Landscapes and Reading 4-5

Landscapes and Reading

LANDSCAPES AND READING

Learning Description

In this lesson, students will create a landscape drawing that includes the various physical features that students identify from a written passage. Students’ landscape drawings will include a background, middleground, and foreground and will demonstrate their understanding of an informational text.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 4-5
CONTENT FOCUS: VISUAL ARTS & ELA
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can create a landscape that has a background, middle ground, and foreground.
  • I can visually show supporting details from an informational text in my artwork.
  • I can write about my artwork using specific details from my art.

Essential Questions

  • How can I create a landscape that has a background, middle ground, and foreground?
  • How can I visually show supporting details from an informational text in my artwork?
  • How can I write about my artwork using specific details from my art?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

ELAGSE4RI1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. 

ELAGSE4RI2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

ELAGSE4W2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

ELAGSE4SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.

ELAGSE4SL2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Grade 5:

ELAGSE5RI1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. 

ELAGSE5RI2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

ELAGSE5W2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

ELAGSE5SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions

ELAGSE5SL2: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Arts Standards

Grade 4:

VA4.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning.

VA4.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA4.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two dimensional art. 

VA4.CN.2 Integrate information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of works of art.

VA4.CN.3 Develop life skills through the study and production of art (e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication).

Grade 5:

VA5.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning.

VA5.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA5.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two dimensional art.

VA5.CN.2 Integrate information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of works of art.

VA5.CN.3 Develop life skills through the study and production of art (e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication).

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

4.RI.MC.5.1 Ask and answer inferential questions to analyze meaning beyond the text; refer to details and examples within a text to support inferences and conclusions. 

4.RI.MC.6.1 Summarize multi-paragraph texts using key details to support the central idea. 

4.W.MCC.2.1 Write informative/explanatory texts that: a. introduce a topic clearly; b. use information from multiple print and multimedia sources; b. group related information in paragraphs and sections; d. provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented. 

4.C.MC.1.2 Participate in discussions; ask and respond to questions to acquire information concerning a topic, text, or issue.

4.C.MC.3.1 Compare and contrast how ideas and topics are depicted in a variety of media and formats.

Grade 5:

5.RI.MC.5.1 Quote accurately from a text to analyze meaning in and beyond the text. 

5.W.MCC.2.1 Write informative/explanatory texts that: a. introduce a topic clearly; b. use relevant information from multiple print and multimedia sources; c. provide a general observation and focus; d. use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform or explain the topic.

5.C.MC.1.2 Participate in discussions; ask and respond to probing questions to acquire and confirm information concerning a topic, text, or issue.

5.C.MC.3.1 Compare and contrast how ideas and topics are depicted in a variety of media and formats.

Arts Standards

Grade 1:

Anchor Standard 1: I can use the elements and principles of art to create artwork.

Anchor Standard 2: I can use different materials, techniques, and processes to make art.

Anchor Standard 3: I can improve and complete artistic work using elements and principles.

Anchor Standard 4: I can organize work for presentation and documentation to reflect specific content, ideas, skills, and or media.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Informational text - A text written with the purpose of communicating factual information.

Supporting detail - Information from a text that supports the main idea.

Summary - A condensed version of a larger text that conveys the main idea of the text.

Arts Vocabulary

Landscape - A depiction of a natural scene in art that has a background, middle ground, and foreground.

Background - The part of a landscape that is farthest away.

Middle ground - The part of a landscape that is in the middle of the background and foreground.

Foreground - The part of the landscape that is closest to the viewer.

 

Materials

  • White paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

  • Have students pair up with a partner. One partner will turn away from the board; the other partner will face the board. Project a landscape painting such as Frederick Edwin Church’s, Heart of the Andes. The partner facing the board should describe the image using as much detail as possible. The partner turned away from the board should draw what his/her partner describes. 
  • All students should look at the image. Have students compare their drawings to the image on the board–How accurate were they? 
  • Explain that in writing, the author must use descriptive language and detail to help the reader understand what they are trying to communicate.

 

Work Session

  • Tell students that they will be creating landscape drawings. Explain that a landscape shows an image of nature that has a background, middle ground, and foreground. 
  • Pass out an informational text to students that describes a geographic location, such as the Appalachian Mountains. Tell students that they should make note of details as they listen and follow along with the text as it is read aloud. Students should annotate the passage as the passage is read aloud. 
    • Ask students to listen for the physical features that are described–mountains, rivers, trees. What animals do they see? What colors stand out to them?
    • Have students compare their annotations with other students in a small group.
    • Go over the details that students identified in the passage as a class. Create a class list of details on the board or on an anchor chart where all students can see the list.
  • Project the parts of a landscape diagram. Tell students that they will be drawing a landscape of the passage that they just read together using pencil and adding detail and color with colored pencils. Remind students that they should have a background, middle ground, and foreground.
  • Students should write a summary of their artwork that includes specific details from the text that are shown in their landscape artwork.
  •  

 

Closing Reflection

  • Conduct a gallery walk so that students can view each other’s interpretations of the landscape described. 
  • Then, show students a photograph of the actual location. Facilitate a discussion around the similarities and differences between their landscape drawings and the actual location.

 

Assessments

Formative

  • Student identification/annotation of details in informational passage
  • Discussion comparing and contrasting photocation of the location with students’ landscapes

 

Summative

  • Student landscape drawing–drawings should show specific details from the text
  • Student written summaries of their landscape drawings

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: Assign students different locations in an area such as a state or a country (science connection–assign different ecosystems, or social studies connection–assign different locations within a state or region being studied). Students should create a landscape from a different ecosystem or location. If students create a landscape based on a location or region, create a large outline of a map and have students place their landscape where it would geographically belong (i.e. coastal versus mountainous).

Remediation

  • Provide students with the reading passage already annotated. Students will still follow along with the reading. 
  • Partner students with stronger readers to read through text for details.
  • Chunk passage into smaller portions, such as paragraphs. Assign students one paragraph to read and annotate.
  • Have students work in small groups to create their landscapes.

Additional Resources

Parts of a landscape diagram

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Katy Betts

Revised and copyright: September 2023 @ ArtsNOW

Maya’s Popping Words

Maya's Popping Words

MAYA'S POPPING WORDS

Learning Description

Using Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Love the Look of Words,” students will create gestural and full-body enactments of the poem and explore new and high-powered words.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 4-5
CONTENT FOCUS: THEATRE & ELA
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can think about words metaphorically and identify new and unfamiliar words.

Essential Questions

  • How and why do we expand our vocabulary with new words?

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

ELAGSE4RL4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).

Grade 5:

ELAGSE5RL4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used ina text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.

Arts Standards

Grade 4:

TA4.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.

Grade 5:

TA5.PR.1 Act by communicating and sustaining roles in formal and informal environments.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

ELA.4.AOR.8.1 Determine an author’s use of words and phrases in grade-level literary, informational, and multimedia texts: a. distinguish between literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases (e.g., take steps); b. explain the meaning of commonly occurring similes, metaphors, and idioms.

Grade 5:

ELA.5.AOR.8.1 Determine an author’s use of figurative and technical language in literary, informational, and multimedia texts: a. recognize and explain the meaning of figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 3:  I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Metaphor - An implied comparison of unlike objects.

Simile - A comparison of unlike objects that uses ‘like’ or ‘as.’

Literal - Having a meaning that is exactly what the word or words say; the original meaning.

Figurative - Having a meaning that is not exactly what the word or words say, but that applies their original meaning in a different way.

Poem - A piece of writing in which the words are chosen for their beauty and sound and are carefully arranged, often in short lines that rhyme.

Arts Vocabulary

Voice - An actor’s tool, which we shape and change to portray the way a character speaks or sounds.

Body – An actor’s tool, which we shape and change to portray the way a character looks, walks, or moves.

Gesture - A specific physical movement, especially of the hands or arms, intended to convey meaning.

Act - To pretend to be or do something imaginary; bringing an idea or character to life.

Facial Expressions - Conveying thoughts and feelings through the face and eyes.

 

Materials

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Warm Up
Have students stand up and alternate between intervals of random sound and movement and intervals of stillness and silence:  5, 10, 15, 20 seconds (i.e., 5 seconds of random sound and movement, then 5 seconds of absolute stillness and silence, etc.).  Have students sit down to reflect on the feelings evoked by each.  “How does it feel to speak and move?  How does it feel to be silent for an extended period?  When in your life do you have to maintain silence?  Why?”  (Reflection can be with a partner, in a small group, or in the full group.)

 

Work Session

Connect the stillness and silence of the Warm-Up to the story of Maya Angelou, told selectively from information gleaned from the Poetry Foundation page (according to teacher comfort).  Suggested script:

“Maya Angelou was a famous poet.  She was an African-American woman born in 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri.  She would grow up to become the Poet Laureate, or the official poet, of the United States, and to earn many awards and honors.  She is also the first African-American woman to be pictured on a quarter.  But when she was 8 years old she stopped talking.  She had been mistreated by someone in her family, and she spoke up.  But she felt that speaking up had caused more trouble, including violence, and so she stopped speaking.  She remained mute for five years.  During that time, she read a lot, and developed a passion for reading and a love of words.  Many people tried to get her to speak, but none were successful until a teacher named Mrs. Flowers, when Maya was 12 ½, convinced her of the importance of the spoken word, and Maya began to speak again.  Maya Angelou died in 2014 at the age of 86.”

(Note:  Teacher should become familiar with the story of Angelou’s childhood.  There are some details that are not appropriate for sharing in the classroom; teacher should be prepared to answer any questions that may arise.)

  • Introduce, or review, the difference between literal and figurative language, and the definitions of metaphor and simile.
  • Introduce the poem, “I Love the Look of Words,” by Maya Angelou.  Read it at least twice:  teacher reads it through once, then the class reads it through all together.
  • Discuss the dominant metaphor in the poem.  What two unlike things is Angelou comparing to each other?  How does this metaphor convey her feelings about her subject?  How do you respond to this metaphor?  What other similes and metaphors are found in the poem?  
  • First enactment:  Enact the poem with gestures.  
    • Drama instruction:  Define and discuss gestures as physical movements used to convey meaning.  
  • Define and discuss facial expression as the way we convey thoughts and feelings with our faces.  
  • Define and discuss enactment as the process of bringing something to life through acting.
  • First model with the opening three lines, using gesture and facial expression to represent the “popcorn,” “popping from the floor,” the “hot black skillet,” and “into my mouth.”  Then brainstorm gestures, facial expressions, and actions for the remainder of the poem.  Have students stand and enact the gestures as the teacher does a full reading of the poem.
  • Second enactment: Enact the poem with full body movement.  
    • Brainstorm ways to use the body to become both the leaping popcorn and the leaping words.  
    • Explore with the students ways to express phrases like “sliding into my brain,” “the words stay stuck,” “the weight of ideas,” and “the tracks of new thinking.”  
    • Have students stand and enact the full-body interpretation of the poem as the teacher does a full reading.
  • Third enactment: Enact the poem with “popping words.”  
    • Brainstorm new and interesting words with the students:  these can be vocabulary words, words they have encountered through their own reading, interests or conversations, or unfamiliar words they have heard that they are curious about.  
  • Final read-through:  Either the teacher reads, or the teacher assigns groups to read sections.  As the poem is being read, those not reading become words popping up randomly (e.g., “Armistice!”  “Melancholy!”  “Obtuse!” “Thermodynamic!” etc.), leaping up and speaking the words with energy and clarity.  

Drama instruction:  thinking about Angelou’s love of words, have students explore speaking their words with different feelings, altered voices, dialects, pitches, varying volume and pace, etc.

  • Reflect on the different processes.  “How did we bring the poem to life?  Which actions – gestures, facial expressions, full-body movements, popping words - did you feel best represented Maya Angelou’s purpose in writing the poem? How do you relate to this poem now?”
  • Distribute the Popcorn Box template.  Have students cut out the pieces and build the popcorn box.  Have students use dictionaries or other reference materials (in hand or online) to find interesting, unfamiliar words – words that were not used in the enactment - to write on the popcorn pieces; then have them crumble the pieces and put them in the popcorn box.  Use the boxes in pairs, small groups, or full class to explore new words.

 

Closing Reflection

Ask students, “How did we use our voices and bodies to bring the poem to life?”  “How did we creatively interpret the similes and metaphors in the poem?”  “How did we convey the theme of the poem?”  “How do you think Maya Angelou might have felt observing our lesson today?”

 

Assessments

Formative

  • Note students’ responses in discussion of silence and movement.
  • Note students’ understanding of metaphors and similes through their citing of examples from the poem.
  • Observe students’ use of body, voice, and facial expression in the enacted readings of the poem.

 

Summative

Assessment instrument – questionnaire:

Questions

  1. What is a metaphor?
  2. What is a simile?
  3. What is the central metaphor of “I Love the Look of Words”?
  4. Describe one way in which you enacted a phrase or section of the poem.
  5. List three of the words you wrote on your popcorn.
  6. Tell one interesting fact you learned about Maya Angelou.

 

Answers

  1. An implied comparison of two unlike objects.
  2. A comparison of unlike objects using ‘like’ or ‘as’.
  3. Words = popcorn
  4. Possibly, “I used my hands to be the popping popcorn,” “I leapt in the air and shouted new words,” “I chomped with my teeth,” “I pretended to smell the butter on my fingers,” “I ran like I was on a track of new thinking,” etc.
  5. (student choice)
  6. Possibly:  She was the chief poet of the U.S., she stopped speaking as a child, a teacher got her to speak again, she won many awards, her picture is on a quarter, etc.

 

Differentiation

Acceleration

  • Assign groups to independently develop gestural or full-body enactments of sections of the poem, to present to the class.
  • Instruct students to follow up with a writing exercise, creating a short piece that includes all of the new words they wrote on their pieces of popcorn.  Have them read their written pieces with expression.

Remediation

  • Plan out the gestural and full-body enactments ahead of time, to be less dependent on brainstorming and student input.
  • Do leaping and popping more simply, in a seated position, or with a specific gesture of the arms alone, rather than with full body.
  • Brainstorm as a class a list of unfamiliar, interesting words, and write them on a board, for the students to use in the third enactment of popping words.

Additional Resources

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Barry Stewart Mann

Revised and copyright: February 2023 @ ArtsNOW

Mobiles & Story Elements

Mobiles & Story Elements

MOBILES AND STORY ELEMENTS

Learning Description

In this lesson, students will create a mobile sculpture inspired by the artist, Alexander Calder, to show the elements of a story.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 2-3
CONTENT FOCUS: VISUAL ARTSE & ELA
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can create a mobile sculpture inspired by the artist, Alexander Calder, that illustrates the elements of a story.

Essential Questions

  • How can I demonstrate my understanding of the elements of a story through a mobile sculpture?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:

ELAGSE2RL1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

ELAGSE2RL5 Describe the overall structure of a story including describing how the beginning introduces the story, the middle provides major events and challenges, and the ending concludes the action.

ELAGSE2RL7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

ELAGSE2SL1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

ELAGSE2SL2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from written texts read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

Grade 3:

ELAGSE3RL1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. 

ELAGSE3RL7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).

ELAGSE3SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

ELAGSE3SL2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Arts Standards

Grade 2:

VA2.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning. 

VA2.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA2.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art.

VA2.RE.1 Discuss personal works of art and the artwork of others to enhance visual literacy.

VA2.CN.3 Develop life skills through the study and production of art (e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication).

Grade 3:

VA3.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning.

VA3.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA3.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two dimensional art. 

VA3.RE.1 Use a variety of approaches for art criticism and to critique personal works of art and the artwork of others to enhance visual literacy.

VA3.CN.1 Investigate and discover the personal relationships of artists to community, culture, and the world through making and studying art.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:

2.I.1.1 Ask self-generated questions that lead to group conversations, explorations, and investigations. 

2.RL.MC.6.1 Use information gained from illustrations and words in a print or multimedia text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot. 

2.C.MC.1.4 Participate in shared conversations with varied partners about focused grade level topics and texts in small and large groups. 

2.C.MC.1.5 Explain personal ideas and build on the ideas of others by responding and relating to comments made in multiple exchanges. 

2.W.RC.6.1 Write routinely and persevere in writing tasks over short and extended time frames, for a range of domain-specific tasks, and for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Grade 3:

3.I.1.1 Formulate questions to focus thinking on an idea to narrow and direct further inquiry. 

3.RL.MC.1 Use text evidence to: a. describe characters’ traits, motivations, and feelings and explain how their actions contribute to the development of the plot; and  b. explain the influence of cultural and historical context on characters, setting, and plot development.

3.C.MC.1.1 Explore and create meaning through conversation and interaction with peers and adults. 

3.C.MC.1.2 Participate in discussions; ask questions to acquire information concerning a topic, text, or issue.

3.W.RC.6.1 Write routinely and persevere in writing tasks

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 1: I can use the elements and principles of art to create artwork.

Anchor Standard 2: I can use different materials, techniques, and processes to make art.

Anchor Standard 3: I can improve and complete artistic work using elements and principles.

Anchor Standard 4: I can organize work for presentation and documentation to reflect specific content, ideas, skills, and or media.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Character - A person, figure, or animal depicted in literature.

Setting - When and where a story takes place.

Plot - The main events of the story.

Summary - A brief description of a passage that captures the main idea.

Main idea - The central idea or theme of a story.

Detail - Information from the passage that supports the main idea.

Arts Vocabulary

Shape - One of the seven elements of art; a two-dimensional object that can be geometric, organic, or free-form.

Form - One of the seven elements of art; a three-dimensional object that can be geometric, organic, or free-form.

Sculpture - An art form that shows the element of form.

Mobile - A hanging sculpture that has moving parts.

 

Materials

  • Paper plates
  • Markers/colored pencils
  • Plain white paper
  • Yarn/string
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

  • Show the students Alexander Calder’s sculpture, Mariposa (Butterfly), on a screen. Do not show them the title of the artwork. Have students go through the See, Think, Wonder strategy to engage with the image.
  • Tell students that the name of the sculpture is Mariposa (Butterfly). Ask students if they can see the butterfly in the sculpture.

 

Work Session

  • Explain to the students that this sculpture shows the following elements of art: shape, line, and form. Explain that sculpture is three-dimensional art. The pieces of the sculpture are made up of free-form shapes and lines. Show students the different types of shapes in art: organic, free-form, and geometric.
  • Tell students that you are going to read them a story. Students should listen for details that tell about the character(s) and setting of the story. As you read, students should raise their hands whenever they hear a detail about the character(s) or setting. Pause as you read to allow students to share their details. Create a list of details on the board. 
  • At the end of the story, ask students to summarize the story. Students should identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story. 
  • Explain to students that they are going to create a sculpture like the one they looked at at the beginning of class, Mariposa, by Alexander Calder. 
  • Students should draw the setting of the story on their paper plate. 
  • Then, demonstrate to students how to draw a spiral on their paper plate, starting at the middle and spiraling outward. Students will then cut along the spiral.
  • Next, students will draw images/symbols on plain white paper to represent the character(s) and the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Students should cut these out.
  • Students will tie yarn or string to the spiral that they cut out of the paper plate and attach the symbols for the beginning, middle, and end of the story to the yarn or string. Students should place the symbols in sequential order. On the back of the symbols, students should summarize the beginning, middle, and end of the story. 
  • Students will attach a paper clip to the center of the spiral to hang the sculpture.

Closing Reflection

  • In small groups, have students compare and contrast their artwork to the illustrations in the book. What are the similarities and differences between the way the illustrator communicated meaning and the way students communicated meaning? 
  • Students should conclude by writing an artist statement that says what they are most proud of in their artwork, their names as artists, and what symbols they chose to show in their artwork.

 

Assessments

Formative

  • See, Think, Wonder strategy analyzing Calder’s, Mariposa (Butterfly) - students should be able to use visual evidence to support reasoning
  • Students’ identification of the character(s)
  • Students’ identification of the setting
  • Students’ identification of the beginning, middle, and end of the story

 

Summative

  • Students’ mobiles that show the character(s), setting, and beginning, middle, and end of the story
  • Students’ summaries of the beginning, middle, and end of the story

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: Have students retell the story to each other using their mobiles as a visual aid. Students should then compare and contrast their use of symbols to communicate meaning.

Remediation: Have students work in groups. Each member is assigned one part of the story to illustrate for their group’s mobile–beginning, middle, or end. Students will combine their work to create one piece of art. Students will work together to retell the story using their mobile.

Additional Resources

Mobiles and Story Elements

Types of Shapes

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Katy Betts

Revised and copyright: September 2023 @ ArtsNOW

Communicating Through Self Portraits

Communicating through Self-Portraits

COMMUNICATING THROUGH SELF PORTRAITS

Learning Description

In this lesson, students will use symbolism and imagery to create a self portrait. Students will support their work by writing about their art.

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 2-3
CONTENT FOCUS: VISUAL ARTS & ELA
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can communicate meaning about myself using symbols and imagery.
  • I can create a self-portrait using accurate proportions.

Essential Questions

  • How can I communicate meaning about myself using symbols and imagery?
  • How can I use proportions to create a self-portrait?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:

ELAGSE2RI1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. 

ELAGSE2RI2 Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

ELAGSE2W3 Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.

ELAGSE2SL1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

ELAGSE2SL2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from written texts read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

ELAGSE2SL6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Grade 3:

ELAGSE3RI1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. 

ELAGSE3RI2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

ELAGSE3RI7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

ELAGSE3W3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

ELAGSE3SL1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

ELAGSE3SL2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Arts Standards

Grade 2:

VA2.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning. 

VA2.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA2.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional art.

VA2.RE.1 Discuss personal works of art and the artwork of others to enhance visual literacy.

VA2.CN.3 Develop life skills through the study and production of art (e.g. collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication).

Grade 3:

VA3.CR.1 Engage in the creative process to generate and visualize ideas by using subject matter and symbols to communicate meaning.

VA3.CR.2 Create works of art based on selected themes. 

VA3.CR.3 Understand and apply media, techniques, processes, and concepts of two dimensional art. 

VA3.RE.1 Use a variety of approaches for art criticism and to critique personal works of art and the artwork of others to enhance visual literacy.

VA3.CN.1 Investigate and discover the personal relationships of artists to community, culture, and the world through making and studying art.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 2:

2.I.1.1 Ask self-generated questions that lead to group conversations, explorations, and investigations. 

2.I.2.1 Engage in daily exploration to formulate questions from texts and personal experiences; generate possible explanations and consider alternatives. 

2.RI.5.1 Ask and answer literal and inferential questions to demonstrate understanding of a text; use specific details to make inferences and draw conclusions in texts heard or read.   2.RI.5.2 Make predictions before and during reading; confirm or modify thinking.

2.RI.6.1 Retell the central idea and key details from multi-paragraph texts; summarize the text by stating the topic of each paragraph heard, read, or viewed. 

2.W.3.2 Plan, revise, and edit, focusing on a topic while building on personal ideas and the ideas of others to strengthen writing.

Arts Standards

Grade 1:

Anchor Standard 1: I can use the elements and principles of art to create artwork.

Anchor Standard 2: I can use different materials, techniques, and processes to make art.

Anchor Standard 3: I can improve and complete artistic work using elements and principles.

Anchor Standard 4: I can organize work for presentation and documentation to reflect specific content, ideas, skills, and or media.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Main idea - The central message of a text.

Supporting details - Information in a text that supports the main idea.

Personal narrative - Writing that expresses real or imagined personal experiences.

Arts Vocabulary

Self-portrait - A visual representation of oneself.

Proportions - How one thing relates to another in terms of size.

Symbols - An image that communicates meaning.

Background/negative space - The area around the subject of an artwork.

 

Materials

  • Pencils
  • Crayons/colored pencils/markers
  • White paper

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

  • Show students the image, Self Portrait with Monkeys, by Frida Kahlo, without the artist’s name or name of the artwork visible. Lead students through the See, Think, Wonder strategy. Students should collaborate in small groups and share their responses.
  • Show students the title of the artwork, artist’s name, and year it was made. Explain that Frida Kahlo often included symbols and imagery that represented important things to her in her artwork, such as her pet monkeys and her Mexican heritage. 
  • Ask students what a symbol is. Provide examples such as a heart, and explain that symbols are images that communicate meaning.

 

Work Session

  • Explain that Frida Kahlo is a very famous artist who had polio as a child and was later in an accident that limited the activities that she could do. She had to use her imagination and what she knew about the world around her to create her artwork. 
  • Read the book, Frida’s Animalitos, to students (read aloud version). 
  • Ask students to identify the main idea or theme of the text and the supporting details (answers might include that circumstances in life don’t have to determine what we choose to do or citing that Frida continued to paint despite her illness and accident).
  • Explain to students that they will be creating a self portrait that includes symbols and imagery that represents important things about themselves. 
  • Show students the proportions of the face. Have students use this as a guide to draw their own faces on plane white paper. Have students add color and details to their self-portraits.
  • Next, go back to Self Portrait with Monkeys by Frida Kahlo. Remind students that Frida Kahlo included symbols and imagery that were important to her in her artwork like her pet monkeys. Ask students to brainstorm 3-4 things that they would like to include in the negative space/background of their artwork. Have a few students share their ideas with the class.
  • Students will then use symbols and imagery to represent things in the area around their portrait (background/negative space).
  • Students will write a response to the following prompt in complete sentences when they complete their self-portrait: What does your self portrait communicate about you? Student responses should include a topic sentence and supporting details that state the symbols they chose and why they chose them.

 

Closing Reflection

Have students get in groups of 3-4. Students should take turns showing their self-portraits and explaining the imagery that they used and why they chose it.

 

Assessments

Formative

  • Class discussion around Frida Kahlo’s self portrait and symbolism to check for understanding
  • Class discussion around the main idea in the book, Frida Kahlo’s Animalitos.

 

Summative

  • Self portrait
  • Written response

 

Differentiation

Acceleration

  • Ask students to write a personal narrative (one paragraph in length) about one of the symbols that they included. 
  • Have students trade self-portraits and write an interpretation of their partner’s self-portrait based on the symbols that their partner included.

Remediation

  • Allow students to provide an oral explanation of the symbols that they chose and why they chose them rather than writing them down. 
  • Reduce the number of symbols that students should include in their self portrait to two.

Additional Resources

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Katy Betts

Revised and copyright: September 2023 @ ArtsNOW

Camouflage and Mimicry

CAMOUFLAGE AND MIMICRY IN THE CLASSROOM

CAMOUFLAGE AND MIMICRY IN THE CLASSROOM

Learning Description

Animals are very creative! They adapt to their environments to improve their chances of survival; two types of adaptation are camouflage and mimicry. In this lesson, students will use voice and body, as well as the observational and creative skills of Costume and Set Designers, to use camouflage and mimicry in their own natural habitat – the classroom!

 

Learning Targets

GRADE BAND: 3-4
CONTENT FOCUS: SCIENCE
LESSON DOWNLOADS:

Download PDF of this Lesson

"I Can" Statements

“I Can…”

  • I can define camouflage and mimicry, and tell the difference between them.
  • I can identify color, shape and pattern in my own clothing and in my classroom environment and make choices that create the effect of camouflage.
  • I can use my voice, body, and simple craft materials to create the effect of mimicry of another organism (a classmate) in my classroom environment.

Essential Questions

  • What are camouflage and mimicry?
  • How are color, shape and pattern important elements of camouflage and mimicry?
  • How can we use acting and design skills to explore camouflage and mimicry in the classroom?

 

Georgia Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 3:

S3L1 Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the similarities anddifferences between plants, animals, and habitats found within geographic regions (Blue Ridge Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau) of Georgia.

b. Construct an explanation of how external features and adaptations (camouflage, hibernation, migration, mimicry) of animals allow them to survive in their habitat.

Arts Standards

Grade 3:

TA3.PR.1 Act by communicating and  sustaining roles in formal and informalenvironments.

TA3.PR.2 Execute artistic and technical elements of theatre.

 

South Carolina Standards

Curriculum Standards

Grade 4:

4.L.5B.3 Construct explanations for how structural adaptations (such as methods for defense, locomotion, obtaining resources, or camouflage) allow animals to survive in the environment.

Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 2: I can design and use technical elements for improvised scenes and written scripts.

Anchor Standard 3: I can act in improvised scenes and written scripts.

 

Key Vocabulary

Content Vocabulary

Adaptation - A change by which an organism becomes better suited to its environment.

Mimicry - An adaptation by which an organism copies the physical or vocal characteristics of another.

Camouflage - An adaptation by which an organism visually blends into its surroundings by virtue of its shapes, patterns, and coloring.

Habitat - The natural home or environment of an animal, plant, or other organism.

Arts Vocabulary

Voice – An actor’s tool, which we shape and change to portray the way a character speaks or sounds

Body – An actor’s tool, which we shape and change to portray the way a character looks, walks, or moves.

Set Design - The creation of the physical space in which the action of a performed event takes place.

Costume Design - The creation of clothing and accessories for a character in a performance.

 

Materials

  • Drum or percussion instrument (optional)
  • Images of camouflage and mimicry in the natural world (from textbook, class resources, or the internet)
  • Sound clips of mimicry (optional)
  • Multi -colored pieces of construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

 

Instructional Design

Opening/Activating Strategy

Animal and Habitat Statues
Use a drum, percussion instrument, or clapping to establish that students will form statues in response to a single beat and then relax out of the statues in response to a double beat.  Remind students that statues do not move, but that they must allow themselves to breathe and blink.  Provide a series of prompts of animals and habitats that fit with the lesson, e.g., parrot, cheetah, lizard, butterfly, owl, etc.; and rainforest, desert, tundra, prairie, etc.  Use observational language to comment on specific physical choices that students make to create their statues (e.g., “I see that Caitlyn has her chest low like a stalking leopard,” or “Donté’s arms are straight back like a grasshopper’s wings.”

 

Work Session

Number Statues

  • Define and discuss camouflage.  Show examples of camouflage from the natural world.
  • Introduce the concept of camouflage in the classroom.  Model by looking for colors and patterns that mirror your own clothes.  Find a place in the classroom where you can approximate blending in.  Prompt students to say, “Where’s Ms. _______?  We can’t see her!”
  • Discuss how, in theatre, television, and film, costume and set designers make intentional choices about costumes and sets used in the production.  Explain that students are going to be like designers, making choices based on colors, shapes, and patterns in the given costumes and settings in the classroom.
  • Invite a volunteer or two to step up.  Have the class identify colors, shapes, and patterns both on the volunteers and around the classroom, and brainstorm ideas for the volunteers to camouflage themselves in the classroom.
  • Model being a predator, looking for prey (the volunteers), and passing them by because they blend into their surroundings.
  • Have students partner up and work together to identify camouflage opportunities for each; when each is camouflaged, have the other act like a deceived predator.
  • Have volunteers share examples of the camouflage opportunities they found around the classroom.
  • Define mimicry; share examples (visual and perhaps aural) from the natural world.
  • Remind students about the roles of designers; explain that they will use simple materials to create external adaptations to mimic other organisms (classmates).
  • Model with construction paper, scissors, and glue.  Select a student to mimic, and use the supplies to quickly create a ‘costume’ piece that mimics what that student is wearing.  Have the student come up and make a random sound.  Stand by the student with the costume piece, and mimic the sound.  Have the class say, “Look, it’s two ______s!”  (i.e., if standing next to and mimicking Tyler, the class says “Look, it’s two Tylers!”).
  • Discuss mimicry as a form of flattery, and impress upon the students that the activity should not be used in order to mock, tease, taunt, make fun of, or bully others.  
  • Have students use materials to create a costume piece to mimic other students’ visual appearance – primarily costuming, but hair is also a possibility.
  • Once students have created their pieces, invite volunteers to come to the front, and invite the classmates on whom they based their mimicry. Have the model make a sound, and have the mimic stand beside them and mimic the sound.  Have the class say, “Listen!  Look!  It’s two ______’s!”
  • Remind students that they worked together to understand mimicry, and have students thank each other for the honor of both mimicking and being mimicked.

 

Closing Reflection

Discuss:  How did we use elements of costume and set design – color, shape, and pattern – to bring camouflage and mimicry to life in our classroom ‘habitat.’

Students will draw a picture of themselves demonstrating camouflage or mimicry in the classroom. Identify the image as an example of either camouflage or mimicry.  Identify the areas and objects in the classroom that were used for camouflage or the classmate on whom the mimicry was based.

 

Assessments

Formative

  • Observe student comprehension of camouflage and mimicry as they make artistic decisions in the lesson.
  • Observe how students use color, shape, and pattern to successfully create the effects of camouflage and mimicry.

 

Summative

Evaluate the student drawings for evidence of comprehension of camouflage and effective use of design concepts in the lesson activity.

 

Differentiation

Acceleration: For mimicry, have students pair up; have one create a distinctive sound and movement, and have the other mimic it as precisely as possible.

Remediation:  Lead a slow visual tour of the classroom as a class, identifying specific colors, shapes, and patterns, and making connections with individuals to provide ideas to be used for camouflage.

Allow students to adjust objects in the classroom environment to facilitate the camouflage effect.

Rather than mimicking one another, have all the students mimic the teacher.

*This integrated lesson provides differentiated ideas and activities for educators that are aligned to a sampling of standards. Standards referenced at the time of publishing may differ based on each state’s adoption of new standards.

Ideas contributed by: Barry Stewart Mann, MFA

Revised and copyright: August 2022 @ ArtsNOW