintings as a background or they could reference other works of art in their parody to make it more interesting.
Later, I made a kahoot quiz to make the game more interactive with all new images.
I LOVE Kahoot---I had a few issues the two days I tried to implement the quiz. First of all, the internet was almost non-functioning. I wasted several class periods just trying to get everyone logged onto devices.
Second of all, it is SUPER interactive, when the game was functioning, most kids were so amped up from the excitement, it was hard to get a word in edgewise, which was why I was attempting to play this on our early-out day on Halloween. It perfectly aligned with our unit and the kids really enjoyed it.
I really liked it when they realized they could customize her hair or they could cut out scraps of paper to make a partial mask or sunglasses. I told them to use the white paper around the photo copy for 'props' or practice sketches.
We used a glue stick to glue the cut-outs down, and we drew everything in pencil and outlined in sharpie first.
12X18 Watercolor paper
Pencil and eraser
The first day of painting, I showed them a video I had made, where I demonstrate the wet-on-wet technique AND I explain how wax resist works. It was nice to have the demo recorded so I could show it to all 12 classes.