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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts

Visual Arts Idea File

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Looking for quick lesson plan ideas or classroom activities? Try these mini-lessons tied to Arts Toolkit resources.

Primary

[K-3] Dreamcatcher
Students learn about the tradition of the dreamcatcher among the Ojibwe and Mohawk. Students create their own dreamcatchers using three-dimensional pieces.
Resource: For Young Artists: The Dreamcatcher video

[K-3] Paper and Chinese Art
Students explore Chinese culture through paper cutting and kite making. Students create models of kites and paper cuts using symmetry.
Resource: For Young Artists: Chinese Art video

[K-3] Place in Art
Students examine the influence of culture on one artist’s work and collect pictures and articles representative of their own cultures to create a collage.
Resource: For Young Artists: An Artist in the Family video

[1-5] Defining Art
Students consider what makes something art.

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Intermediate

[1-5] Defining Art
Students consider what makes something art.

[4-6] Landscape Assemblage
Students analyze La Dent de Jaman (The Artist’s House), a painting by Gustave Courbet, and consider how they can change the two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional sculpture. The class collaborates on a three-dimensional landscape based on Courbet’s painting.

[4-8] Art Reflects Life
Students explore how art reflects life by making a collage about what is important to them in their lives.
Resource: Painting: Dionisio Ceballos video

[5-12] Playing Card Sculptures
Students analyze an abstract sculpture and then create their own out of playing cards.

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Middle

[4-6] Landscape Assemblage
Students analyze La Dent de Jaman (The Artist’s House), a painting by Gustave Courbet, and consider how they can change the two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional sculpture. The class collaborates on a three-dimensional landscape based on Courbet’s painting.

[4-8] Art Reflects Life
Students explore how art reflects life by making a collage about what is important to them in their lives.
Resource: Painting: Dionisio Ceballos video

[5-12] Playing Card Sculptures
Students analyze an abstract sculpture and then create their own out of playing cards.

[6-8] Quilts: Traditions and Trends
Students examine and compare the work of two quilters. After viewing various creations, students consider the various styles of quilting and create their own quilt pattern using construction paper shapes.
Resource: Recycled Threads video

[6-8] Sand Casting
Students create a low-relief sculpture using the sand-casting technique.
Resource: Metal Sculpture: Ed Hamilton video

[6-8] Texture Trove
Students learn how an Impressionist painter used texture in her work, then imitate the painter’s technique, using different materials and tools, to create texture in their own artworks.

[6-8] Visualizing Vocabulary
Students create and display posters defining and illustrating essential arts vocabulary (from the Kentucky Core Content).

[6-8] Water: From the Shadows of the River
Students examine the influence of water in the Mississippian cultures and relate the scientific properties of water to the principles of design in visual arts.
Resource: Outdoor Installation video

[6-8] Weaving and Photography
Students examine the work of Dobree Adams in weaving and photography. Through application of the elements of art and principles of design, students create original work inspired by photography.
Resource: Weaving/Photography: Dobree Adams video

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High

[5-12] Playing Card Sculptures
Students analyze an abstract sculpture and then create their own out of playing cards.

[9-12] Art and Literature During the Harlem Renaissance
Students create a poster presenting Ellis Wilson’s work with literature of the Harlem Renaissance that communicates similar meaning.
Resource: Poor Manís Africa video

[9-12] Discovering Oneself
Students learn about self-portraits and then make self-portraits based on journal descriptions.
Resource: Realism: Self-Portrait video

[9-12] Drawing Drama
Students evaluate a narrative painting and then create artwork based on an aspect of a story.

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