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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual Arts Lesson Plan

Grades:

9-12

Lesson Plan:

Abstract Papier-Mâché Sculpture

Students create an abstract sculpture in the style of Henry Moore after examining one of his works.
  • Length: Up to 10 one-hour class sessions

Concepts/Objectives:

  • Students will understand the influential role of Henry Moore in the history of 20th-century sculpture.
  • Students will create an abstract sculpture in the style of Henry Moore.
  • Students will present their sculptures to one another and demonstrate their understanding of the use of the elements of art and principles of design and how these were inspired by Henry Moore.

Resource Used:

Reclining Figure: Angles by Henry Moore
Found in: the Speed Art Museum gallery of the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM

Vocabulary

abstract, armature, contrast, elements of art, form, line, movement, principles of design, proportion, space, shape, texture
Materials

18" X 24" newsprint paper for sketching, newspaper strips approximately 1" wide, white glue and water or wheat paste, wire, pans to hold paste, small cardboard containers of various shapes, 3/4" to 1" masking tape, acrylic paint, a white king-sized flat bed sheet, charcoal, kneaded erasers, drawing boards large enough to accommodate 18" X 24" paper, magazine picture, means for displaying images of Moore’s work

Instructional Strategies and Activities
  1. Introduce students to the work of Henry Moore using the image in the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum. Consider the following questions:
    • What is abstract art?
    • What was Henry Moore’s unique contribution to modern sculpture?
    • How did Henry Moore utilize the elements of art and principles of design in his sculptures?
    • What elements of art and principles of design are required to produce an effective sculpture in the style of Henry Moore?

  2. Go online with your students to visit additional artworks by Henry Moore at these sites: As part of this introduction, discuss Moore’s use of the elements of art (line, texture, space, shape, form) and principles of design (proportion, movement) in his artworks.

  3. Have a student model for the other students by totally covering himself/herself in a white bed sheet. Have the model stretch the cloth to create tension lines within the fabric and to accent the forms of the body. Have the other students sketch the model’s abstracted forms with charcoal and eraser. Ask the students to sketch their figures approximately 18" high on the paper and to situate several drawings on a page. Have the students draw several views of the same pose to help them better understand the idea of a three-dimensional drawing as the basis for a three-dimensional sculpture. Have the students complete five pages of sketches before moving on to the next phase of the project.

  4. Ask students to use their sketches as the basis for developing their ideas for an abstracted figure sculpture. Have them return to the Moore images as help in solving problems and getting them back on track with a “Moore-like” abstracted approach to the figure. After selecting a particular sketch, have them envision and sketch the figure from several other positions to help them prepare for the sculpture. Each student will create an 18" tall papier-mâché figure sculpture in the style of Henry Moore.

  5. Demonstrate three different processes for creating an armature (the internal “skeleton” for the form of the sculpture). Students can create one with rolled-up newspaper “sticks,” make a wire armature using clothes hangers, or use cardboard support.

  6. Show how to pad the armature with wads of newspaper and masking tape, then apply the papier-mâché over the armature and padding. Have students choose one of the three approaches to armatures to create their sculptures.

  7. After the sculptures are dry, have students use acrylic paints or other surface treatments to complete them.

  8. Class presentations: Ask students to present their individual projects to the class. They should include appropriate vocabulary demonstrating their knowledge of the style of Henry Moore, his use of the elements of art and principles of design, and how their work reflects this knowledge.

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Support • Connections • Resources

  • Note: Reclining Figure: Angles is one of the works featured in the Toolkit video Electronic Field Trip to the Speed Art Museum
  • Reclining Nude and Recumbent Figure can be found at the Tate.
  • Family Group is at the Museum of Modern Art.

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Performance Assessment

Performance Event: Students will examine the work of sculptor Henry Moore and then utilize the elements of art and the principles of design in the creation of a small sculpture in the style of Henry Moore.

Directions:

  1. Introduce students to the work of Henry Moore.
  2. Have students do gesture drawings of a veiled figure to obtain ideas for their own sculptures.
  3. Demonstrate the use of an armature (framework structure) and the papier-mâché process.
  4. Students create their papier-mâché forms and paint.
  5. Students present their finished pieces to the rest of the class.
  6. Evaluate the completed sculptures and class presentations.

Performance Scoring Guide
4 3 2 1 0
The student completes and presents a sculpture. Student’s sculpture reflects a strong understanding of the elements of art and principles of design that result in an effective sculpture. Project demonstrates best effort and effective craftsmanship. Presentation to the class is informative, clear, and enthusiastic. The student completes and presents a sculpture. Student’s sculpture reflects a good understanding of the elements of art and principles of design that result in a fairly effective sculpture. Project demonstrates good effort and effective craftsmanship. Presentation to the class is generally informative, clear, and enthusiastic. The student completes and presents a sculpture. Student’s sculpture reflects a basic understanding of the elements of art and principles of design that results in a sculpture. Project demonstrates basic effort and craftsmanship. Presentation to the class is basically informative. The student completes and presents a sculpture. Student’s sculpture reflects minimal understanding of the elements of art and principles of design that results in a minimally acceptable sculpture. Project demonstrates minimal effort and craftsmanship. Presentation to the class is a minimal introduction to the student’s finished sculpture. The student doesn’t complete a sculpture.

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Academic Content


Academic Expectations:

  • 1.13: Students make sense of ideas and communicate ideas with the visual arts.
  • 2.22: Students create works of art and make presentations to convey a point of view.
  • 2.23: Students analyze their own and others’ artistic products and performances using accepted standards.

Program of Studies:

  • Describe how visual artists use elements of art, principles of design, processes (e.g., drawing, painting, textiles), media (e.g., paint, fibers, wood, clay), and techniques to create artworks.
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate a variety of artworks.

Core Content for Assessment:

  • AH-HS-1.4.1: Students will analyze or evaluate the use of the elements of art and principles of design.
  • AH-HS-2.4.1: Students will analyze or evaluate how factors such as time, place, and ideas are reflected in visual art. (Historical Style Period: Modern/Contemporary)
  • AH-HS-4.4.1: Students will incorporate the elements of art and principles of design to generate several solutions to a variety of visual art problems.

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