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

UNIT THEME: Artists revisit images, forms and ideas as they continue to create their work.

GOALS AND OUTCOMES: (Based on the National Standards)
Content Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions.
Achievement Standard:
Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses.
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 structure to accomplish commercial, personal, communal, or other purposes of art

Content Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.
Achievement Standard:
Students understand there are different responses to specific artworks.
5-8: Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art.
9-12 Strudents reflect analytically on various interpretations as a means for understanding and evaluating works of visual art

Content Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines.
Achievement Standard:
Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines.
5-8: Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context.
9-12 Students compare the materials, technologies, media, and processes of the visual arts with those of other arts disciplines as they are used in creation and types of analysis

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 reinterpret a form or idea to create something new? (What decisions am I making)
How is the new creation related to the original? How are they similar and different? (What are the elements and content of the work)
Why might an artist repeat a subject, idea or form many times? (What connections can I make to my art and why)

Nebraska Masterpieces: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version)
Keith Jacobshagen, Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley)

Jun Kaneko, Untitled (Heads)

1. Some artists revisit the same images and forms in their art.
2. Some artists create narratives when they revisit the same ideas in their art.

This unit emphasis:
Verbal intelligence
Visual intelligence
Kinesthetic intelligence

John I. Goodlad (Editor), Roger Soder (Editor), Kenneth A. Sirotnik (Editor), The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, Jossey-Bass; New Ed edition (November 16, 1993).
Students have equal access to learning and opportunities to participate, at their level of ability, in the dramatic interpretations and the animated flipbooks. Small group activities encourage students to participate in the democratic process with group decision making and collaboration. Understanding how artists keep tradition and culture alive as they continue to create recurring ideas, images, and forms is a form of stewardship.

Lesson Sub-Theme
: Some artists revisit the same images and forms in their art.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will understand how an artist can repeat the same form or image to create a new form or image.
Students will explore the tools artists use to achieve both unity and variety in their art.
Students will learn how repeating similar forms can create movement.

Key Questions:
What can an artist do to the same form to make it look different?
What artistic elements does an artist repeat in their artworks?
How are works of art similar or different?
What new ideas can an artist explore if he/she repeats a form that they made before?
How can forms create movement?

Key Works of Art:
Jun Kaneko, Untitled (Heads)
Multiple images for Comparison & Contrast.
Image of the artist standing between two heads: http://www.ceramicstoday.com/potw/kaneko.htm

Navajo Weavings:



Alexander Calder: Mobiles and sculptures with moving parts:
Black, White and Ten Red, 1967, mobile
Little Spider, 1940
Tower with Pinwheel, 1951
Finny Fish, 1948, small moving pieces within the larger outline of the fish
Vertical Constellation with Bomb, 1943

Eadweard Muybridge, Galloping Horse, 1878, early photographic animation

Lesson Narrative:
Teacher preparation: Visit the websites listed under Key Works of Art. Copy the images that you will use for this lesson. Make a second copy of the Muybridge photo, cut up the frames, and put them in order, making a flip book to model.

Teacher Presentation and Group discussion: Introduce Jun (pronounced June) Kaneko using the Nebraska Masterpieces poster (Click on Reproduction for a printable version). Use the Study this Work of Art section from the back of the poster to discuss his works.
What do you see in this work? Is there any real object represented? Is it represented realistically or is it more abstract?
How big do you think these are? Measure out the size (scale) in your classroom. Show students the image (listed above) of Kaneko standing between two heads.
Does it make you think differently about them now that you know how big they are?
What do you think these artworks are made of?
How are these four heads the same? How are they different? What artistic tools did the artist use to make them both alike and different? "Unity": Shape/Form and "Variety": Color and Line.
Why do you think Jun Kaneko made more than one head?

Small Group Discussion:
Have the students look at the images from the Comparison & Contrast
website above.
What shapes are alike?
How does Kaneko make the same shapes or forms different?
Where do you find the same colors?
Where do you find the same kind of lines?
Do any of these forms have the same lines, colors, or shapes as the heads on the poster?

Teacher Presentation and Whole Group Discussion:
Read The Goat in The Rug to the class. (See Resources) It is a story told by a goat named Geraldine who helps a Navajo woman weave a rug. It is a true story of a weaver and her goat who lived in the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
Review that Jun Kaneko repeated the same forms but made them different by how he used the artistic elements of color and line.
Show the students the images of the various Navajo weavings.
How are they the same? How are they different?
Do you see lines in these works? What forms or shapes do you see? What colors are used?

Individual Practice Task:
On practice paper, have each student draw one or two forms or images in horizontal layout. These will be simple line drawings with pencil - similar to the simple forms of Kaneko or Navajo design.

Teacher Presentation and Whole Group Discussion:
Show the students the mobile Black, White and Ten Red, 1967, by Alexander Calder. Introduce them to the concept of art that moves. Calder was the first artist to use the tools of science (physics, engineering) to create artworks that move in the natural wind and were balanced so the parts all moved around each other. A mobile is an artwork that moves. Some hang from the ceiling, so you have to look up to see them.
How will this mobile look different when the wind blows and the parts move?
How will it look when the light shines on it? Can you imagine the shadows that it will create?
Calder draws on forms from the natural world. Do these forms remind you of something in nature?
Calder also repeats forms and images in his work, like Kaneko and the Navajo.
Do you see any similarities between this mobile and the ceramics and weavings?

Small Group Discussion:
Give each group copies of Calder's Little Spider, Finny Fish, Tower with Pinwheel and
Vertical Constellation with Bomb. Have them explore how each of the sculptures move and how the shapes change with the movement.
Does Calder repeat any elements in these works?

Large Group:
Show the students Eadweard Muybridge, Galloping Horse, 1878. Explain that Muybridge was a photographer who wanted to see if a running horse ever had all four hooves off the ground at the same time. So he took a series of photographs of running horses. He kept constantly snapping the image so he captured every movement of the horse. His photographs were the first steps into developing movement in visual forms. This moving photography became animation and the movies we know today.
What is animation? Cartoons are made from this same process.
Look at how Muybridge's photos repeat the same form with only a little variation.
What is the difference from one frame to the next? Is it a big difference?
Show the students the flipbook you created from the Muybridge photos.
Now that the students have seen how a series of similar forms can create movement, they are going to create their own flipbooks.

Individual Art Production:
Students will take their practice paper with the images and decide if they want to use one of those images or create a new one for their flipbook. Forms or images can be realistic or abstract. The 3 x 5 cards will be used horizontally.
1. Choose a simple form.
2. Plan how your form will move and change.
3. Repeat the form ten times with some change each time.
4. Place your image in the same place on the paper each time.
5. Each repeated form will only change slightly from the one before it.
6. Draw the form or image with a fine line marker - concentrate on the shape and the outline or contour line. (Optional: coloring within the shape)
7. Put the ten images in order.
8. Staple down the left side of the flipbook.
8. Hold the book in your left hand and use your right hand to slowly flip through the cards. Watch how the images change and move.
9. Repeat - going a little faster.

Are the images changing and moving as you flip? If not, why not? What might you have done to make it better?

Extension for older students: Michael James, Momentum, Nebraska Masterpieces poster (Click on Reproduction for a printable version). Michael James' abstract imagery is also informed by patterns he has encountered in indigenous art forms like African textiles, Native American pottery, and arts from the South Pacific.


Instructional Strategies:
Teacher presentation.
Small and whole group discussion.
Individual art making task.

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment: Teacher observation and check for whether students are making connections to concepts during discussions.
Summative Assessment: Did students contribute to small group discussions? Have the students shown they recognize the elements of form, line and color in small group discussions? Did students show an understanding of how to repeat a form and change it slightly in their flipbooks? Did they follow the directions for the flipbook?

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Science: explore movement
Math: patterns, shapes, repetition
Literature: Navajo legend

Resources and materials:
The Goat in the Rug
, As told to Charles L. Blood & Martin Link By Geraldine, Aladdin Paperbacks, ISBN: 0-689-71418-1

Other works by Alexander Calder: go to "Sculptures"

Untitled, 1976, in the East Wing of National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Navajo weaving:
Site includes several options: http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&q=navajo+weavings&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2377/ Arts-integrated lesson on creation of dance patterns based on patterns of Navajo rug weavings.
http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmai/navweav.htm List of books about Navajo weaving.
http://www.kstrom.net/isk/maps/rugmap.html Navajo rug styles.
http://www.collectorsguide.com/fa/fa064.shtml Brief social history of Navajo weaving

Other images by Muybridge:

Other artists to consider:
Mark Rothko, Gene Davis, Andy Warhol, Native American pottery.

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
Alexander Calder, Master of Balance
Using Patterns

Art Materials:
Practice paper
3 x 5 cards, 10 per student
Fine line magic markers

Lesson Sub-Theme
: Some artists create narratives when they revisit the same ideas in their art.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will explore how artists create a series of narratives when they revisit the same ideas and places in their work.
Students will understand how artworks can create narratives.
Students will learn how places can suggest stories.
Students will use an artwork to create a narrative in dramatic form.

Key Questions:
Why do artists revisit the same ideas and places in their artworks?
How can a series of repeated ideas or places create narratives?
Is the narrative or story being told appropriate to the visual space?
What are the elements of a good narrative?
Can the same space inspire more than one dramatic interpretation?
How can I use drama to rework the space of an artwork?

Key Works of Art:
Nebraska Masterpieces: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version)
Keith Jacobshagen, Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley)


Thomas Hart Benton, The Hailstorm, 1940, Joslyn Art Museum collection

Carmen Lomas Garza: All of the images below are part of the first website listed. There are even more images available. Teachers can chose from ones below, as well as select others.
Main site: http://www.carmenlomasgarza.com/artwork.html
Click on the name of the thumbnail to go to the larger image.


The Fair in Reynosa, 1987


Grandparents Harvesting Cactus, 1980


Cleaning Cactus, 1989


Cakewalk, 1987


Hammerhead Shark on Padre Island, 1987


The Crying Woman


Watermelon, 1986


Tamalada, 1988


Lala and Tudi's Birthday, 1989


Turnovers, 1991

Lesson Narrative:
Teacher Preparation: Visit the websites listed under Key Works of Art and print the images that you will be using.

Teacher Presentation and Whole Group Discussion: Introduce the lesson idea to the students: When some artists revisit the same ideas in their art they create narratives. Review that you have already looked at artists that repeated forms and images in their works. Now you will be looking at how artists return to the same ideas or the same places in their art and how stories can grow from their visual representations.
Introduce Keith Jacobshagen using the Nebraska Masterpieces poster (Click on Reproduction for a printable version.). Use the Know the Artist and Study this Work of Art sections to discuss this image and Jacobshagen's close ties and love for this area of the Midwest.
Show two or three of the other landscapes that you printed from the websites listed above and compare them to Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley).
Do these paintings all look like they could be in the Midwest? Why?
What does Jacobshagen do to visually change each of these?

In the 1920s-1940s, the artists who concentrated on painting scenes of the Midwest with its sweeping landscapes and simple life were known as the Regionalists. These included Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Steuart Curry. With stories they peopled the same places that Jacobshagen paints today.

Show students Thomas Hart Benton's The Hailstorm.
What is the setting of this scene?
Who are the characters?
What is happening in this painting?
Think of a good descriptive word that fits what you see. (Word choice/ Six-trait writing).
Expand your word choice to describe sensory qualities. What might you hear in this scene? What might you touch or feel? What might you smell?
What kind of mood has the artist created in this time and place?
Repeat what is happening in this painting. What do you think might have happened before this moment? (Organization: sequence / Six-trait writing)
What do you think will happen next?
What happens before, now, and after are the three parts of a good story - the beginning, the middle, and the end. (Use an example of a recently read classroom story, or read a story here and have the students apply the concept of beginning, middle, end.)
Both literature and paintings can be narratives and tell us stories about people, places and events.

Introduce students to Carmen Lomas Garza, a Mexican American artist and author. Her works portray her fond memories of growing up in a traditional Mexican American community. She paints her family, friends and community as they engage in everyday life, as well as special celebrations. All of her works revisit the ideas and places of her community.
Show the students The Fair at Reynosa.
What is happening here?
Who are the characters?
What is the setting?
How do you think the people are feeling? (Word choice / Six-trait writing)

What are the people saying? Have students silently select one of the people (or objects) in the artwork and consider what they might be saying if we could hear them. (Voice: point of view / Six-trait writing)
Stress that what people in the painting say has to be supported by what we see. (What do you see in the painting that makes you say that?)
Share some of their verbal comments. Two options: students can either point out their selected person and give their "saying" or give the "saying" first and have the class guess which person would be doing the talking.

Small Group Activity: Divide the class into small groups and give each group a different image of Carmen Lomas Garza's works. Have each student select a person or object from the scene and become their point of view. Develop a dialogue between the characters in the painting. Each student should speak two times with at least one sentence. Make sure the conversation relates or connects to the scene.

Small Group Presentation: Small groups will share their image and dialogues with the class.

Teacher Presentation and Whole Group Discussion: Review the tools that both writers and artists use to create stories or narratives. Review how artists use the same people, the same places, the same themes or ideas which tell us stories about those places and people.

Set up Keith Jacobshagen's painting Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley).
Do you think that people and events could have made stories happen in this place?
How could we make a story come alive in this place?
Students will use drama to create their own story of what might have happened here. They will set up the situation that would be relevant to this place and create a story to fit. (Optional: provide each group with an image of the painting.)

Teacher Preparation: Teachers will need to determine what kind of dramatic activity is best suited to their students according to age, abilities and previous experience with drama. Teachers may choose to assign all groups to use the same dramatic form or let them each make their own choice. Students should be encouraged to use their imaginations, while still maintaining the "place" of the painting. Encourage them to consider time travel or folk tales or other extensions of the present.
Creative drama http://www.creativedrama.com/index.html focuses more on the "Let's pretend" approach, utilizing story enactment, imagination journeys, a day in the life, etc.


Narrative Pantomime: One or two people narrate the story while the rest of the group presents the actions as a pantomime (a performing art that uses neither works nor props.

Direct Dramatization: Presenting an event just as it happened, as if the action were recorded on video as it occurred.

Broadcast: Think news reporting; anchors that give the broad strokes of the story, cutting away to on-the-scene reporters and / or commentators.

Interview: One person asks event participants or eyewitnesses questions to discover what took place.

Reader's Theater: An interpretive oral reading activity where presenters use their voices, facial expressions and hand gestures to interpret characters in scripts or stories.

Melodrama: Dramatization of a temporarily serious action that always upholds conventional morality and poetic justice, with simple, clear-cut conflicts were good triumphs over evil, characters are rendered in absolute terms (admirable heroes and despicable villains), and exaggerated actions / acting.

Small Group Drama Task:
Directions: Students will use drama to create their own story of what might have happened in this place of
Keith Jacobshagen's painting Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley). They are all going to use the very same setting for their stories and we are going to see how many different stories could happen in the same place. Students will set up a situation that would be relevant to this place, in the past, present or future, and create a story to fit. They will act out their narrative for the class.
1. Create a story of what might happen in this scene (events).
2. Story must contain a beginning, middle and end.
3. Story must have characters (setting is in the painting).
4. Performance for class, using all group members in some capacity.

Student Presentation: Each group will present their dramatic interpretation of Jacobshagen's painting. They will answer questions and offer any supporting explanations as needed.
Are you surprised at how many different stories could come from one place / painting?

Instructional Strategies:
Teacher Presentation
Whole Group Discussion
Small Group Activity
Small Group Drama Task: writing and acting
Small Group Dramatic Presentation

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment: Teacher observation and check for understanding during discussions.
Summative Assessment: Did students show they understood point of view in their activity? Did students follow directions and include a beginning, middle, end, events and characters in their dramatic interpretation? Did students' drama relate to the place of the painting?

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Language arts: Six traits writing, narrative writing
Drama: dramatic interpretation
Social Studies: geography and culture: Midwest, Southwest /Mexican American

Resources and materials:
Other narrative artists and art forms:
Native American: Drawing book or Ledger art shows narratives of accomplishments of Plains Indians. http://plainsledgerart.org/

Hide paintings: http://www.windriverhistory.org/exhibits/ShoshoneArt/hides/index.html

Jacob Lawrence:
Lesson ideas/images: http://whitney.org/jacoblawrence/art/index.html
Create a Visual Narrative: http://whitney.org/jacoblawrence/tell/index.html

Migration series: http://images.google.co.uk/images?q=jacob+lawrence-migration&btnG=Search&svnum=10&hl=en&gbv=2
Harriet Tubman series: http://images.google.co.uk/images?svnum=10&hl=en&gbv=2&q=jacob+lawrence-Harriet+Tubman&btnG=Search

William H Johnson:
http://americanart.si.edu/education/johnson/story.html includes lesson ideas

Greek pottery: http://joslyn.org/Collection/Search-Detail.aspx?ID=9f0c2fb4-8e4c-425b-82c3-87a393130229

The Arts Go To School, Classroom-based activities that focus on music, painting, drama, movement, media, and more. Edited by David Booth & Masayuki Hachiya, 2004.

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
A World of Myths
Creating a Wall Story
Around-the-World Storytellers
(Type the title of the lesson into the "keyword search box" on the index page)