Lesson Plans and Student Art

Here you will find a combination of lesson plans in progress and complete plans with handouts and presentations.

Many of the files for the following lesson plans contain images borrowed from the internet for educational purposes only, and I do not claim to have the rights to any of these images unless they are images of artwork made by me.

Lessons “Coming Soon”

  • Brancusi’s Bird: Modern Sculpture (adaptable “Big Idea” for 5-12) – incorporates geometry, history, writing
  • The Jazz Age: How Music Affected Modern Art (adaptable “Big Idea” for 5-12) – incorporates geometry, literature, history
  • Beuys and Kiefer: German Abstract Expressionists and Found Object Paintings (9-12) – incorporates history, literature, writing
  • The Natural Studio: Using the Outdoors to Explore the Elements and Principles of Design (adaptable warm-up procedure for K-12) – incorporates science, vocabulary
  • People and Pottery: Understanding the Relationships Between Cultures and their Pottery (3-8) – incorporates history, literature
  • Paul Klee: All About the Elements Of Design – For K-2, incorporates vocabulary for color, shape, and texture. For 3-5, includes color grouping, basic geometry terms.
  • Damien Hurst: Animals in the Think Tank (8-12) –  incorporates science, writing
  • Impressions: Nature Saved in Clay (K-3) – incorporates science, vocabulary

Rags to Riches: Understanding Design Through Visionary Artists

For grades 9-12 (could be adapted for elementary and middle school).This activity will assess the students’ ability to utilize and identify the elements and principles of design, as well as their understanding of the expressiveness of an art-making process, specifically one that involves binding, wrapping, tying, or knotting objects together to create a three dimensional form. During the lesson they will be exposed to visionary artists who use scrap materials to create objective and non-objective works of art. Students will look at art by Judith Scott, Michel Nedjar, and Betty Maguire. The resulting artworks will be three-dimensional, mixed media sculptures.

Download full lesson plan here:jscottlesson.doc

Music and Color: Collage in Album Art

For grades 1-5 (This lesson was designed for a private school where the classes rarely exceeded 9 in number and there were 30 students total. I strongly advise adjustments for any other setting.) This project introduces students to colors and basic color theory. It shows how drawing ability is not the only factor that determines whether a work of art can appear sophisticated, and how color choices can help students achieve this. The lesson exposes them to Minger Mike and Howard Finster, outsider artists who have created album art. It also introduces them to art opportunities in the music industry.

Download full lesson plan here:cdcollagelp.doc

Download Rubric here:pprubric.doc

Inside Out: Assemblage & Recycled Sculpture Instructors: Amber Brown, Sara Clapper & Anne Hurst

Grades 6-8 (could be adapted for elementary and high school). Students will be exposed to outsider artists who use found and recycled objects to create assemblages that illustrate facets of their identity or community. Using these artists as guides, students will examine the differences between the identity they display around others and the identity they withhold or wish they could convey, or explore the workings and meaning of their community. Students will be using basic color theory and several principles of design to convey meaning within their pieces. This lesson plan was developed as a course assignment for Secondary Art Education. It resulted in an art class designed for middle school children that was free and open to the public. Classes were held on two consecutive Saturdays at Old Dominion University.

Download full lesson plan here:smaclesson1.doc

Download rubric here:rubric.doc

Download artist bios here:bios.doc

Download handouts here: handouts.doc

Download PowerPoint here:smacppp.ppt

Pattern in the Wild

Grade-Kindergarten. This lesson introduces students to pattern in a way that relates it to the real world. Students are shown examples of artists from around the world that use animals with patterns as inspiration for their art. Students begin by making preliminary drawings of their animal. Then they make plaques and use scraffito to draw their animals into the clay. Finally they paint their plaques. If available, the lesson should be augmented using impressions from natural objects (rocks, leaves, shells, etc.) This lesson is less about a finished art project than about understanding how to effect the materials and how nature, art, science and other disciplines interact.

Download lesson plan here:kindles1.doc

Abstract Portraits: Rhythm and Repetition

Grade-3. Students learn how to identify rhythm and how it relates to music. They are also exposed to abstract portraits and artists such as Pablo Picasso. Students draw their portrait first with crayons, pressing down hard and making choices to produce rhythm. The second step is to fill in areas with watercolor in order to continue the rhythm, showing that rhythm includes repeated color, not just repeated line and shape.

Download lesson plan here:grd3ls1.doc

Lesson Plans for Special Needs Students-High School

The document below contains several lesson plans I developed for High School students with severe autism or who were EMR. Most of these lessons were practice for following directions, and not, unfortunately, for generating creative works. The students’ mental conditions were often severe enough that many had to be aided in simple tasks, such as holding paintbrushes and generating contact between the medium and paper. The lesson plans listed include a weaving unit (Baskets from Around the World, Kimono, and Zoo Animal Silhouettes), as well as a lesson on Flowers in Art and Cubism.

Download lesson plans here: Special Needs Lessons

Download Basket presentation here:basketweaving

Download Kimono presentation here:kimono

Download Zoo presentation here:zoo

Download Plant presentation here:plants

Download Cubism presentation here:cubism

Images of student art for these lesson plans can be provided upon request or during interviews.

Preparing a Portfolio and Writing an Artist’s Statement

The following information is for a lesson plan that I designed to help get high schoolers in advanced art classes on track for college by creating a strong portfolio and narrowing their focus for a body of work.

Download lesson plan here:PortfolioStatementLesson

Portfolio information:portfolios

Artist Statement information and questions:setting-limits-and-creating-an-artist_s-statement

Artists as examples:artistimagesartistinfo

Sketchbook Rubric and Artist Statement Rubric:sketchrubric artstatefinalrub

Medium as Meaning: Pastel

This lesson is for an advanced high school art class (Painting: Art III). It introduces students to pastel while encouraging them to explore the medium for its expressive qualities, resulting in a final piece.

Download lesson here:pastellp

Download handout here:pastelimages chalk-pastel

Sketchbook Rubric and Final Rubric:sketchcheckpastel pastelfinalrub

Photo release forms were signed by parents of any children that appear on this website. Additional photographic documentation of other elements of my art education experience will be made available only to school administrators. 


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