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Lesson ideas

KS1 Play natural sounds of the sea shore and listen to the variety of noises: the waves, seabirds, gentle lapping waterI Use them to generate discussion about the sea and the creatures that live in it. Introduce movement, rhythm and dance - undulating, rippling, swaying, swimming and rolling motions - and create calm, peaceful moments to wild, crashing scenes.

KS2 Create your own seascape using watercolour paints on heavy cartridge or watercolour paper. Discuss the painting first - name the colours used in the sea and the sky; describe the feelings evoked by the picture, eg mysterious, frightening. Use pencil or charcoal to define the horizon line and white wax crayon to draw a fishy seamonster, highlighting eyes, scales, mouth, teeth and so on. Play with very watery paints and experiment with letting colours bleed into each other and watching the sea creature appear.

Introduce more techniques to create different textures, eg blotting with rough paper towels, sprinkling salt crystals on to the wet surface and leaving to dry.

KS34 Keep small sketchbooks, (5-8cm) like Turner did and make visual and verbal notes. Describe changing colours, compositions. Add snippets of thoughts, feelings, moods. Use this a a source of inspiration for a series.

Try watercolour paints on a series of different papers: wrapping tissue, newspaper and watercolour to compare the effects. KS4 students can use their sketchbooks as a starting point for their GCSE coursework.

KS5 Develop contextual studies, making visual and written notes about Turner's work, which can be developed further as stimulus for personal studies. Encourage students to use Turner as inspiration to inform other artforms such as fashion and product design, creating concept boards.

Resources Turner: The Late Seascapes by James Hamilton. Yale University Press amp; Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute 2003 (Exhibition catalogue).

Turner in the Tate by David Blayney Brown. Tate Gallery

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