Cissy Cohen: High Museum Lesson Plans, Elementary
BACK to A Masterpiece of Learning
Art lesson: Alexander Calder inspired mobile
Grade Level: 3rd
Motivation: Not all sculpture is made to be realistic or stationary. Calder created “stables’ that move and dance. He was inspired by shapes in nature.
He said, “ I want to make things that are fun to look at.”, called stabiles, they are more commonly called mobiles a name given to them by Marcel Duchamp’
1. Respond to The Unknown
2. Compare/ contrast Mondrian
3. Create a Calder inspired mobile
1. 1/ creates sculptures by construction
2. 4 / creates art using balance
3. 13/ compares balance in artworks
Alexander Calder wanted to “make things that are fun to lock at.” Let’s look and see if we think he succeeded. You’ll have the opportunity to create a mobile, or as he called them stabiles.
IB connections/ questions:
Think globally, act locally
The physical world is constantly changing as a result of natural and human actions.
How does Calder use the action of the wind in his sculpture?
Do you think pollution has an effect on sculpture that is outside, why or why not?
Calder was a mechanical engineer, but enjoyed making wire sculptures that moved. In 1930 he visited Piet Mondrian and was inspired by his use of primary colors using geometric shapes. He wanted to put the paintings in motion, and was the first artist to construct hanging sculptures that combined basic shapes and colors that moved in space. Marcel Duchamp called them mobiles and they “moved according to the whims of a breeze.
1st class High Museum:
Using a venn diagram students will compare and contrast The Unknown with a copy of Broadway B/W. They will Describe, Analyze, Interpret, Evaluate looking specifically at each work’s similarities and differences.
2nd class Studio:
Draw a variety of differently sized organic shapes. Color the shapes with primary colors only, and then cut them out. Punch a hole in each shape and tie with string. Use a straw and some masking tape to attach your shapes to. String can be looped through the straw or taped on top. Think of using several layers of shapes and try to balance your mobile. Your mobile should be fun to look at, use organic shapes in primary colors, and balance when hanging.
Materials: Visual images of Mondrian’s Broadway Boogy- Woogy and Calder image
Tag board, crayons, hole punch, scissors, masking tape, straws, string.
Web sites: www.calder.org www.nag.gov.exhibitions/calder.htm www.sfmoma.org
Students will demonstrate that the mobile is balanced and uses only primary colors.
DTS make a Venn diagram in response to Calder and Mondrian’s works?
DTS create a mobile that is balanced?
Art lesson: Tony Cragg
Grade Level: 2nd
Tony Cragg is a British artist who uses found and discarded objects to create wall sculpture called assemblage. He also creates sculpture in metal and other materials.
1. Respond to Tony Cragg’s art at the High
2. Compare and contrast with another of his works
3. Decide what materials he used to make theses works
1. 13/ identifies balance in artwork
2. 14/ discusses how artists creates movement
3. 16/ gives personal interpretation of art
Tony Cragg is an artist who loves to pick up trash! If he sees some cool stuff by the side of the road he will stop and take it to his studio. Have you ever seen something that someone has thrown out and you wanted to get it? Would you make something different and turn it in to something new?
IB connections/ questions:
It takes a village/ Consumers producers and resources impact economic resources
What happens when we are not careful with our resources? What can we do to save the planet? Can artists make a difference?
We will look at New Figuration. What are things you see there? Look through your 3x5 viewfinder and find something that you especially like. What color is it? What shape is it? Can you tell what it is? Do you like it or not?
Now look at the picture you have North England. What do you see that is the same and what is different?
Vocabulary: Tony Cragg, assemblage, recycle,
Students will take a ‘field trip around the campus to find trash. Students will be asked to bring in found objects to create a class assemblage. How many objects will you bring in? What will they be?
Do you see balance in these works? Do you see movement, how?
Students will discuss how the artist uses found recycled object to create art
Assessment: Teacher observation and student verbal discussion.
Art lesson: Deborah Butterfield- horse sculpture
Grade Level: 5th
Motivation: Deborah Butterfield creates sculptures of horses. We will look at horses in art, and at Butterfield horses. We will also make a horse sculpture out of sticks.
1. Respond to the horse in art
2. Recognize how the artist uses her knowledge of horses
3. Create a horse out of sticks
1. 3/ creates sculpture
2. 5/ demonstrates care of materials
3. 13/ recognizes how artists use selected subject matter
Deborah Butterfield trains horses to compete in the sport of dressage (dre-sazh). Riders guide their horses through a series of walk, trot, and canter movements without any obvious use of hands or reins, directing the horse mainly with leg and seat signals. Preformed in a specific order, the spectators should not be able to see the signals.
IB connections/ questions:
I will survive. Do you think the horse has had any influence on the movements of groups of people? Why? Discuss what you think the horse has done for people.
Butterfield lives in Bozeman Montana where she trains horses to learn dressage for competitions. Using both the additive and subtractive method, she makes sculpture of horses exclusively.
Physics is a very important aspect of Butterfield’s horses because without the balance that physics require they would fall over. Additionally, the sport of Dressage is all about balanced movements between horse and rider.
Social studies is evident in the history of the horse and how it influenced human behavior both evolved.
1st lesson High Museum
Students will respond to the Butterfield horse and answer the following:
What is this made of? What and where do you think the artist lives? What other materials do you think the artist uses to make sculpture? Students will see how the horse has been a subject of artists through time.
2nd lesson Studio:
Using sticks students will construct a small horse sculpture. Students will collect and cut down sticks of various sizes. After looking at visual images of horses through the ages, students will make a variety of horse sketches to get warmed up. We will also review how the horse has changed in visual images, and how the animal has influenced the migration and peoples’ lives. Horse sculpture with sticks should start with basic ‘sawhorse’ shape, and built up from there. Masking tape can be used to hold the pieces together until the glue is set. Raffia, moss, and string can be used for the mane and tail.
Visual images of horses from cave art to present. Assorted sticks thin to 1/2'”
Tacky glue, masking tape, straw, raffia, moss
A class critique will be used as an assessment tool and as a way of helping students learn to present their work in the more formal middle and high school setting.
DTS respond to horses shown in art history, and discuss how the horse has changed human migration and settlement?
DTS respond to Butterfield’s art and discuss her work?
DTS create a horse sculpture in the style of the artist?
DTS participate in the critique to the best of their ability?
Art lesson: Benito Archuleta
Grade Level: 1st
Motivation: Students will look at the sculpture in the High’s collection and the visual image in the textbook series.
1. Respond to Untitled (Lion)
2. Compare and contrast with Morris the Cat
3. Discuss the artist’s life and works
1. 13/ Uses art terms to talk about art
2. 14/ Expresses a preference for art
3. 15/ Offers ideas about what art is and who are artists
Okay, get ready to laugh, because this artist’s name is Archuleta, so we can call him Mr. Ham Pork-chop. Let’s look at the Lion and the copy Morris the Cat.
What do you see? This is called a sculpture. What do you think it’s made of? What do you think the artist did when he was working? Where do you think the artist lived? Describe what you see. How would you make a sculpture like this?
IB connections/ questions:
You rock my world/ recognize that some materials come from the earth
Archuleta creates art from sticks, clay, scraps of wood, and found objects
Archuleta spent his life working as a carpenter. To keep himself busy during times when there was no work he made his sculptures of animals. He is considered a folk artist. He began with animals he knew and then animals he found in children’s books. He lived in New Mexico and is celebrated as a Hispanic artist.
Students will look closely at 2 works by Felipe Archuleta and discuss the artist life.
DTS discuss the works of the artist. Teacher observation and student discussion are used as an assessment. Studio class at school will also be use when student create their own clay sculpture animal.
Art lesson: Romare Bearden/ collage
Grade Level: 4th
Motivation: Bearden was an artist, activist, and musician who was fortunate enough to grow up in home where luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance were common visitors. Students will create a collage and learn about the artist’s life and times.
1. Respond to Noah, third day
2. View video Visual Jazz
3. Create a collage in the Bearden style
1. 5/ Emphasizes specific elements of art to design their own idea
2. 6/ Creates art in a variety of subject matter
3. 22/ Explains how art reflects the relationship between artists and their culture
Romare Bearden was an amazing baseball player, a pitcher. He could have been the first Black major league baseball player, but he refused because he would have had to pretend to be white, and though light skinned, he was proud of who he was.
IB connections/ questions: Everyone has a story to tell
The way we express ourselves is determined by our audience, topic and purpose.
Bearden had a productive life telling stories about the African American experience in Northern cities and rural South through his art, both visual and musical. What ways can and will you tell your story? What stories do your parents and grandparents have to tell?
Students will watch and discuss the video Visual Jazz..
Lesson 1 at the museum
Students will have the opportunity to view Noah, third day. They will use a 3x5 card view finder to look closely at the ways the artist uses collage to develop the work.
Bearden lived during a time of great change in American History. As an artist he used his talent to show activism. What does ‘activist’ mean? How would you document the changes you see? How would you write a story or poem about a current event?
We will review what a collage is and what it is not. Collage is French meaning to glue. A collage is not pictures just torn and glued down. The pictures should show something, and be a story regardless of how unusual it looks. Let’s look at some of the artist’s work and talk about why, for example one part is bigger than another. Cut out pictures and words that interest you. Save them in your folder. Next class we will create our collages. There is no need to use all the images you cut out. Move them around and see what looks like a good composition. When you have a visual image that you like carefully glue it down.
Magazines and newspapers, scissors, glue, construction paper, visual images, video
Write a short story about the collage you have created. You may also choose to write a poem. The writing should address the content of your visual image in an interesting way.
Respond to Noah, third day using a viewfinder to look for specific details of interest?
Create an interesting collage and write something about the meaning of their work?