Units prepared by Shari Hofschire, Dr. Frances Thurber, and Dr. Joanne Sowell

UNIT THEME: Artists portray individual and human identity in their art.

GOALS AND OUTCOMES: (Based on the National Standards)
Content Standard 2
Using knowledge of structures and functions
Achievement Standard
K-4
Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas
5-8 Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas
9-12 Students demonstrate the ability to form and defend judgments about the characteristics and structures to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art

Content Standard 3
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
Achievement Standard
K-4
Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning
5-8 Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks
9-12 Students apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in their artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life

Content Standard 4
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures
Achievement Standard
K- 4
Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures
5-8 Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures
9-12 Students differentiate among a variety of historical and cultural contexts in terms of characteristics and purposes of works of art

Content Standard 5
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Achievement Standard
K-4
Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art
5-8 Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
9-12 Students identify intentions of those creating artworks, explore the implications of various purposes, and justify their analyses of purposes in particular works

KEY QUESTIONS:
Questions in parentheses are from the Prairie Visions Inquiry Chart. These general questions form a framework for designing questions more specific to each unit of instruction.
How do artists tell us something about individuals in their works? (How does art make meaning?)
How does the setting say something about the person portrayed? (What does the form of the work say about its context?)
How do some artists abstract the human form? (What are the elements and content of the work?)
How could I compare portraits made by different artists in different times and places? (What connections can I make to other times, places and cultures?)

KEY WORKS OF ART:
Nebraska Masterpieces: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version)
Kent Bellows, Over the Mermaid Lounge

Jun Kaneko, Untitled (Heads)

LESSON IDEAS (SUB-THEMES):
1. Some artists tell us something about their own identity in self-portraits.
2. Some artists tell us something about individuals in portraits or in abstracted images of human beings.

LEARNING STYLES/DIFFERENTIATION:
This unit emphasizes:
Visual Intelligence
Interpersonal intelligence
Intrapersonal inelligence

MORAL DIMENSIONS OF TEACHING:
John I. Goodlad (Editor), Roger Soder (Editor), Kenneth A. Sirotnik (Editor), The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, Jossey-Bass; New Ed edition (November 16, 1993).
This unit encourages group discussion and listening to the ideas of others, a crucial skill for living in a democracy.
By using various instructional methods and encouraging speaking, talking, and writing about art as well as hands-on art making activities this unit allows access for many different types of learners.

LESSON 1:

Lesson Sub-Theme
: Some artists tell us something about their own identity in self-portraits.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will look carefully at works of art and explain what they see.
Students will use their observations to speculate and draw conclusions about meaning.
Students will consider how human beings relate to their environment.
Students will compare self-portraits from different times and places.
Students will create a work of art that says something about themselves and the world they live in.

Key Questions:
How does the artist use facial features, clothing, gestures to tell us something about him/herself?
How does the artist use the setting to say something about him/herself?
How could I compare artists' self-portraits made in different times and places?

Key Works of Art:
Nebraska Masterpieces: Kent Bellows, Over the Mermaid Lounge , 1992

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait , c. 1630 Holland
http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/self_portraits/

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait on the Borderline , 1932 Mexico.
http://mati.eas.asu.edu:8421/ChicanArte/html_pages/kahlo5.html

Jacob Lawrence, Self Portrait , 1977 USA.
http://www.whitney.org/jacoblawrence/art/self_portrait.html

Lesson Narrative:
Teacher Preparation: Visit the websites listed under Key Works of Art. All three are from educational institutions which provide lesson ideas and/or interactive features for students. Decide which of these materials you may want to use in your classroom. Print out copies of the images to use in your classroom.

Teacher Presentation: Introduce Kent Bellows self-portrait using the Nebraska Masterpieces poster. Use the Study this Work of Art section from the back of the poster paying particular attention to the questions:
What makes this art work different from a photograph?
How do you interpret the expression the artist has on his face? (sad?, happy?, intense?, mad?) How does the artist create a sense of mystery?
Does the setting say anything about the person?

Small Group Discussion: Divide the class into small groups and give each group an image of either Judith Leyster's, Frida Kahlo's or Jacob Lawrence's self-portrait. (Base the group sizes and the number of images you give each group on the developmental level of your students.)
Have them discuss the following questions:
What do you know about the person from looking at this self-portrait?
Where are they? Is this a real or an imaginary setting?
What objects do you see in the picture? Do they tell you anything about the person?
How do you think the person feels about where they are?
What questions do you have about this person?
Does it make a difference that these are self-portraits made by the artist of the artist, rather than images made by another person.

Whole Group Discussion and Student Presentation: Have each group report out about what they thought about the person in the self-portrait. Use information from the websites to augment their ideas or answer questions students have.

Individual Art Making Task: Have students create their own self portraits using the medium of their choice (colored pencils, crayons, chalk, oil pastels - as age appropriate). Have them consider the following questions as they plan their work:
How will your portrait look different depending on the medium you choose?
How can you create a setting for your portrait that will say something about who you are?
What objects will you include to tell people about yourself?
Have students mount their self-portraits on colored construction paper.

Individual Writing Task: Have students write a short artist's statement based on the questions above. Hang the portraits with the artists' statements.

Instructional Strategies:
Teacher presentation.
Small and Large group discussion.
Student Presentation
Individual Art Making Task
Individual Writing Task

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment - Teacher observation and check for understanding during discussions.
Summative Assessment - Have the students successfully conveyed something about themselves in their self portraits? Have they used objects and setting to convey meaning? How are these ideas expressed in the artists' statements?

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Social studies ­ investigate people from different cultures, ethnic groups and time periods.

Resources and materials:
National Gallery of Art Classroom, Lesson Resources on "Self-Portraits" http://www.nga.gov/education/classroom/self_portraits/
Other resources on Judith Leyster:
http://www.nmwa.org/Collection/profile.asp?LinkID=1047

http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/l/leyster/index.html
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/leyster_judith.html
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/L/leyster.html
http://wwar.com/masters/l/leyster-judith.html

Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, Lesson on Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait between the Borderline of the United States and Mexico.
http://mati.eas.asu.edu:8421/ChicanArte/html_pages/kahlo5.html
Other resources on Frida Kahlo:
http://www.fbuch.com/fridaby.htm
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/kahlo_frida.html
http://www.albrightknox.org/ArtStart/Kahlo.html
http://www.lasmujeres.com/fridakahlo/life.shtml
http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/kahlo/
http://www.pbs.org/weta/fridakahlo/life/index.html

Whitney Museum of American Art, Lesson on Jacob Lawrence with webquest http://www.whitney.org/jacoblawrence/art/self_portrait.html
Other resources on Jacob Lawrence:
http://www.whitney.org/jacoblawrence/
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/L/lawrence.html
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/lawrence_jacob.html
http://www.gale.com/free_resources/bhm/bio/lawrence_j.htm
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/aaworld/arts/lawrence.html
http://myhero.com/myhero/hero.asp?hero=jacob_lawrence

Some other artists who have made self-portraits that might be interesting to investigate:
Chuck Close, Audrey Flack, Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent Van Gogh, Albrecht Dürer.

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
The Many Colors of Individuals
http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org./content/2371/
Matisse Mixed Media Portrait
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/elem/Tara-Matisse.htm
Looking at Me-In the Future
(Type the title of the lesson into the "keyword search box" on the index page)
http://www.crayola.com/educators/lesson_plans/index.cfm

Art Materials:
colored pencils, crayons, chalk, oil pastels
11" x 17"white drawing paper
12" x 18" construction paper (variety of colors)

LESSON 2.

Lesson Sub-Theme: 2. Some artists tell us something about individuals in portraits or in abstracted images of human beings.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will analyze the visual characteristics of works of art comparing individualized portraits with more generalized abstracted images of human beings.
Students will consider how artists use subject matter and symbols to create meaning.
Students will compare images of human beings from different times and places.
Students will create a portrait using symbolic elements.

Key Questions:
How do artists use facial features, clothing, gestures or symbols to tell us something about the person represented?
How do artists abstract and generalize images of human beings?
How do artists use the setting to say something the person?
How could I compare artists' portraits made in different times and places?

Key Works of Art:
Nebraska Masterpieces: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version)
Jun Kaneko, Untitled Heads, 1995-2004.

Ife Oni

Hans Holbein, The Ambassadors

Lesson Narrative:

Have students look at the image on the right below (photocopy this and enlarge or redraw). What does it look like?
Now show the image on the left. What does it look like? What about this image makes you identify it as a face? Does it look like a real face?

From Johnson, M. H., Dziurawiec, S., Ellis, H. and Morton, J. (1991). Newborns Preferential Tracking of Face-Like Stimuli and Its Subsequent Decline. Cognition, 10 (1-2), 1-19.

Researchers have found that people learn to recognize faces very early. Some people think that babies, right after they are born, like to look at faces more than anything else. Others think this happens a little later, but by 3 months old, babies like to look at faces. So faces seem to be important to people from the time they are born.

What does an image need to include for us to see it as a human face?

Small group activity:
Teacher Preparation: Each of the images below is a link to a larger image. They will open in new windows. You may have to click on the image to enlarge it or scroll down to find the image pictured below. Print out the image - make enough copies for a set of images for each small group (4 or 5 students in a group).

     
     
     
     

Have the students in each group arrange the images in a row from the most general (least like a particular person) to the most individual (most like a particular person).

Student Presentation:When each group has an order compare what they decided. Did they all have the same order? Were there some variations? What made the image look most like a particular individual? Did they all look like human figures? Why or why not? There are both two-dimensional (flat) images and three-dimensional (sculptural) images included. Did that make a difference to their order? What kinds of features did the most individual portraits include that the most general did not?

Teacher Preparation:
Download images of the Ife Oni and Hans Holbein's Ambassadors - links available under Key Works of Art. For Holbein you will need to click on "image only" to get a bigger image. Read the information about Holbein's work so you know what the objects in the image are and who the people were.

Teacher Presentation: Introduce Jun Kaneko's Heads using the Nebraska Masterpieces poster. Use the Study this Work of Art section from the back of the poster paying particular attention to the questions:
What do you see in this work? Is there any real object represented? Is it represented realistically or is it more abstract? What about the work makes you say that?
Look at the scale (size) of these works. Measure out that size in your classroom. Does it make you think about these heads differently now that you know how big they are? Would you react to them differently if they were the size of a real person's head?
What kinds of emotions do you think are represented on these faces? (Are they happy, sad, calm, excited, mad?)

Group Discussion:
Look at the image of the Ife Oni .
Ife Oni - This is a drawing of a bronze sculpture of a king from Africa made around the 14th or 15th century. What do you notice about this man? (look at things like clothing, proportions, etc.)
This man was not very short. Instead the artist is exaggerating (making larger) particular parts of the body to tell us something. Which parts of the body do you think the artist emphasized?
The head is large because this culture associated the head with knowledge and wisdom. It was important for the king to be intelligent to lead his people.
The stomach is emphasized because this meant the man had enough to eat and therefore was prosperous and wealthy. The health and wealth of the king meant that the whole kingdom was healthy and wealthy.
So in this image the artist is more interested in telling us important things about the king and the kingdom, than in telling us exactly what the person looked like.

Look at the image of Hans Holbein's Ambassadors.
This is a reproduction of a painting made in 1533 (16th century) in England. Do you think this artist is interested in showing us exactly what these people looked like?
How does this artist tell us something about these men and the world they lived in?
Can you tell anything about the men by their clothing? Do you think they were wealthy or poor? One of them was a Bishop in the Catholic church. Can you tell which one by the clothing?
Can you identify any of the objects on the table behind them? Why do you think the artist included these objects.
This artist was very interested in showing us exactly what these men looked like. But Hans Holbein also wanted to tell us that they were intelligent and knew about the science, music, and religion of their time, so he added extra objects to their portrait as symbols of their learning.

Language Arts Task: Read a story about a person. Compare the kinds of information you get from reading about a person with the information you get from a visual work of art. Have students draw a portrait of a character from a story or a portrait of a famous person they know something about. (This could connect this lesson to literature or to social studies.)
Will they use objects or symbols to tell us something about the person? Will they try to show us how that person really looked physically, or will they create a more symbolic portrait based on who they were? How will the clothing relate to the time or place the person lived? (Research?) Will they use facial features or gesture to tell us something about the person's personality?
Use same medium as in Lesson 1 (self portrait).

Portfolio Task - Have the students compare and contrast their self-portrait with the portrait they have created.

Instructional Strategies:
Teacher presentation.
Small and Large group discussion.
Student Presentation
Individual Art Making Task
Language Arts Task
Portfolio Writing Task

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment - Teacher observation and check for understanding during discussions.
Summative Assessment - Have the students chosen to make either a realistic or abstracted portrait? How have they conveyed something about the person?
Extension: Have the students recognized how their approaches to the self-portrait and portrait were similar or different?

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Literature - make a portrait of a character from a story
Social studies - make a portrait of a famous person from history.

Resources and materials:
Johnson, M. H., Dziurawiec, S., Ellis, H. and Morton, J. (1991). Newborns Preferential Tracking of Face-Like Stimuli and Its Subsequent Decline. Cognition, 10 (1-2), 1-19.

London, National Gallery of Art, Permanent Collection, Information on Hans Holbein's The Ambassadors
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/cgi-bin/WebObjects.dll/CollectionPublisher.woa/wa/work?workNumber=NG1314
Other resources on Hans Holbein:
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/holbein/
http://www.artchive.com/artchive/H/holbein.html
http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/h/holbein/hans_y/biograph.htm

http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/holbein_the_younger_hans.html
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUDholbein.htm

Nigeria, A country study. Chapter 4. Government and Politics. Image of Ife Oni. http://www.country-data.com/cgi-bin/query/r-9429.html
Other resources on African Benin sculpture:
http://www.rebirth.co.za/bronze_sculpture.htm
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/bnch/hd_bnch.htm
http://www.nmafa.si.edu/exhibits/resonance/nigeria.html
http://www.cedarartworld.com/benin_bronzes_african_bronze_sculptures.htm

Some other artists to consider when discussing portraiture:
Pablo Picasso, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Jan Van Eyck, Moche portrait vessels, Roman portraiture, Mary Cassatt, Chuck Close and Audrey Flack or Rembrandt van Rijn or Franz Hals group portraits.
For more generalized images of humans:
Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, Marisol, Olmec heads, Easter Island heads.

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
Picture This:
http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org./content/2131/
Portrait of Place, Portrait of a Family
http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org./content/2259/
Sculpting Famous Characters in Literature
http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org./content/2210/
Powerful Portraiture
(Type the title of the lesson into the "keyword search box" on the index page)
http://www.crayola.com/educators/lesson_plans/index.cfm

Art Materials:
colored pencils, crayons, chalk, oil pastels
12" x 18" construction paper (variety of colors) or white drawing paper (depending upon medium)

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