green glass
K-12EducatorsScienceThe Arts

The Art and Science of Glass – Lesson Plan

Students explore properties of glass and observe the creative process of creating art glass.

  • Length: 4 lessons
  • Grades: 4-8

Concepts/Objectives:

  • Students examine the process of creating glass-blown art.
  • Students identify the properties of glass.
  • Students examine glass art relative to the elements of art and principles of design.

Resource Used:
Glass: Stephen Rolfe Powell
Found On: Spectrum of Art Part 4: 3D Media/Processes

Vocabulary, Materials, and Handouts

Vocabulary:

Art terms: elements of art, principles of design, purposes of art

Science terms: lime, melting point, molten state, properties of matter, silicon, soda (potash), solubility

Materials:
TV/VCR or DVD player, computer with access to the Internet, projection system

For art activity: two-liter soda bottles or other clear plastic bottles, permanent markers of various colors, construction paper, scissors, rulers, stencils

Handouts:

  • Elements of Art and Principles of Design
  • Discovering Science in Glass Art (for Students)
  • Facts About Glass (for Teachers)
  • Video Notes
  • Video Notes Teacher’s Guide
  • Multiple-Choice Questions
  • Multiple-Choice Answer Key

↑ Top

Instructional Strategies and Activities

Day 1

  1. Show the class two works by Stephen Rolfe Powell in the Berea Artisan Center gallery. Powell’s web site, stephenrolfepowell.com, also has pieces for review.
  2. Write down elements of art and principles of design on slips of paper and place them in a hat or bag. Ask students to draw out one slip and relate that element or principle to the work. Discuss their reactions to the art. For example, if a student pulls “color” out of the hat, a reflection might be, “Stephen Rolfe Powell’s work uses a variety of colors that are reflected through the glass.” Some students may need to refer to the glossary in order to express how the art term relates to the artwork.
  3. Distribute the Video Notes handout for students to complete while viewing, then show the video of Stephen Rolfe Powell and his team creating a similar object.
  4. Review the correct answers to the video notes.
  5. Using permanent markers, create bead-like designs on transparent plastic containers. As students work, discuss the differences between color over glass and plastic. How are the reflection and shine different in the glass work than in the plastic designs? Show students how they can use construction paper to create a stencil producing uniform shapes. (See Support for information about an art activity from the “Making Art” section of the Visual Arts Toolkit binder.)

Glass Art in the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum
Have students explore the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum to find other examples of glass art. Compare these pieces to the pieces created by Stephen Rolfe Powell. When were the pieces made and by whom? Were they created in the same way Powell creates his pieces? Do they serve the same purposes or different purposes?

Day 2
Using books and/or online sources, have students complete the information on the worksheet.

Day 3
Do the performance assessment reflecting on Powell’s work.

Day 4

  1. Distribute the Open Response for student completion.
  2. Share and discuss students’ perspectives.

↑ Top

Applications Across the Curriculum

Science

  • Using the How Stuff Works: Glass web page, consider how the molecular structure of glass contributes to its transparency.

Social Studies

  • Explore the history of glass making as an art and for commercial purposes.

↑ Top

Open Response Assessment

Prompt:

The purposes of art are as follows:

  • Ceremonial—ritual, celebration, artworks created to support worship ceremonies (e.g. ceremonial masks)
  • Artistic Expression—artwork to express or communicate emotions, ideas, feelings (e.g., for self-expression or to decorate or beautify objects)
  • Narrative—artworks that tell stories, describe and illustrate experiences, or communicate ideas or information; art to document important or historical events (e.g., Native American totem poles, wall paintings)
  • Functional—artistic objects used in everyday life (e.g., pottery, quilts, baskets, etc.)

Stephen Rolfe Powell says his work is about beauty. Consider how this statement relates to the purposes of art.

Directions:

Consider the work of Stephen Rolfe Powell.

  1. Identify elements of art and principles of design that help create the appeal and beauty of the work.
  2. Discuss how beauty influences your own appreciation of art.
  3. Discuss why beauty is not essential in defining what is art and what is not.

Open Response Scoring Guide

4 3 2 1 0
Student’s writing effectively exhibits extensive understanding of elements of art and principles of design. Writing demonstrates extensive critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student completes all aspects of the task in an incisive and thorough manner. Student’s writing effectively exhibits broad understanding of elements of art and principles of design. Writing demonstrates broad critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student successfully completes all aspects of the task. Student’s writing exhibits basic understanding of elements of art and principles of design. Writing demonstrates basic use of critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student partially completes the task and/or is unsuccessful in attempts to address some parts of the task. Student’s writing exhibits minimal understanding of elements of art and principles of design. Writing demonstrates little or no use of critical thinking skills and creativity in completing the assignment. Student minimally completes the task, showing minimal interest or enthusiasm. Student shows little or no evidence of having attempted to complete the task.

↑ Top

Performance Assessment

Performance Event:
Students will choose a piece from Stephen Rolfe Powell’s web site or from the works by Powell included on the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM. Using the elements of art and principles of design, they will describe the work to the class.

Directions:

Select a work by Stephen Rolfe Powell. Identify the elements of art and principles of design in the work. Write an outline that includes the following:

  • a statement of introduction that includes the title
  • a list of at least four elements of art and principles of design in discussion which are important to the work
  • a statement of something you appreciate about the work
  • a statement in conclusion

Use the outline as a guide for talking about and describing the work to the class.

Performance Scoring Guide

4 3 2 1 0
Student’s description effectively exhibits extensive understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Student demonstrates extensive critical thinking skills and creativity in the presentation. Student prepares an outline with all four of the required elements as listed in the directions. Student speaks in a clear, concise manner which is understandable in the classroom. Student completes all aspects of the task in an incisive and thorough manner. Student’s description effectively exhibits broad understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Student demonstrates broad critical thinking skills and creativity in the presentation. Student prepares an outline with at least three of the required elements as listed in the directions. Student speaks in a clear manner which is understandable in the classroom. Student successfully completes all aspects of the task. Student’s description exhibits basic understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Student demonstrates basic critical thinking skills and creativity in the presentation. Student prepares an outline with at least two of the required elements as listed in the directions. Student speaks in a manner which is understandable in the classroom. Student partially completes the task or is unsuccessful in attempts to address some parts of the task. Student’s description exhibits minimal understanding of the elements of art and principles of design. Student demonstrates little or no use of critical thinking skills and creativity in the presentation. Student prepares an outline with at least one of the required elements as listed in the directions. Student minimally completes the task, showing minimal interest or enthusiasm. Student shows little or no evidence of having attempted to complete the task.

↑ Top

Support - Connections - Resources - Author

Author:
Mary Henson

↑ Top