Tiger in the Night
Relish William Blake's immortal poem The Tiger! Choose a favorite tiger species to illustrate in realistic detail.
1. William Blake (1757-1827), a poet and painter, was born in London. His poem, The Tiger is probably the best-known poem that has a tiger as its subject. Read Blake's poem.
2. Read it again with drama. Pause between questions. What is the mood of this poem? What picturesque words and phrases does Blake use to describe the tiger? Let them roll from your tongue! Compare the poem to Blake's paintings.
3. Research various species of tigers. All tigers are endangered. Find out where they roam, how they live, and what they look like.
4. Choose your favorite type of tiger. Look carefully at pictures showing the colors and patterns in the tiger's coat. Use Crayola® Construction Paper Crayons to draw your favorite tiger. Use brown or black paper to evoke night. For a soft, realistic effect, apply the crayon in strokes that travel the same direction as the tiger's fur.
5. Write about the tiger species on the back of your drawing. Include where it is found and other important information. Indicate which qualities that Blake described fit the tiger you drew. Which aspects are different from Blake's tiger?
Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.
- Draw several species of tigers, including those that are extinct. Write poems about each, describing that tiger's unique qualities.
- Teachers may wish to preview William Blake's work to select the most appropriate treatment of subjects for students.
- Teachers are encouraged to use this activity to assess children's understanding of the Blake poem and the thoroughness and accuracy of their tiger research.