A lesson plan in this 1980 issue of Art to Zoo introduces students to the interplay between environment and traditional culture in sub-Saharan Africa. Students learn about the significance of African masks and create their own masks. Click the PDF icon to download the issue.
These still pictures remind me of a motion picture. Which one? Click the
question mark and take the quiz to see. Click each picture to enlarge.
Click the last box for details on the answer.
This lesson was designed for the 6th grade language arts class. The purpose is to review with students the key elements of a story and to position them to create a short story based on one of the works of Edward Hopper. Our end products will be collected into an ebook of Hopper’s works and the possible backstories behind them as written by the students.
In the class meeting prior to these activities the students will have participated in a videoconference with a SAAM representative who will explain the ways an artist uses color, shape, line, form, etc. to convey meaning. Earlier in the year, students will have been exposed to elements of a story. Their understanding of these will be reviewed and reinforced through these activities.
Three days of activities outlined in the Lesson Concept document. They include activities related to close looking and incorporate the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) of "See, Think, Wonder" (STW), the "I Used to Think...But Now I Think" strategy, and the "Collaborative Poem" strategy (CP).
Keeping the middle school students' needs and interests in mind, I have incorporated group work --both large and small groups-- and hands-on activities that respect their need to move around.
The idea for this lesson came from an article on the Smithsonian website by Helen Appleton Read, in which the author praises Edward Hopper's "seeing eye," which is to say, his uncanny ability to create extraordinary art from mundane subject matter. The students will begin with a close look at "Cape Cod Morning," followed by a structured discussion and analysis of it. After reading Read's article, the students will explore the Seeing Eye as a literary concept by delving into the exquisite Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Throughout the lesson, students will practice visual thinking in reading and writing and go on to create both an original short story and a picture inspired by Edward Hopper's "Cape Cod Morning."
Subject: American Literature
Objectives: Using close reading of texts, themes, tying art to literature, students will consider the impact of Reconstruction on African-Americans in post-Civil War America.
Resources: art in this collection; student copies of Huck Finn; Fishkin article (in collection)
Methodology : CLAIM / SUPPORT / QUESTION METHODOLOGY (see collection)
I USED TO THINK / BUT NOW I THINK; THINK/PAIR/SHARE
Senior English: Great Outdoors Unit
Objectives: Students will do a close reading of Samuel Colman's Storm King on the Hudson and analyze the elements present in the artwork, in order to come to a conclusion about its major themes. These major themes will then form an introduction to the 10-week Great Outdoors Unit we will be studying.
Additional activities in this unit:
--A close reading of the introduction to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring;
--One artwork analysis technique to discuss Alexis Rockman's Manifest Destiny
--A different artwork analysis technique to discuss/compare "A General View of the Falls of Niagara" and "Niagara Power Plant" (make local connection) OR "The Rouge: Detroit, MI" and Automotive Industry
--Socratic Seminar to discuss, analyze & conclude ideas from the above.
--Common Core assessment: Synthesis essay which uses ideas from both literary texts and 2 different art forms (mural/painting, photography) to illustrate a central idea about the effect of industrialization on the natural world.
--Multi-genre study: Discuss 1) Midway film trailer, 2) TED Talk by Captain Charles Moore "Seas of Plastic" on the Great Garbage Patch and 3) recycled ocean trash sculptures from the Washed Ashore Project by Angela Hazeltine Pozzi. Conclude with a research-based speech/Student TED Talk on issues facing the ocean environment.
After working with primary sources from the point of view of Mexicas when the Spaniards first arrived in Mexico (from First Encounters: Native Voices on the Coming of Europeans edited by Howard B. Leavitt (2010)) and Bartolome de Las Casas' "Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies" (1552), students will curate their own gallery comprised of Catlin's depictions of white Europeans, Native Americans, and American landscapes and various artists' depictions of Hernan Cortes' translator La Malinche.
Students will engage with the questions about Malinche that have survived to modern-day Mexico: was she a victim of conquest, or a traitor who aided in the destruction of the Aztec culture? Students will also explore poems from Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands in considering the dual identity of Malinche and of the Native Americans depicted in Catlin's paintings.
The "Think Like a Curator" technique will guide students to place the artwork into categories, develop names for those categories, think about the order in which a museum visitor should encounter the artworks, what they would name the exhibit overall, etc. In this way, students will write their own story of La Malinche - do they want their museum visitors to walk away seeing her as a victim, or as a traitor?
Following the gallery creation, students will work individually to write a paragraph using the Claim/Support/Question thinking routine in response to one of the La Malinche paintings. Students will then share their paragraphs in small groups. This extension activity will allow students to further engage with La Malinche’s legacy after exploring different visual interpretations of her.
This project is intended for 8th or 9th grade students who are reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie. However, there are ideas on how to adapt this project to a variety of different situations in the "Adaptations" section of the Lesson Concept document.
This project is broken down into a 4 stages:
Day 1: Analyze Catlin's "Wi-jun-jon," make claims and support them, and connect the portrait back to "Absolutely True Diary."
Day 1/Day 1 HW: Read "How to Fight Monsters," make a claim about the dual identity portrait and support it, complete the Dual Identity Preparation Sheet.
Day 2: Discuss the dual identity, view an example project, brainstorm requirements, review the assignment, and begin working.
Day 3/Project Due Date: Discuss what makes identity complicated and how Catlin and Alexie express this in their portraits.