As a class we first discussed what makes up a coral reef. Watching videos really helped get the visual across. We talked about the struggling state of some reefs and what is being done to prevent their extinction. (The movie "Finding Nemo" was a good resource to use when asking the question"what do you already know about coral reefs?")
Forst their sketched out our ideas on a 1/2 sheet handout. We drew what we saw from videos and also created "undiscovered" corals, plants, and fish to stretch their creativity.
Then students created a fina; pencil sketch on watercolor paper. This is where we talked about overlapping and how to use it in a drawing. I gave them a few tips.
Next step was to trace over all pencil lines very hard with a crayon. We then used tissue paper dipped in water to drag colors over our drawings, first in the sea and then over the coral. I sprinkled salt over their reefs right before being placed in the "coral garden" drying rack. The salt added a nice sea water texture to their final art works!
Student pencil sketch
After crayon, tissue paper water color, and salt.