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Willingham Primary School

Mountains: KS2

This was a lesson for those Year 5/6 children who were not on this year's amazing choir trip. They loved creating mountain pictures and I thought that the choir members, and maybe some of the younger children, might like to try it as well. While we are home, we can still dream of far-off places.


The project was inspired by a picture that I saw online by a contemporary American artist, Jen Aranyi. It links to the Year 5/6's Geography unit on mountains which I know that some of you have been revising over the past week.

You will need a piece of paper and a pencil. If you have a black biro or felt pen at home, you can use this to make your drawing more defined but the project works very well with pencil alone. Your paper can be either portrait or landscape. I have demonstrated using landscape format:

Starting with a downward line, draw a range of rough triangles from left to right on your page. They should not all be the same height:

Now, make sure that you have identified the peaks (the highest parts) and the valleys (the lowest parts). I have drawn arrows just to make sure that the instructions are clear. You do not need to add arrows to your drawing!

The next step is to add details to your mountains. You will need to draw a crooked line, downwards from each peak and then upwards to each valley, like this:

You can do this for each peak and valley and should end up with something that looks a little like this:

You can now fill in the enclosed areas that you have created with narrow diagonal hatching. Hatching means shading using closely spaced parallel lines.

You can go on to add details in the foreground if you wish. Remember the foreground is the part of the picture that looks closest to you and is towards the bottom of the page. Any trees which are lower down will be closer to you and are likely to appear bigger than the trees in the background.

Here is a good version from a Year 6 pupil:

 If you have coloured pencils, you can carefully colour the sky using analogous colours. While complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel, analogous colours are next to each other:

I am writing an online lesson on pencil skills but for now, remember to hold your pencil at an angle, using the side of the lead rather than the point, and to add colour smoothly and gradually. 

Here are some of the beautiful pictures created by the Year 5s and 6s when we did this in school. I hope that you enjoy this project as much as they did.