LEARN NC

K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will create a poem and illustration on what they have observed and present it in the style of Edward Hicks with the text framing the image.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

3 hours

Materials/resources

  • poem I Am An Artist by Pat Lowery Collins, illustrated by Robin Brickman
  • prints or access to art work by Edward Hicks and various artists for comparison
  • sketch book (or paper for drawing and planning)
  • white drawing paper
  • larger construction paper for displaying artwork
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • colored pencils, crayons, or markers
  • pencil sharpeners
  • rulers
  • glue or staples for mounting art work

Technology resources

  • computer with word processing and drawing programs
  • Internet access
  • printer
  • digital camera

Pre-activities

Students will explore art at the Museum of Modern Art website and create their own art through the Art Safari. This site allows students to respond to art in the collection and create a story by answering questions. In the activity page, students can create their own piece of art work. Students can publish their piece and story on the website.

Take the students on a walk on or off school grounds, asking them to observe their surroundings. Take digital pictures of the field trip to display on the school website or in the classroom to stimulate students. Students should take sketch books and pencils and choose something to observe and sketch in nature. Encourage the students to write what they observed and their emotions. (This could be an out of class assignment or done in another class. The art teacher can coordinate with language arts.)

Activities

  1. Read the poem “I Am An Artist” by Pat Lowery Collins to the class. Discuss the poem and illustrations with the class. What is this person expressing as an artist?
  2. Discuss what the students had observed in their outdoor study. What did they draw in their sketch books? (This could be a one-on-one or group assessment.) While doing assessment, have students in pairs or small groups browse pictures (prints, postcards, websites, or attached presentation) deciding what the artist was seeing and emotions expressed.
  3. Show the Artist PowerPoint presentation. Compare the artworks shown, discussing observations made and what the artists were trying to express. Focus on the last slide with students, Edward Hicks’ “Peaceable Kingdom” from the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. There are other examples of Edward Hicks’ Peaceable Kingdoms available through prints or websites. Look at the text around the edge and discuss image and text. How does it relate to the image?
  4. Demonstrate to students how to begin their poem “I am an artist when…” Use examples of artwork to help finish. For example, Tani Buncho’s “Snow Covered Tree,” 1838 Ackland Art Museum (see attached presentation), could have a poem such as “I am an artist when I watch the white sparkling snow falling onto the dark crisp branches of a tree.” Encourage students to use descriptive words. Students will write and edit a poem on one of the sketches from their observations in their sketch book.
  5. Demonstrate to students how to rule off a one or more inch border around the perimeter of the drawing paper. Students write their final draft of their poem around the perimeter in their best handwriting. Students should write in pencil and then trace over with colored pencil or marker in neat handwriting or lettering.
  6. Students finalize their idea for their illustration in their sketch book and transfer their drawing, enlarging it on their white paper. Students may color their illustration with the materials available.
  7. When the students complete their poems and illustrations, mount the art work on larger colored paper for display.
  8. Have students share their poems and illustrations with the class before hanging them on display.

Assessment

Use the rubric. One-on-one student/teacher assessment worksheet for reflection. Class checklist for record keeping.

Appropriate reflection questions:

  • Did the student draw and write about their observations in their sketchbook?
  • Did the student follow directions in writing his/her poem and drawing and coloring his/her final design?
  • Did the student use his/her ruler and materials appropriately?
  • Did the student’s poem use descriptive words in his/her poem to relate to the picture?

Supplemental information

  • I Am An Artist by Pat Lowery Collins
  • Art History Prints or texts for reference

Attachments:

Comments

This lesson plan was created in a LEARN NC workshop held in Chapel Hill. The workshop was funded by the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics for the purpose of giving teachers the time, energy, and resources to create lesson plans. Using the Ackland Museum in Chapel Hill was an inspiration for helping us to incorporate the elements of arts education into our series of lessons.

Assessment:

  1. Description of what happened when students did the activity (activities), including length of time spent on activity. Information about what happened when students did the activity includes approximate time spent on each section (e.g. one class period) as well as logistical information. Format may be a timeline, a narrative, or anything else that communicates what students did. I worked with both 4th and 5th grade students on this unit. Students did the lessons across a span of four months. I see them for art once a week for forty minutes, and lessons in the unit took 2–3 or more lessons each. We did not do the lessons back to back. There were other activities (art contests, holiday ornaments, etc) that had to be completed as well. Students started each new lesson with the computer museum visits (PowerPoint) which was amazing for them. We are in a new facility and it took a few weeks to get the technology on my side. But I really enjoy using the AverKey with my lessons so the class can view something off the computer. It always amazes some of them that they can see the computer on the TV. The PowerPoint presentation led into discussions of the art and then the connections of poetry, the environment, clay history, etc were brought into the lesson. Usually in that first lesson the art project might begin or start the planning of their product. The second lesson was a review and working with the art materials on their project. In the third lesson we would share and discuss the projects (critique) some students led discussions comparing their work to the work from the museums. The clay lesson (face jugs) took longer to complete. Drying time, glazing and firing gave us time to work on other things.
  2. Description of student outcomes (may include samples of student work). Report of outcomes includes what students learned, what students found difficult but eventually mastered, and what students never mastered. Outcomes may be supported by a limited number of examples of student work distinguishing between high performance and low performance. My favorite lesson was the animal habitats for lesson 2. We have enjoyed our new school, but this let them realize what had changed about the environment. It was great discussion and I enjoyed the brightly colored collage habitats. We had them out for people to see at the school dedication. The face jugs had very different results. Clay is a different medium to work with and some students find it more frustrating than others. I am biased and think that all their work is creative, but the clay always brings something out in the students (and it’s the messiest). Their poems were descriptive of the images they created for the first lesson. The clay jugs are quite comical.
  3. Description of student opinions. Description includes report of students’ feelings and concerns about the activities, both positive and negative; may also include anecdotal evidence. Students enjoy clay the most. I think because it does so much. The clay gets them excited and everyone I show the clay site to (where you build and fire a pot) is excited. It is a great tool for teaching and learning. The kiln is a very large piece of equipment, but the website really brings it alive. The older students (5th grade) enjoyed the Molly Bang book, Common Ground and discussed what is happening to the environment. Their pictures were quite good and they had a variety of environments portrayed. I think students would learn more from this lesson if a classroom teacher collaborated with the art teacher. It was impossible to put in as much time letting them explore the environment and journal writing as I would have liked.
  4. Teacher reflection on strengths and effective components of action components as well as future improvements. Reflective assessment of how the teacher perceives the outcomes of the activity includes what students did or did not learn, what worked well and what needs improvement, what was too difficult or too easy for students, or anything else that would be taken into consideration in improving the activity for the next time it’s used. In the future I think students would learn more from this lesson if a classroom teacher collaborated with the art teacher. It is impossible to put in as much time letting them explore the environment and journal writing as I would have liked. In the spring I hope to take the students out some more as it warms up. We are still adjusting to our new environment and in a few months I believe they will be able to see more established habitats. Parts of this unit could be used on lower or upper grade levels. The clay face jugs are a little difficult for 4th grade, but with patience they are fine. 5th grade seems to be the appropriate age for this activity.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Visual Arts Education (2010)
      • Grade 4

        • 4.V.1 Use the language of visual arts to communicate effectively. 4.V.1.1 Use appropriate art vocabulary to compare artists' styles. 4.V.1.2 Apply personal choices while creating art. 4.V.1.3 Infer meaning from art. 4.V.1.4 Understand how the Elements of Art...
        • 4.V.3 Create art using a variety of tools, media, and processes, safely and appropriately. 4.V.3.1 Apply a variety of methods of manipulating a single tool, safely and appropriately. 4.V.3.2 Compare characteristics of a variety of media. 4.V.3.3 Create art...
      • Grade 5

        • 5.V.1 Use the language of visual arts to communicate effectively. 5.V.1.1 Use appropriate art vocabulary to describe art movements. 5.V.1.2 Create art that reflects personal voice and choice. 5.V.1.3 Classify works of art in terms of whether they are realistic,...
        • 5.V.3 Create art using a variety of tools, media, and processes, safely and appropriately. 5.V.3.1 Evaluate how to manipulate tools safely and appropriately to reach desired outcomes. 5.V.3.2 Use appropriate media for the creation of original art. 5.V.3.3...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Read a variety of texts, including:
      • fiction (legends, novels, folklore, science fiction).
      • nonfiction (autobiographies, informational books, diaries, journals).
      • poetry (concrete, haiku).
      • drama (skits, plays).
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections with text through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by:
      • analyzing the impact of authors' word choice and context.
      • examining the reasons for characters' actions.
      • identifying and examining characters' motives.
      • considering a situation or problem from different characters' points of view.
      • analyzing differences among genres.
      • making inferences and drawing conclusions about characters, events and themes.
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.07: Compose fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected and assigned topics and forms (e.g., personal and imaginative narratives, research reports, diaries, journals, logs, rules, instructions).

Grade 5

  • Goal 2: The learner will apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.03: Read a variety of texts, such as:
      • fiction (tall tales, myths).
      • nonfiction (books of true experience, newspaper and magazine articles, schedules).
      • poetry (narrative, lyric, and cinquains).
      • drama (plays and skits).
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by:
      • analyzing word choice and content.
      • examining reasons for a character's actions, taking into account the situation and basic motivation of the character.
      • creating and presenting a product that effectively demonstrates a personal response to a selection or experience.
      • examining alternative perspectives.
      • evaluating the differences among genres.
      • examining relationships among characters.
      • making and evaluating inferences and conclusions about characters, events and themes.
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.07: Compose a variety of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using self-selected topic and format (e.g., poetry, research reports, news articles, letters to the editor, business letters).

Visual Arts Education (2001)

Grade 4

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop skills necessary for understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.
  • Goal 4: The learner will choose and evaluate a range of subject matter and ideas to communicate intended meaning in artworks.
    • Objective 4.01: Create extended visual narratives based on one's own life and experiences.
    • Objective 4.02: Discuss and/or write extended narratives based on one's own art.
  • Goal 7: The learner will perceive connections between visual arts and other disciplines.
    • Objective 7.01: Recognize that in a particular place or time, shared beliefs or knowledge will affect the ideas, issues or themes in all disciplines.

Grade 5

  • Goal 1: The learner will develop critical and creative thinking skills and perceptual awareness necessary for understanding and producing art.
    • Objective 1.01: Use the imagination as a source for symbolic expression
    • Objective 1.02: Practice a variety of methods of observation from different points of view to explore spatial relationships.
  • Goal 2: The learner will develop skills necessary for understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.
    • Objective 2.01: Use additional art media, techniques and processes, which may include:
      • Drawing - charcoal
      • Printmaking - easy cut, mixed media, collographs
      • 3-D - wire
      • Photography - pin-hole cameras
  • Goal 3: The learner will organize the components of a work into a cohesive whole through knowledge of organizational principles of design and art elements.
    • Objective 3.01: Recognize and apply the elements of art in an aesthetic composition.
    • Objective 3.02: Recognize and apply the design principles used in composition.
  • Goal 6: The learner will reflect upon and assess the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.
    • Objective 6.01: Respond to questions relating to purpose and appropriateness of works including: Why do you think this artist painted this way? How do the materials the artist used help get across the idea of the artwork?