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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Lesson Plan

Grades:

6-8

Lesson Plan:

Greek Functional Art

Students explore Greek functional art and create a design for a Greek-style krater.
  • Length: 1 class period

Concepts/Objectives:

  • Students will gain and demonstrate an understanding of the art elements of line and shape and the design principles of balance and movement.
  • Students will explore an aspect of Greek classical art and determine its purpose.

Resource Used:

Calyx Krater by Python
Found in: the Speed Art Museum gallery of the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM

Vocabulary

color, classical, form, Greek, harmony, pottery, rhythm, simplicity, shape, surface, texture, vessel

Specialized Vocabulary:
calyx: the cup-like form within the anatomy of a flower
krater: a vessel used for mixing wine with water

Materials

computer with Internet access and web browser or another device to show CD-ROM, 12" X 18" white poster board, scissors, pencils, glue, colored pencils, various paper scraps

Handouts:

Instructional Strategies and Activities

Part 1: Discussion

  1. Introduce the students to the classical period in Greece. Show the Calyx Krater by Python in the Speed Art Museum Gallery of the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum. Have students read the background information and discuss.
  2. Go to some of the web sites cited in this lesson plan to have students discover other forms of classical Greek vessels.
  3. Discuss the overall silhouette of the krater, defining the word calyx. Focus on the relationship between the curved wall and fluted edges of the krater and the curved calyx of a flower.
  4. Discuss the form of the krater as it relates to the decorations and the figures on the krater. Have students analyze the design, pattern, and movement on the Calyx Krater. They should note the use of the principles of repetition, pattern, and movement on the krater. Point out how the 2-D figures appear to move in space because of their placement on the rounded 3-D form of the vessel.

Part 2: Hands-On

  1. Review some of the various functions of Greek vessels. Some large vases were created as jars for storage; others were vessels for liquids or food. Have students cite specific examples of these functions from their web site viewing and information on the Calyx Krater.
  2. Introduce the idea of creating a 2D krater while working in pairs. Have students explain the differences between something that is 2D and something that is 3D and record those differences on the blackboard where all can see and refer to them. Explain that the students will each have one side of a krater to design and that they will also be graded on how well they work together.
  3. Have pairs of students create “kraters” reflecting Greek style and culture. Directions:
    1. Fold a 12" X 18" rectangular piece of lightweight poster board in half. Place the point of a pencil at the folded edge of the paper. Draw one half of the vase as accurately as you can, using the black and white symmetry detail on the Calyx Krater for reference. Take care to make sure that the drawn line ends at the crease.
    2. Keeping the poster board folded, cut along the drawn lines. Then unfold the paper to see the symmetrical cutout silhouette of the krater.
    3. Take turns decorating your individual sides of the 2D krater, keeping in mind that it is mimicking an actual rounded surface. While you will want to develop your own unique design, you will also want to work with your partner so that the two sides complement each other and some visual consistency is maintained.
    4. Create a written description of your krater as the basis for an auction catalog entry. Your goal is to convince the curator of a museum to buy your krater for his or her museum. The catalog entry should discuss how your krater exhibits ideal beauty as it was understood during the Greek classical period and tell how it differs from the Calyx Krater in the Speed Art Museum’s collection.

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Support • Connections • Resources

Examples of Greek kraters:

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Open Response Assessment

Prompt: You have created a Greek krater that exemplifies a classical Greek artifact.

Directions: Write a catalog entry for the krater you created that describes the vessel, compares it to classical Greek kraters, and describes how it reflects classical Greek culture. Use specific examples and details to explain and clarify your entry.

Open Response Scoring Guide
4 3 2 1 0
Student thoroughly and effectively writes a catalog entry that describes the krater, compares it to classical Greek kraters, and shows how it reflects classical Greek culture. Student uses insightful examples and/or details. Student writes a catalog entry that describes the krater, compares it to classical Greek kraters, and shows how it reflects classical Greek culture. Student uses supporting examples and/or details. Student writes a catalog entry that basically describes the krater, compares it to classical Greek kraters, and shows how it reflects classical Greek culture. Student uses some supporting examples and/or details. Student writes a catalog entry that minimally describes the krater and its attributes but omits one part of the requested information. Student uses few or no supporting examples and/or details. Blank, no answer, or irrelevant response.

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Performance Assessment

Performance Event: You have researched a classical Greek art form, the krater, and viewed several examples.

Directions: Working in pairs, create your own 2D Greek krater that exhibits attributes of Greek kraters and reflects classical Greek culture. (See directions in Instructional Strategies.)

Performance Scoring Guide
4 3 2 1 0
Student designs a 2D krater that reflects a thorough understanding of the elements of art and principles of design typical of classical Greek kraters. Student effectively creates a krater that shows a thorough understanding of ancient Greek art and culture. Student’s project demonstrates excellent effort and craftsmanship. Student effectively works with his/her partner. Student designs a 2D krater that reflects a good understanding of the elements of art and principles of design typical of classical Greek kraters. Student effectively creates a krater that shows a good understanding of ancient Greek art and culture. Student’s project demonstrates good effort and craftsmanship. Student effectively works with his/her partner. Student designs a 2D krater that reflects a basic understanding of the elements of art and principles of design typical of classical Greek kraters. Student effectively creates a krater that shows a basic understanding of ancient Greek art and culture. Student’s project demonstrates basic effort and craftsmanship. Student basically works well with his/her partner. Student designs a 2D krater that reflects little or no understanding of the elements of art and principles of design typical of classical Greek kraters. Student creates a krater that shows little or no understanding of ancient Greek art and culture. Student’s project demonstrates minimal effort and craftsmanship. Student works ineffectively with his/her partner. Student does not participate.

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Academic Content


Academic Expectations:

  • 2.23: Students analyze their own and others’ artistic products and performances using accepted standards.
  • 2.25: In the products they make and the performances they present, students show that they understand how time, place, and society influence the arts and humanities such as languages, literature, and history.

Program of Studies:

  • Produce visual products which illustrate elements of art and principles of design.
  • Apply elements of art and principles of design in producing two- and three-dimensional artwork involving a variety of subject matter.
  • Describe the characteristics of artworks representing various cultures, purposes, styles, and time periods.

Core Content for Assessment:

  • AH-(06) (07) 08-1.4.1: Students will (describe) (analyze) compare or evalute works of visual art using elements of art and principles of design.
  • AH-07-2.4.1: Students will analyze or explain how diverse cultures and time periods affect visual arts. Periods: Classical Greece.
  • AH-(06) (07) 08-3.4.1: Students will (identify or explain) compare or explain how art fulfills a variety of purposes.
  • AH-(06) (07) 08-4.4.1: Students will create art for specific purposes using the elements of art and principles of design.

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