STARRY, STARRY NIGHT

Grade 2: Starry, Starry Night

Unit Description

In this unit, students will use the visual arts to analyze star patterns and explain the similarities and differences of stars. They will paint their own version of the Impressionist Artist Vincent van Gogh’s masterwork, The Starry Night, to assess understanding.

Unit Essential Question

How are stars similar to or different from each other in terms of their brightness, sizes, and patterns?

Real World Context

We study stars to better understand our solar system and our Earth’s place within it.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Parts of a Whole

Projects

Project 1: Starry, Starry Night
In this project, students will analyze the Impressionist Artist Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, and then create their own paintings of star patterns in the style of Van Gogh. To assess understanding, students will explain the similarities and differences of the stars they paint.

Standards

Curriculum Standards

S2E1 Students will understand that stars have different sizes, brightness, and patterns.

  1. Describe the physical attributes of stars--size, brightness, and patterns.

Arts Standards

VA2CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks.

  1. Observes and discusses simple perspective techniques.

VA2PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

Character Education

Components

  • Pride and belief in oneself
  • To meet a challenge without giving into fear

Concepts

  • Self-Expression

Formative Assessment Strategies

  • 10x2, think-pair-share
  • The teacher will facilitate discussions with students one-on-one over the content and arts vocabulary while they are painting.

Summative Assessment Tools

  • The students will be instructed within the lesson to paint only five stars in their artwork: 2 small stars (1 bright, 1 dim), 2 medium stars (1 bright, 1 dim), and 1 large star (bright or dim with explanation). When their work is complete, the students will be expected to orally explain similarities and differences between the stars in their painting and be able to defend their explanations using arts vocabulary.

Partnering with Fine Arts Teachers

Visual Arts Teacher:

  • Additional support in Project 1: Painting the Night Sky
  • Assist with planning how to integrate Impressionist techniques into the artistic process

Credits

U.S. Department of Education
Arts in Education--Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program
Cherokee County (GA) School District and ArtsNow, Inc.
Ideas contributed and edited by: Tammy Owen, Theresa Neidlinger, Jessica Tatum, Jessica Espinoza, Richard Benjamin Ph.D., Michele McClelland, Mary Ellen Johnson, Jane Gill

Painting the Night Sky

Science and Visual Arts

Description

In this project, students will analyze the Impressionist Artist Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night, and then create their own paintings of star patterns in the style of Van Gogh. To assess understanding, students will explain the similarities and differences of the stars they paint.

PROJECT DOWNLOADS

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Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Describe the brightness and sizes of stars.
  • Paint a picture to demonstrate the similarities and differences in the brightness and sizes of stars.

Essential Questions

  • How does Van Gogh’s The Starry Night help me describe the brightness and sizes of stars?
  • How is Van Gogh’s interpretation of the night sky similar to or different from the actual night sky?

Curriculum Standards

S2E1 Students will understand that stars have different sizes, brightness, and patterns.

  1. Describe the physical attributes of stars--size, brightness, and patterns.

Arts Standards

VA2CU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks.

  1. Observes and discusses simple perspective techniques.

VA2PR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art processes (drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed-media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

Content Vocabulary

  • Size (small, medium, large)
  • Brightness (bright, dim, dark)
  • Physical Attributes
  • Similar
  • Different

Arts Vocabulary

  • Impressionism
  • Bright/Brighter/Brightness
  • Dim/Dimmer/Dimmest
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Perspective
  • Technique
  • Positive Space
  • Negative Space
  • Value
  • Patterns

Technology Integration

Formative Assessment

  • The teacher will facilitate discussions with students one-on-one over the content and arts vocabulary while they are painting.

Summative Assessment

  • The students will be instructed within the lesson to paint only five stars in their artwork- 2 small stars (1 bright, 1 dim), 2 medium stars (1 bright, 1 dim), and 1 large star (bright or dim with explanation). When their work is complete, the students will be expected to orally explain similarities and differences between the stars in their painting and be able to defend their explanations using arts vocabulary. Example:

    • Student: This star is small and bright.
    • Teacher: How do you know that star is brighter than the other small star?
    • Student: This star is brighter because it is mostly white.

Materials

Van Gogh’s The Starry Night; oil pastels; washable tempera paint; black card stock or other black multimedia paper; technology materials; pencils; one tub per group to hold the oil pastels in use

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Activating Prior Knowledge

  • To begin the lesson, project a picture of the real night sky.
  • Teacher will sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” a few times, allowing the students to join in.
  • Then facilitate discussion about the phrases of the song that say, “How I wonder what you,” and, “like a diamond in the sky.” These phrases are important in observing the stars as scientists because we don’t really know which shiny objects in the sky are stars and which ones are planets.
  • The point of this unit is to help us better understand the world outside of our own. Then we can expand on this to look at the sky from different perspectives (artists, observers of artwork, dancers, and writers) throughout the rest of the unit.
  • Following the discussion of the phrase “like a diamond in the sky,” introduce the objectives for the lesson.

Building Background Knowledge

  • The teacher explains that we are now going to view the stars from an artist’s perspective.
  • Teacher gives a short bio of Vincent van Gogh and projects several of his famous pieces of artwork.
  • Pick one of them, other than The Starry Night, for the following activity.
  • Students participate in the “Ten Times Two” activity: Students are given 60 seconds to list ten things they observe in the piece. Then students are given an additional 60 seconds to analyze the painting further and list 10 more observations. (Use of artwork other than The Starry Night is to get students comfortable with the activity. Use at your discretion.)
  • Teacher displays The Starry Night and leads students in the “Ten Times Two” activity for this piece.
  • Have students share their observations of the artwork and list them on an anchor chart.

Main Activity

Part 1:

  • The teacher displays The Starry Night on the Promethean board and leads discussion about which stars in the painting are bright, dim, small, or large. After identifying star attributes in the painting, the teacher utilizes http://thecraftyclassroom.com/crafts/famous-artist-crafts-for-kids/van-gogh-art-project/. With pencil outlines instead of the glue used in the examples, model how Van Gogh used oil pastels to create each star attribute--size and brightness.
  • Teacher models on the document camera or by highlighting over Van Gogh’s painting with the Promethean highlighter how to create stars of various sizes and brightness.
  • Expectations: 2 small stars (1 bright, 1 dim), 2 medium stars (1 bright, 1 dim), and 1 large star (bright or dim with accurate explanation). See visual arts teacher for assistance on value and techniques.

Part 2:

Reflective Strategies

  • Students partner up and observe each other’s pieces. They identify attributes of stars (dimness, brightness, darkness, small, medium and large) in their partner’s piece.
  • Ask students to describe the attributes they identified in their partner’s piece.

Differentiation

Below Grade Level Students:

  • For written reflections, students can use a writing frame to write about their artwork identifying 1-2 of the star attributes and how it was created.

For example, students can use : My artwork includes _______ stars that are bright and _________stars that are dim. My piece also includes ____________stars that are large, ________ stars that are medium, and __________ stars that are small.

Above Grade Level:

  • The students write about their artwork identifying 3-4 of the star attributes and how it was created.

Credits

Grade 2: Starry, Starry Night

Additional Resources

Coming Soon!

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