RESPECT – Seven Grandfather Teachings, Cree Artist Jane Ash Poitras

Students use watercolour pencils and paint to create a mixed media monoprint. Then they reflect on, and write about their relationship to the plant world focusing on respect.

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RESPECT – Seven Grandfather Teachings, Cree Artist Jane Ash Poitras


  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Crayola Acrylic Paint - Black
  • Crayola Watercolour Pencils - 12 Count
  • Crayola Fine Line Markers - 12 Count
  • Crayola Scissors
  • Crayola Round Brushes - 4 Count
  • Water Containers
  • Drawing Board or Clipboard
  • Pencils
  • Black Bristol Board
  • Found Objects - such as Leaves that are not attached to a living plant


Step 1
  1. Choose an area outside with interesting plant growth.
  2. Find a natural space with a variety of plants that you would enjoy drawing.
  3. Use a view finder (black Bristol board with a rectangular shape cut out of the centre) to frame your natural space.
Step 2
  1. Begin with a flat board (clip board) and a rectangular piece of watercolour paper.
  2. Choose a variety of watercolours.
  3. Use warmer colours in the foreground and cooler colours in the background.
  4. Observe closely, and draw the shapes and colours of the plants you see.
Step 3
  1. Fill your watercolour paper with colour, trying your best to draw what you see in the natural world.
Step 4
  1. When you have finished drawing, use a container of water and a paint brush to brush water over your drawing changing it into a watercolour painting.
  2. Dip your brush in water each time you paint a new area of your drawing.
Step 5
  1. Paint the entire drawing, allowing some colours to flow into each other.
  2. Make sure your painting is dry before beginning the next step.
Step 6
  1. Find a leaf on the ground that you are curious about, make sure it is not attached to a living plant.
  2. Do not take any leaves or plant parts that are still alive, and connected to roots.
  3. Thank the plant whose leaf you have found on the ground.
  4. Place the leaf on a recycled piece of paper and paint one side of the leaf with black acrylic paint.
Step 7
  1. Carefully lay the painted side of the leaf onto your watercolour painting, and delicately press the painted leaf onto the painting.
Step 8
  1. Slowly and carefully pull the leaf off your watercolour painting.
  2. Make sure you do not touch the black print left by the leaf.
  3. Allow the monoprint to dry before beginning the next step.
Step 9
  1. After your monoprint is dry, closely observe the leaf or plant you used to make the print.
  2. Use a fine line black marker to add detail to the print (e.g., the pattern of lines in the individual leaves).
Step 10
  1. Create a mind map to brainstorm the word 'respect'.
  2. Make connections to the Seven Grandfather Teachings, the plant world, and your own life experiences.
  3. Research the plant or leaf you used in your monoprint.
    - Identify the plant.
    - Is it edible?
    - Where can the plant be found?
    - What conditions does it need to grow?
Step 11
  1. Use a larger piece of white paper to mat your artwork.
  2. Glue or tape your monoprint to the larger paper.
  3. Close your eyes and reflect on the word 'respect', remembering the connections you have just made in your mind map, and the discoveries you have learned about the plant you chose.
  4. Use a fine line black to marker to write your thoughts and feelings around your artwork, framing your watercolour print with your reflections.
Step 12
  1. Share your artwork, knowledge, and new understandings about the plant you chose with your classmates.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Science,

    • Visual Arts,

    • First Nations, Metis, Inuit

  • Grades:

    • Grade 1,

    • Grade 2,

    • Grade 3,

    • Grade 4,

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6,

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8

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