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Lesson Plans » Sonoran Sunset Lesson Plan

Sonoran Sunset Lesson Plan


Demonstrates the colors in the rainbow and techniques in mixing colors. Promotes fine motor skills through the use of scissors and detailed paper tearing.


  1. Begin by having students paint a sunset, starting with blue and ending with yellow. This is a good way to reinforce the primary and secondary colors (blue and red make purple, red and yellow make orange, etc…)
  2. While the watercolors are drying, have the students take their black construction paper and tear the “top” of the piece so that the paper resembles a mountain with a lot of rocks, hills and valleys.  Make sure the paper is torn and not cut.
  3. The students should then glue the torn construction paper onto the bottom of the watercolor sunset.  Make sure they use the yellow portion of the sunset as the bottom.  This will give a beautiful sunset effect.
  4. When the students are satisfied with the placement of their “mountains”, have them cut out a saguaro cactus with arms.  You can post illustrations of the saguaro cactus, initiate a discussion of cactus and demonstrate how to cut one out.  Glue firmly into place.

Shared by:

Tammy Valenzuela @ Tucson, Arizona

Grade Levels



1-2 classes


  • 8.5″ x 11″ white art paper
  • watercolor paints
  • paint brushes
  • scissors
  • glue
  • black construction paper – cut into thirds, horizontally
  • images of saguaro cactus
  • samples projects
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