Basis For This Lesson:
of Lesson to the Unit, Major Concepts to be Learned:
This is the final
lesson in our 3-part mixed media still life series within the unit, The Language
of Visual Art. Today's focus will be on spatial relationships of foreground,
middleground and background, use of overlapping to manipulate space on a two-dimensional
surface, and principles of composition. Methods used to explore these concepts
will be a preliminary kinesthetic activity, and actual physical manipulation
of the cutout still life objects on the painted tabletop background.
previous lessons in this series. Also, the ability to visually negotiate space
is integral to actual, physical movement through space. Recognizing spatial
relationships is part of this process as we try to make sense of the visual
environments within which we live and learn. One example is successfully reading
and interpreting visual data on a computer screen or any other 2-D surface,
which requires the ability to make sense of space and the objects in it. Being
able to judge distances when moving (driving, riding bike, etc.) is another
example. Finally, the elevation of ordinary everyday objects through the still
life process enhances connections to the aesthetic in everyday life.
to Lesson/Unit (reflecting NYS standards, & targeted learning areas. See
Abbreviation Key at end):
awareness of basic spatial relationships of fore-middle-background AC,
AP, Std. 1 & 3, P/M
- Develop understanding of use
of overlapping as a design principle used to manipulate space AC,
AP, Std. 1 & 3, P/M
- Increase memory recall A/C
- Develop understanding of and
ability to order objects in the environment A/C, V/S
- Increase attending skills A/C,
- Enhance conceptual understanding
through kinesthetic activity A/C, P/M
for Observational Assessment (reflecting goals):
will be able to:
- Recall the four basic elements
of art: line, shape, color and texture.
- Identify and differentiate between
geometric and free-form shape.
- Recall/Define repetition and
- Demonstrate overlapping and
fore-middle-and background positions using body movement
- Recall/describe still life
- Identify/name objects in fore-middle-and
backgrounds of exemplars
- Paint in table top wash with
- Finish coloring at least 4 different
still life objects using oil pastels
- Use scissors correctly to cut
out at least 4 still life objects
- Demonstrate attention to composition
by moving and arranging cut-out objects on table top background
- Demonstrate overlapping in composition
- Describe objects in still life
composition that are in front, middle, and background
- Use glue stick properly to adhere
objects when arrangement complete
- Assist with clean-up and hanging
of compositions as directed
- Recall/define overlapping
- Name/identify objects in fore-middle-background
in finished still lifes
- Name one artmaker behavior
Tools Needed For
in age-appropriate, student-friendly language):
a design or an artwork made up of (composed of) the elements of art; a design
where we arrange the elements in a way that looks good to the eye; a pleasing
the space in the front of a composition or picture.
the space in between the foreground and the background.
the space in the back of the composition or picture.
a principle of art; something we do with the art elements when we cover
part of an element like shape with another shape; when we place one part
of an element like shape over or behind a part of another.
One completed still life example and one in progress to use for demonstration
(ready for object placement with wallpaper and tabletop done); elements
and principles visual.
- Art Resources:
same still life examples as last week
- Supplies for previously absent
children to catch up on with patterning (see previous lesson plan)
- Portable display board
- Masking tape
- Brushes, cups and tempera wash
for painting in table top (we used watered down white which we premixed
in squeeze bottles for easy dispensing)
- Glue Sticks
- Pencils to label names
- Sponges or wipes for each table
- Paper towels
useful and motivating for all students, the kinesthetic exercise in spatial
relationships (detailed in step #10 below) was specifically designed to address
the cognitive/receptive language and perceptual needs of children in the class
with learning disabilities.
(details on procedures from beginning to end with ability-appropriate language
scripted in as necessary):
1. Sing Hello Song. Leader
recalls the still life project and has children begin the session by painting
in their tabletops using the white tempera wash. These need to dry as the
2. Leader has children recall elements
and principles of art by asking them to name what art ideas we learned about
that they used to create their pattern designs in the wallpaper backgrounds
of their still lifes last time.
3. Leader asks children to define
the term still life and view the art exemplars and identify/describe artist’s
use of pattern.
4. Leader recalls how hard we worked
on drawing our objects by seeing them as an artist would, and noticing the
lines and shapes the objects are composed/made up of. Leader has children
recall ideas about shape, asking children to identify and describe difference
between geometric and free-form shape.
5. Leader uses the incomplete teacher
exemplar (with wallpaper and tabletop finished) and a selection of cut out
still life objects to illustrate the following points up on the display board.
6. Leader explains that it is now
time to take the objects we have drawn and cut out and arrange them in our
still life picture, but first we need to learn something about how an artist
would make such a composition, and what they would have to think about (placement
in space). Leader defines term composition.
7. Leader focuses on the idea of
placement in space and explains/demonstrates on the display board (using teacher
exemplar, the cut-out objects, and masking tape) how different placement of
the objects creates a different sense of what space they are in: what object
is in front/foreground? middle/middleground? back/background?
Leader explains that even though
our objects are flat, two-dimensional, we can make them appear to be in three-dimensional
space by where and how we place them on our the tabletops.
8. Leader places some objects on
the table in each spatial position, using tape roll on back, and asks children
how she created these spaces with her objects...what did she do with the objects
to make them look like they were in the front/foreground or middleground,
9. Leader introduces term "overlapping"
and defines, asking children to find more examples of overlapping on some
of the art exemplars on display: where and how did the artist use overlapping
to create a sense of space?
10. To help strengthen the children’s
understanding of these concepts, the leader takes them through a kinesthetic
exercise (using their own bodies/movement to experience the concept). Leader
asks for some volunteers and assigns each one a still life object role to
play: You are the tall vase, you are the bowl of apples, you are the candlestick,
you are the teapot, etc. Using empty space in the front of the room, leader
then directs each object in order to create a composition of objects that
illustrates the three spatial positions and the use of overlap as the rest
of the group observes: Candlesticks find the background, teapot, move to the
middle ground, bowl of apples move to the foreground, orange overlap with
the teapot, box overlap with the candlestick so it you are in the middleground,
etc. Spend a few minutes doing this until all of the children understand.
11. Following this exercise, Leader
explains what the children now need to do in order to arrange or compose their
own still life objects on their tabletop backgrounds: experiment with placement
of objects in space, use overlapping, arrange objects into a pleasing composition.
Spend time arranging and composing before gluing objects down with a glue
stick. Leader reminds children to use their artmaker’s eye to make good
decisions about placement.
12. Children go to their small
groups to finish their still life pictures. Children who need to catch up
can be grouped together to do so while others proceed.
13. S/T’s have children begin
experimenting with arranging and composing, using overlapping, and noting
14. Once desired composition achieved,
S/T's show how to use the glue sticks properly and children begin to glue
down all their objects onto tabletop.
15. S/T's can direct any child
who is finished help a child who is catching up, for example coloring a drawn
still life object according to artist wishes and/or cutting object out.
16. When all have finished, S/T's
have children clean up hands right at table (use damp sponge or wipes), and
assist with capping all glue sticks securely. Have other children bring finished
collages to front for taping up on board.
17. Leader reconvenes large group
and has children recall spatial positions and what principle of art/design
we used to achieve these: overlapping!
18. Leader asks children to name
and identify the use of overlapping and spatial placement in some of the finished
collages, as well as commenting on each others’ use of pattern, noting
differences and similarities.
19. Leader explains that next week,
we will begin another project in our unit on The Language of Art that will
combine many of the ideas we’ve learned so far into one three-dimensional
project (narrative dioramas). Close with Goodbye Song.
In addition to observation of Performance
Objectives stated above, questions to ask might include:
- Do the wallpaper patterns in
the still life compositions show variety in their design?
- Do the lines and shapes of
the drawn still life objects reflect careful looking and rendering?
- Does the composition of the
objects on the tabletop indicate use of all three spatial areas though overlapping?
- Were the children able to accurately
indicate the relevant use of elements and principles in the art exemplars?
NYS Standards for the Arts:
|AH = Art History
||Std. 1 = creating, participating in art
|AC = Art Criticism
||Std. 2 = knowing art materials and processes
|AE = Aesthetics
||Std. 3 = responding to works of art/artists
|AP = Art Production
||Std. 4 = knowing cultural dimensions of art
|Needs Assessment Areas for Developing Skills and Abilities:
|A/C = academic/cognitive
||M/P = motor/perceptual
|| E = emotional
|C = communicative status
||W/S = work/study habits
|| S = social
|Pre-V = prevocational skills
|| L = living skills
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