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Lesson Plans

Each student that participated in the 2008 Teacher Institute were asked to create a curriculum unit based on an anchor work of their choice. Each teacher then implemented their lessons into their classroom the following fall. Listed below are the lesson plans that they produced. The hope is that these examples will show how the Arts Immersion method can be used to plan, implement and benefit your own students.


Lessons designed by A. Junnila
Anchor Work: The Astronomer - Painting by Jussippe Riberra 1638
Grades: 5
Subject/Topic Areas: English, Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, and Art
Theme: Astronomy
Time Frame: 6 classes (90 min. per class)
Students will observe the Painting, noting the action that is taking place or lack of action in this painting. This Anchor work will be a source for investigation during math, visual art, science, social studies, reading, language arts and character education lessons. The painting depicts Ptolemy, an astronomer, geographer and mathematician of 2 A.D. holding a compass on the edge of a globe while appearing to be searching the night sky. Download PDFs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


Lessons designed by T. Monteith
Anchor Work: Shang Dynasty Ritual Wine Container (Artist Unknown)
Grades: 7 & 8
Subject/Topic Areas: Ancient China 15th-13th Century B.C.
Theme: Art, history, and culture of ancient China
Time Frame: 5 classes (90 min. per class)
The five following lesson plans will include drawing, painting, three-dimensional assembly, modeling and forming tin into masks. Lessons will begin at the Worcester Art Museum. Students will view and discuss the history of vessels in the Greek, Pre-Columbian and Asian galleries. We will compare and contrast the art, culture and religion of the three ancient periods with a focus on vessels. Then they will have time to study three vessels in the galleries by drawing them. The image will then be painted with watercolor paints. The following four lessons, students will work in 2-D and 3-D mediums including paper, paint, paper mache, clay and found objects. Lessons will focus on ancient art and history with comparisons to vessels and containers used in family holidays of today. At the conclusion of the five lessons students will improve drawing and painting skills, and building in three-dimensions, and have a better understanding of ancient cultures and ritual containers. Download PDF


Lessons designed by S. Berkeley
Anchor Work: La Escuela de Rafael Cordero - Painting by Francisco Oller
Grades: Level 1 and 2 ESL students
Subject/Topic Areas: English as a second language
Theme: Art, history, and culture of Puerto Rico to learn language skills
Time Frame: 5 classes
The purpose of these lessons is to help students develop interpersonal communication, literacy, and critical thinking skills. They will also learn how to look at a work of art and actually see what is there and to learn about education in other countries. We will learn about education in Brazil, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, Poland and Vietnam. Download PDF


Lessons designed by J. Dupuis
Anchor Work: The Peaceable Kingdom, circa 1833, Edward Hicks (1780-1849)
Grades: various 5th grade through college
Subject/Topic Areas: Integrated science, English Language Arts, History, Art History, Recognizing Art Styles, Social/Cultural Sciences, The Elements and Principles of Visual Art
Theme: What Can One Learn from One Painting?
Time Frame: Est. 12 Classes (3 to 4 classes at 45 min. per class)
This unit is based on the concept that one person or group of people can learn a great deal from one work of art. The rationale behind the selection of Edward Hicks’ “The Peaceable Kingdom” is that it is visually rich and engaging to many age groups and peoples from all walks of life. The subject matter is immediately interesting to children because of the animals and children in the foreground. The narrative and historical quality of the work gives all viewers more to interpret and learn from. Students will learn about historical events, naïve painting, elements and principals of art, research and investigation techniques, and artists’ inspiration. Download PDF


Lessons designed by K. Kelley
Anchor Work: 100 Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol
Grades: 6
Subject/Topic Areas: English Language Arts, History, Art History, Recognizing Art Styles, Social/Cultural Sciences, The Elements and Principles of Visual Art
Theme: Elements and Principles of design, Observation, Abstraction, Invention, & Expression, Drafting, revising, and exhibiting, Critical response, Purposes of the arts
Time Frame: 5-6 Classes (50 min. per class)
This unit will introduce the art movement called Pop Art. We will look at the art movement as a whole as well as how it can be adapted to fit today’s society. We will look at works from different artists from Pop Art but mainly focus on Andy Warhol. We will use his 100 Campbell soup cans as our anchor piece for the unit. Students will use the work of Andy Warhol as inspiration for their own piece of art work as well as experience other areas of the art world. They will experience installation art, art criticism, intuitive response, and use critical thinking skills to look at the aesthetic beauty of art. Students will also have the opportunity to create their own piece of modern Pop Art. Download PDF


Lessons designed by D. Murphy
Anchor Work: Looking East From Denny Hill, Ralph Earl 1800
Grades: 4
Subject/Topic Areas: Art, Writing, History
Theme:Landscape
Time Frame: 5 Classes (55 min. per class)
The unit will consist of lessons revolving around the painting Looking East From Denny Hill, by Ralph Earl. This painting is in the collection of Worcester Art Museum and will have been viewed by all third graders during their field trip to the museum in May. The fourth graders will thus draw on prior knowledge from the museum. All third graders also created a simple landscape in art class and will draw on that understanding when viewing this landscape. The lessons will involve having the students observe and discuss art, learn techniques of color and landscape, create two landscapes and involve interdisciplinary lessons of history and writing and mathematics. It is essential in this day and age to involve students in interdisciplinary lessons and reinforce the subjects of history, writing and mathematics. The visual arts extend across the curriculum and can be used to help students gain higher knowledge and apply it to all subjects. Download PDF


This webpage is partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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