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Demonstrating Surrealism Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

  • Students will understand the concept of surrealism as an art movement.
  • Students will create their own surrealistic animated gifs using Brush Ninja.


  • Computers or tablets with internet access for each student or small group.
  • Access to the Brush Ninja website.
  • Paper and pencils for brainstorming and sketching.



  • Begin by discussing with students what they know about art movements. Explain that an art movement is a specific style or approach to creating art that is followed by a group of artists during a certain period of time.
  • Introduce the concept of surrealism as an art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. Explain that surrealists aimed to explore the world of dreams, imagination, and the subconscious mind through their artwork.


  • Show examples of famous surrealist artworks such as “The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dalí and “The Treachery of Images” by René Magritte. Discuss these artworks with students, pointing out elements such as unexpected combinations, dreamlike scenes, and symbolic imagery.
  • Explain how surrealists often used techniques like juxtaposition, transformation, and distortion to create unusual and thought-provoking images.


  • Ask students to brainstorm ideas for their own surrealistic animated gifs using paper and pencils. Encourage them to think outside the box and let their imaginations run wild.
  • Remind students that they can combine unrelated objects or animals, change proportions or colors, or create impossible situations in their animations.

Using Brush Ninja

  • Instruct students to open Brush Ninja on their devices.
  • Demonstrate how to use the various tools available in Brush Ninja to create animations: drawing tools, frame management, and playback options.
  • Provide time for students to experiment with the software, creating their own surrealistic animations. Encourage them to start with simple ideas and build upon them.


  • Have students share their animated gifs with the class. Ask them to explain the surreal elements they incorporated and how their creations relate to the concept of surrealism.
  • Assess student understanding by observing their ability to use the Brush Ninja tools effectively, as well as their creativity in designing surrealistic animations.


  • For advanced or interested students, encourage further exploration of surrealist art by assigning a research project on a famous surrealist artist or artwork.
  • Students can also write short stories inspired by their animated gifs, describing the dream-like worlds depicted in their creations.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

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Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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