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

UNIT THEME: Artists are productive workers in the world.

GOALS AND OUTCOMES: (Based on the National Standards)
Content Standard 1
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Achievement Standard
K-4
Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
5-8 Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas
9-12 Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques and processes they use

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 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 particualr 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.
What are the various forms and functions of visual art that can be meaningful for my students' own career preparation? (What are the ways we can approach art?)
What kinds of ideas about real world issues do artists explore? (Do my lessons using arts integration confront real world issues?)
In what ways do artists work alone? In what ways do artists collaborate? (Does this lesson help students value the balance between the individual and the community?)
How and why do artists become agents of change in society? (Am I providing multiple approaches to the arts for my students?)

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

Keith Jacobshagen, Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley

Michael James, Momentum

Jun Kaneko, Untitled, (ceramic heads)

Karen Kunc, Mars

LESSON IDEAS (SUB-THEMES)
1. Artists learn and work hard to develop their skills.
2. Artists work together as well as alone to contribute to society in many positive ways.

LEARNING STYLES/DIFFERENTIATION:
This unit emphasizes:
Visual/Spatial Intelligence
Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence
Intrapersonal Intelligence
Interpersonal Intelligence

MORAL DIMENSIONS OF TEACHING:
John I. Goodlad (Editor), Roger Soder (Editor, Kenneth A. Sirotnok (Editor), The Moral Dimensions of Teaching, Josssey-Bass; New Ed edition (November 16, 1993).

This unit teaches students that the arts are a powerful means of contributing to the greater society and that artists, alone or together, must learn and practice their skills as in any other profession. Learning processes in this unit encourage students to develop their artistic skills in a nurturing environment.

LESSON 1:

Lesson Sub-Theme: Artists learn and work hard to develop their skills.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will understand that that all people can become artists if they are willing to study, learn, and practice their artistic skills.
Students will understand that that becoming an artist also requires a willingness to study, learn, and practice other life skills such as determination, persistence, and patience.
Students will become aware of the wide variety of possible art-related careers in the world.
Students will practice various working processes that artists use when creating artwork.

Key Questions:
What is an artist?
Can just a few naturally talented people become artists?
How can you become an artist?
What careers can you choose when you become an artist?
Where do you see artists at work in your own community?
Can you find some important art in your town or community that is NOT just a realistic drawing or painting hung on a museum wall?

Key Works of Art:
Nebraska Masterpieces: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version.)
Kent Bellows, Over the Mermaid Lounge

Keith Jacobshagen, Naming the Days (Rain in May, Platte Valley

Michael James, Momentum

Jun Kaneko, Untitled, (Heads)

Karen Kunc, Mars

Other Artists:

William H. Johnson, Art Class, 1939

Larry Ferguson, Iceberg, Antarctica

Lesson Narrative:
Teacher Preparation: Download and copy or project the image by Johnson.

Teacher Presentation and Group Discussion: William H. Johnson was a famous American painter who liked to make paintings of daily life and who celebrated the hard work of people engaged in many careers in society. Students should study his image titled Art Class from 1939. Have students briefly discuss: Does it appear that these students are enjoying what they are doing? Are they working hard? Do you think making art is hard work? Why or why not?
Next, ask each student to discuss with a partner the following question: What is an artist? After briefly summarizing discussion from the group, offer the following definition to students. If distributed as a handout, students can paste this definition into the upcoming sketchbooks they will create. Students can decide if other qualities need to be added to this list.
An artist is someone

Teacher Preparation: Choose and download/copy a set of two images for each small group. (Use as pairs: Kunc and Jacobshagen, Kaneko and James, or Ferguson and Bellows.) Prepare a worksheet for each student to record answers given for the set of questions to follow. Use the "Study this Work of Art" section from the back of the posters to familiarize the students with the art works in the Nebraska Masterpieces series. (Links to pdf's of Study this Work of Art: Kunc, Jacobshagen, Kaneko, James, Bellows)

Small Group Discussion: In particular, students, in groups of three or four, should discuss: What media were used to create each of these two artworks? What skills do these two artists need in order to have made their work of art? What training might they have needed to make their art? Did they create the work all on their own? If they needed help, what might it have been? Allow students sufficient time to briefly record their answers on the worksheet.

Large Group Discussion: How can I become an artist? Have students brainstorm a list of what they think is needed to become a professional artist. Record this list in writing.

Teacher Presentation: Introduce students to ideas from artists in the Nebraska Masterpieces collection who have offered some advice for students who want to become artists. Stress to students that some of the skills on this list will apply to ANY career training that they might seek.

Teacher Preparation: Develop a list of art careers, including traditional careers such as painter, sculptor, ceramic craftsperson, etc. as well as other art-related careers such as architect, fashion designer, computer graphics artist, photographer, archeologist, etc. Create a large poster, overhead transparency, or digital slide listing the possibilities.

Large Group Discussion: What careers can you choose when you become an artist?
Students should reflect on a week in their family lives and brainstorm a list of possible art-related careers. Examples they might generate include: (getting dressed in the morning) clothing designer, (eating breakfast) package designer, (driving to school) automotive designer, (reading a book) illustrator, etc.
After this list is generated, ask students to discuss where they see artists at work in their own community (ideas might include making floral designs, designing sculptures for the park, making paintings for their homes, designing gardens and buildings, etc).

Small Group Activity: Students, in groups of three or four, will collect a wide variety of magazine advertisements-selecting images from magazines that show art/an art career as a component of the product being designed or sold. Students will compare their examples against the master list of art careers that the teacher has prepared.

Individual Task: Each student will rank the various art careers they have explored during discussions and choose three art-related careers that might interest him or her in the future. After doing some basic online research about those three careers, students can make small group presentations on what they discover about one of the careers: They will describe: What training will the career require? How long will the training take? Can a person make a living with this career?

Teacher Presentation: The teacher will show students a few samples of new sketchbooks. (Many types are available at local bookstores.) The teacher will ask, "Why do you think a sketchbook might be a helpful tool for artists and designers?" and then "What does a professional artist's sketchbook look like?" Students will review examples on the following website to explore this idea. If the school's art teacher is willing to share samples of his or her sketchbooks, that would be an excellent resource as well.
http://www.cranbrookart.edu/museum/artistsatwork.html

To create a small portable sketchbook, the teacher will demonstrate how to fold a 12"x18" sheet of newsprint or thin white drawing paper as follows:

 

1.Fold paper in half in both vertically and horizontally.

 
 
2.Fold top and bottom ends to the horizontal centerfold
 

 

3.Cut a line into center of paper with scissors as far as the folds shown.

 
4a.Open slit until it is horizontal in your hands.

4b. Slit is horizontal.

4c. Press all creases to flatten.

 

4d. Book will have four double-sided pages.

Note: Students can make several book sections and glue, tie, or staple them together as needed to create a thicker book.

 

The accordion-fold technique is another suitable book form to use. Cut 18"x24" drawing paper into three 6"x24" strips. Starting at the short edge of one strip, make a fold that is 6" in length. Repeat the 6" fold two more times to create a 6"x6" booklet with four pages. These smaller sections can be glued together to create a larger accordion-fold booklet.

Individual Task: Create and practice using sketchbooks as an important artist's tool.
Students will use their sketchbooks during a week of school-as time permits-recording images and or brief written descriptions about objects or ideas that engage their attention. At the end of the week, each student will create a finished drawing with colored pencil or markers that develop one original idea found in his or her sketchbook(s). The display of their completed drawings or paintings will include displaying of selected sketches as well as the final art works.

Lesson Extension: Ask students to reflect in their sketchbook/journals: Can just a few naturally talented people become artists? Or can everyone be an artist in his or her own special way. Also, ask them to think about the fact that even though lots of art fills our world, only a small part of it is "realistic." Can they find some important art in their own home, town, or community that is NOT just a realistic drawing or painting?

Instructional Strategies:
Teacher presentation
Large group discussion
Small group activity
Individual art making tasks
Individual writing tasks
Student presentation

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment - Teacher will check for understanding as the previously described performance tasks are completed.

Summative Assessment -Were students able to successfully use the sketchbook activity to further their understanding of the artistic process? Were students able to select careers that could apply to their own lives?

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Career Exploration: School as preparation for work, creative thinking skills, technology, and traditional as well as contemporary forms of visual art and craft

Resources and Materials:
William H. Johnson
http://www.whjohnsongrant.org/whjohnson.html

http://americanart.si.edu/education/guides/whj/index.cfm

Where and how do artists get their ideas?
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/Files/ideas.htm

What careers can I choose if I am an artist?
http://www.khake.com/page42.html

http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/careers.htm

US Department of Labor-Occupational Outlook Handbook-Artists and Related Workers
http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos092.htm
This site also offers several LINKS to information on art careers; for example: http://www.craftscouncil.org/

Training Teachers to Teach the Arts
http://www.arts-impact.org/artsinfused/video.cfm

Advocacy for use of sketchbooks in elementary school
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/Files/sketchbooks.htm
Sketchbooks/Visual Journals
http://jeffcoweb.jeffco.k12.co.us/isu/art/sketchbook.html

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
Arts Careers http://www.artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/2060/
The Ad Agency http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/middle5.html
Careers: "Student Teaching" (for elementary students)
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/elem/elem25.html

The Crayola website for teachers offers several hundred sample lessons for teachers including many about artists, their work, and careers in art. Viewers may be asked to sign in to access the lesson information, but registration is free.
Computer Careers Cube
On the Other Side of the Desk
(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:
magazines from various publishers showing advertising of family/consumer products
12"x18" newsprint or lightweight drawing paper (2 or more sheets per student) or
18"x24" white drawing paper (cut into three 6"x24" strips) (one full sheet per student)
glue sticks
pencils and erasers
9x12" white drawing paper
colored pencils
several colors of water-based markers

LESSON 2.

Lesson Sub-Theme: Artists work together as well as alone to contribute to society in many positive ways.

Goals and Outcomes:
Students will understand that artists sometimes create art in collaboration with other artists as well as creating art alone.
Students will experience the process of working collaboratively with others as they create their own artwork.
Students will become aware of the variety of art-related careers in which local community members are actively engaged.
Students will explore how artists, through their contributions to culture, have a positive impact on societies.

Key Questions:
Is art important to a culture? Why or why not?
What are the functions of art in a society?
What roles do artists play in a community?
How can art and artists make a difference in a community?

Key Works of Art:
Artists who work together with others in the Nebraska Masterpiece series include: (Click on Reproduction for a printable version)
Jun Kaneko, Untitled Heads, 2002-4
Michael James, Momentum, 2003
Other artists who have worked collaboratively:
Diego Rivera, who designed large wall murals, created a mural titled Detroit Industry at the Detroit Institute of Art, 1932
http://www.dia.org/collections/AmericanArt/33.10.html

http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/photobook/dia1.htm
http://www.diego-rivera.org/americanwork.html
and also
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's environmental installations, including Surrounded Islands,1980-83 in Biscayne Bay, FL
http://christojeanneclaude.net/

http://prelectur.Stanford.edu/lecturers/christo
http://www.nga.gov/cgi-bin/psearch?Request=S&imageset=1&Person=247130

Lesson Narrative:
Teacher Preparation: Download and display copies of the six images from the Nebraska Masterpieces Series, as well as the Detroit Industry mural images by Rivera and one image or more of Surrounded Islands by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Teacher Presentation: Introduce the artworks in the Nebraska Masterpieces series. Use the Study the Work of Art sections from the back of the posters (Links to pdf's of Study this Work of Art: Kunc, Jacobshagen, Kaneko, James, Bellows) to discuss these images so that students are familiar with them and realize their actual size and art medium. Ask Students: "Do you think that any of these artists needed other people to help them create their art, or did they work alone to finish it?" Students might suggest that the large clay and bronze head sculptures by Kaneko, and the digital quilt by James may have required some assistance by other collaborators in creating the finished work.

Ask students to learn about three other artists whose art requires the help of many people. One of these artists is a muralist, and the other two artists are a team who design huge works of environmental art around the world. Diego Rivera created large-scale murals around the world. He often expressed ideas about justice and freedom in the images that he created. In his murals for the Detroit Institute of Art, he celebrated the automobile industry and its workers. When preparing to create the surrounded islands in Florida, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the artists, paid for and arranged to have 40 tons of garbage removed from around the eleven islands prior to the installation of the pink fabric around them. All helpers in this project were paid workers. The artists make drawings and take photographs to document their art work, and these images are sold to galleries, museums, and collectors to help fund their next large environmental art projects.

Small Group Discussion: After viewing their work, small groups will discuss the following questions: Do you think that making art in large or small sizes has any impact on how viewers might think about the art? What art media seem to require that artists might need assistance? Is the art less valuable or meaningful if the artists have help in creating it? Which of these five artists do you find the most interesting? Why?

Group Art Making Task: Students will create a mural for the school illustrating important art-related careers in their community. Students will begin the art lesson by brainstorming a list of possible art-related jobs or professions in which members of their family are involved. In small groups, students will choose a number of art-related careers to display as part of their mural. If they have experienced the activities in Lesson 1 of this unit, they will have ample preparation for this task. Students must collaborate to decide: How will they show people working? What imagery will they put into the background? Make certain that students draw large images in order to fill the kraft paper. Check to see that all students have a clearly assigned role and space in creating the mural. It is likely that the mural will be created in sections if space does permit a single longer span. Students should assist each other in properly displaying the mural(s) in the classroom or other area of the school.

Large Group Discussion: What contributions are people in the mural making to our local community?

Teacher Presentation: After reviewing the mural, ask students to reflect on how artists contribute to our more global society in many ways: teaching; mentoring; passing down important crafts traditions; making commentary about society such as in creating the Aids Quilt; designing architecture, cars, clothing; developing graphic arts images that create popular culture; making art with a message; beautifying the environment through public art, creating memorials; and establishing or preserving cultural or civic identity. One special way that artists enrich our lives is by helping us to remember what is important in our world.

Individual Writing Task: Students will write a brief description of their personal work process as a muralist. What would they do differently next time they created a mural? What did they enjoy about creating their mural?

Lesson Extensions: Other possible content for study in this lesson includes art of the ancient Egyptians, other ancient architecture, Peter Paul Rubens, Judy Chicago's installation titled The Dinner Party, the international Aids quilt, earth art, minimalist art, medieval cathedrals, Jun Kaneko's costume designs for the opera Madame Butterfly, performance art, Day of the Dead ofrendas, and other forms of public art.

Instructional Strategies:
Teacher presentation
Small group discussion
Group art making activity
Large group discussion
Individual writing task

Interdisciplinary Linkages:
Social Studies-Studying how art serves an important role in various cultures around the world
Science-Study the physical properties of public art that survive the challenges of duration and exposure to natural elements
Language Arts-Studying art as narrative, art as memorial, art as a keeper of records, art as a vision of the future, art as imagined reality in relation to literature and storytelling

Assessment Strategies:
Formative Assessment - Teacher will observe and check for understanding as the previously described performance tasks are completed.

Summative Assessment - Were students able to recognize contributions to a national or global society in which artists have been actively engaged? Could they recognize artists' contributions in their local community? Were students able to plan and work collaboratively during the art making process of the mural?

Resources and Materials:
Arts-infused Curriculum
http://www.arts-impact.org/lessonplans/

http://www.ybca.org/community/youth/yaaw/

Ideas about Artists and their Contributions to Cultural Change
http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/artists/

http://www.ybca.org/bigideas

The following websites contain other appropriate units of instruction that can expand, extend, or support big ideas presented in this lesson:
American Pride Drawing
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/ricardo-drawing.htm
Masterpieces Collaborative Mural
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Mark-mural.htm

The Crayola website for teachers offers several hundred sample lessons for teachers including many about artists, their work, and contributions to society. Viewers may be asked to sign in to access the lesson information, but registration is free.
Working Together
Inventor's Workshop
Recycle Inventions
(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:
masking tape
roll of 3' or 4' brown or white kraft paper
several colors of water-based markers
variety of sizes of brushes for tempera paint
red, yellow, blue, white tempera paint in small cup containers

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