Mountains of Folktales from Timp to Fuji

Author: Christine Brown
Year: 2020
Artform: Visual Art
Subjects: Language Arts
Grade: 3rd Grade
Duration: 1 or 2 sessions

Learn about and compare the differences and similarities of two folktales about mountains from two very different places- one in Japan and one in Utah! Create a unique artwork inspired by a great mountain.




  • Inovart foam or other styrofoam ( 4” x 6” rectangles
  • Pencils or stylus for ”carving” design
  • Tempera paint
  • Brayers
  • Cardstock or construction paper for mounting
  • Plexiglass, baking pan or other smooth surface for rolling brayers with ink
Download PDF Lesson Plan

Standards & Objectives

Fine Art Standards
Integrated Standards

Standard 3.V.CR.2:

I can create a personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.

Standard 3.RL.2

I can recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

Teaching and Timeline


Mountain Folktales: Show the 36 Views of Mt. Timpanogos slideshow which compares two folktales about two great mountains: Mt. Fuji in Japan and Mt. Timpanogos in Utah. Narrate as prompted by each slide.

Give background information about Katsushika Hokusai as prompted during slideshow. As the examples of Hokusai’s prints are showing, have the students identify Mt. Fuji in the background.

Let students describe the similarities and differences between the two tales.

  • How are they different? How are they alike?
  • Are they similar to other famous fairy tales? How so?

Students will be illustrating their own artistic view of Mt. Timpanogos, just as Hokusai did with Mt. Fuji.

Work Period

Provide Students with photos of Mt. Timpanogos for inspiration to promote many unique perspectives of the mountain regardless of chosen technique.

Students can sketch their ideas in pencil before actually transferring them onto their final paper (or foam).

Studio Options: Although printmaking was Hokusai’s medium when creating 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, other studio methods could be utilized, such as: collage, black pen with colored pencils, or watercolors. See examples below.



If printmaking is chosen, here is a link to a YouTube video that explains the technique: How to make Styrofoam prints.

  1. Draw design into foam. It should be pressed in hard enough that the lines will resist a layer of ink or paint rolled over the top.
  2. On plexiglass, baking sheet, or other flat surface, squeeze out about a quarter-size blob of tempera paint (printmaking ink is best but $$$).
  3. Roll brayer onto paint blob- not hard, just to coat brayer with an even layer of paint.
  4. Roll brayer evenly onto foam (the side with design carved in). Again, not too hard, it is just to coat the foam with ink/paint. Try to get a good layer of color without rolling it into carved lines.
  5. Place foam upside-down on art paper (cardstock or other nicer paper)
  6. Press the back of the foam to make sure all ink is transferred onto paper
  7. Lift foam up and voila! There is your print!
  8. Let it dry and mount onto a background if desired.
  • Elixir: A magical or medicinal potion
  • Folktale: A timeless tale passed on from generation to generation
  • Woodblock Print: Basically, carving a design into wood to use as a stamp to print multiple designs onto paper or fabric
  • Foreground, Middleground, Background
  • Collage: Sticking stuff together to make art
  • Media: Technique used to create art
  • Make Class Display- Just as Hokusai’s art traveled
  • Class Book 36 (or # of students) Views of Mt. Timpanogos?

Bonus Discussion Question:

  • Is there some LOCAL landmark from which a legend could be made up?

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