Unit Topic and Rationale

Topic Taught

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 Loyd Wright, and Gaudi. Their houses will represent aspects of their identity and tell a story.


To see photos and detailed documentation visit twothreeartwithme.wordpress.com



Standards Prepared Graduate Competencies Grade Level Expectations Relevance to the Topic


Analyze, interpret, and make meaning of art and design critically using oral and written discourse 

Explain, demonstrate, and interpret a range of purposes of art and design, recognizing that the making and study of art and design can be approached from a variety of viewpoints, intelligences, and perspectives


1.     Artists make choices that communicate their intent and ideas in works of art. 

2.     Characteristics and expressive features of art and design are used to identify and discuss works of art


Each lesson focused on having students determine their intent for that specific lesson. When creating their artwork there was a need for students to gain knowledge and understanding of the materials and processes as well as specific characteristics and expressive features of art. In order for students to really understand the creative process and make art it was vital for each lesson to focus on specific characteristics and expressive features of art and how to communicate their intent.
Reflect Identify, compare, and interpret works of art derived from historical and cultural settings, time periods, and cultural contexts 

Identify, compare and justify that the visual arts are a way to acknowledge, exhibit and learn about the diversity of peoples, cultures and ideas


Explain, compare and justify that the visual arts are connected to other disciplines, the other art forms, social activities, mass media, and careers in art and non-art related arenas


1.     Visual arts use literacies to convey intended meaning. 

2.     Artists, viewers, and patrons make connections among the characteristics, expressive features, and purposes of art and design


Students were introduced to artists from many different time periods to serve as inspiration for each lesson. Then to complete each lesson it became very important for students to not only look at their own artwork but also look at the artwork of their classmates. This allows the students to look at how they communicated their intent. Looking at artwork also allows the students to understand how students utilize the expressive features.
Create Recognize, interpret, and validate that the creative process builds on the development of ideas through a process of inquiry, discovery, and research 

Develop and build appropriate mastery in art-making skills, using traditional and new technologies and an understanding of the characteristics and expressive features of art and design


Recognize, compare, and affirm that the making and study of art and design can be approached from a variety of viewpoints, intelligences, and perspectives


1.     Use familiar symbols to identify and demonstrate characteristics and expressive features of art and design. 

2.     Use basic media to express ideas through the art-making process.



3.     Demonstrate basic studio skills


In order to be an artist creation becomes crucial. Students need to understand how to use materials. Some of the understanding of these comes from teaching them basic studio skills and some comes from allowing students to experiment with the materials. Students learn how to use many different mediums and tools in order to demonstrate their understanding.
Transfer Critique personal work and the work of others with informed criteria 

Recognize, articulate, and implement critical thinking in the visual arts by synthesizing, evaluating, and analyzing visual information


1.     Visual arts respond to human experience by relating art to the community. 

2.     Works of art connect individual ideas to make meaning


In all the lessons students were challenged to connect their art making to themselves as well as others. They strived to communicate intent whether it was a story or communicating an aspect of themselves. We really pushed for students to talk about their ideas and how it relates to other parts of their life


Significance of topic


Communicating intent is crucial for any aspect of life. It is crucial to be able to tell people why you are doing something. They can, through this unit, examine different cultures and why cultures make art and how universal art is. Communication is important to be a successful human and this unit teaches those students that.


Taking the unit through transitions of time is an interesting topic and it was exciting to get to explore time transitions of time in terms of different mediums. We really strived to allow students to experience a lot of different mediums through the semester as well.

For this population:

For each of the lessons the student gets to explore their own identity. For students at this age it is important for them to get to understand what makes them them.

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