Sequence and Organization of the Unit
We are All Time Travelers: For this unit students focused on artistic intent and how it influences the art that they make. In using various materials, from 2D to 3D, students will have an understanding of how their artist decisions are influenced by their own identity. With the ideas of past, present and future students will transform their ideas to fit their artistic intent.
Lesson 1 “Exploring the Past: The MAD Archaeologist”
In the first lesson students will explore the relationship between time, culture, and storytelling. Exploration will involve examining ancient art (such as cave paintings) as well as Cantimpré-Medieval Bestiary and Enrique Gomez Molina to display the relationship between culture and storytelling. The emphasis will be on creating a 2D creature that could have been documented by an imaginary civilization of the past. Students will begin by reading an article about a newly discovered place that is home to many previously undiscovered animals and will act as archaeologists putting together clues to create a new creature. Students will replicate this creature using pastels and watercolors, scratch art, and printmaking. The purpose of this unit is to allow exploration of materials and tell stories of their imaginary creatures.
Lesson 2 “Discovering the Present: Identity Masks”
In the second lesson, students will explore the relationship between culture, identity, and expression of ideas. Exploration will involve examination of masks from many different cultures and how their structure relates to purpose. The emphasis is on creating a mixed media mask that expresses an aspect of one’s identity. They will create the mask using plaster gauze and utilize painting techniques. They will learn color mixing including primary colors, secondary colors, intermediate colors, and wet and dry brush techniques. Students will look at Wendy Sollod, Estella Loretto, and Frank Smith. Students will be motivated by a video about identity and masks exhibited at the FCMOA. Students will focus on mixed media masks that communicate aspects of their identity.
Lesson 3 “Imagining the Future: The Adventurous Architect”
In the last lesson, students will explore the relationship between systems/structures, intent/purpose and expression of ideas. Exploration will involve examination of buildings from different cultures and with different purposes. The students will construct their dream home models from clay, construction paper, cardboard, paper towel rolls, tissue and newspaper, disposable plates, as well as acrylic and water color paints. The emphasis is on creating a 3D dream home that displays intent and expresses personal interests. Students will look at art by Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Gaudi. Their houses will represent aspects of their identity and tell a story.
Methods for Integrating Literacy, Numeracy, Technology, and Other Relevant Subjects
Through art, literacy, numeracy, technology, and many other skills are integrated very easily. Per Colorado Visual Art Standards these areas MUST be present in art lessons. All of the lessons used literacy through class discussions, written reflections and planning, reading plans of the day and a PowerPoint. Students were challenged to communicate and articulate ideas with classmates and their teachers. They were pushed to use relevant vocabulary at this point as well.
In addition to these literacy integrations each lesson also used different ways of integrating literacy. In lesson one, literacy was also used through the reading of a book and an article. In lesson two, literacy was also used through brainstorming worksheets. In lesson three, literacy was also used through the use of a TOTD.
Numeracy was also integrated into each lesson. The use of sequencing was prevalent in all lessons through planning. Students also used proportions when mixing paints. For example an equal amount of red and yellow makes a different orange than more red than yellow or visa versa.
Students were challenged to use relevant tools and technology to make their art work including using a camera/ video camera to document their art work and discoveries. Students honed in on skills to use plaster gauze, pastels, watercolors, paintbrushes, clay, printmaking materials, and collage.
21st century skills were also prevalent in our lessons. Through the use of the Discovery Board students were encouraged to find new “inventions” of art. Any new way of using a material that was not directly taught to the students was recorded on the Discovery Board. Students were also encouraged to self-discover. This was done through experimentation, planning, and reflecting. Without allowing students to do this much of the art created in the class would have looked drastically different. Also the skills to think critically and reason through choices made during the art making process were enforced. Collaboration was also supported through the lessons. Students were encouraged to work with each other to formulate ideas. Information literacy was the skill that was encouraged most in the class. Students were pushed to look at images and ask questions, formulate ideas and responses and make meaning from visual information.
Strategies for Classroom Management Relevant to Lesson Taught in the Unit
Classroom management is a bit difficult in classrooms that are not your own. However, through the three lessons there were significant management strategies that proved to help a class run smoothly.
Setting expectations is necessary. These need to be established at the beginning of the semester and any additional expectations need to been established and reinforced as needed. Behavioral expectations for the class allow students to get work done without any distractions.
Classroom layout proves to be really important when making art. Moving the tables into groups for classes that we utilized stations provided clear boundaries for the stations and prevented any mixture of materials that made class more difficult.
It is important to set up materials so there is easy access for students to get the materials they need to finish their art. In a short class you need to make sure it runs as smoothly as possible in order to prevent any wasted time.
Clean up strategies and plans are also vital for art classrooms. It took a bit longer to establish clean up plans but it became clear that these are necessary not only to take care of classroom materials but also utilize classroom time efficiently.
There is also a need for strategies for managing artwork and making sure nothing gets lost. Having folders to keep finished artwork allows prevents anything from being misplaced. It is also important to make sure students place names on their artwork.
Unit Lesson Plans