Basis For This Lesson:
of Lesson to the Unit, Major Concepts to be Learned:
This lesson is the
fifth in our unit: The Language of Visual Art, and focuses on the
idea of narrative art. Based on an exemplary artwork (see Art Resources below
for the selection we used), the students will work in small groups to develop
a diorama that continues the story suggested by the work. Students will exchange
ideas and collaborate to make decisions together in the art making process.
Students will also relate narrative work to that of a story with a setting
(environment), characters and plot. Consideration will be given to the idea
of a painting as a frozen image and story, trapped in time (like a photograph).
Students will consider what may have happened just before or after in the
picture and what clues and information the artist may give us that helps tell
the story. This discussion will form the basis for the story they will tell
in a three-dimensional diorama format.
lesson offers students the opportunity to take a chosen artwork and interpret
it in relation to their own experiences, bringing into sharper focus the connection
between art and life. In addition, through collaborative art experience, children
learn and develop important social skills such as getting along others and
being a team player, which enrich interpersonal relationships.
to Lesson/Unit (reflecting NYS standards, & targeted learning areas. See
Abbreviation Key at end):
- Increase awareness
of basic elements and principles of art. AC, AP, Std. 1 & 3
- Develop awareness of how artmakers
use elements and principles in their work. AH, AC, Std. 3
- Increase understanding of narrative
in art. AH, AC, Std. 3
- Develop an understanding of
spatial relationships. AC, AP, Std. 1 & 3
- Develop memory recall skills.
- Improve socialization skills,
group collaboration, and cooperation. S
- Respect and discuss differences
in opinions about an artwork. AE, Std. 3, C/S
- Improve interpersonal skills;
especially peer interaction, personal responsibility and self-control. S,
- Enhance creative response to
development and expression of personal ideas. AE, Std. 3, E, LV
- Increase descriptive language
skills. C, AC, Std. 3
for Observational Assessment (reflecting goals):
will be able to:
- Name at least one artmaker behavior.
- Name the 4 basic elements of
art (line, shape, color, texture). Goal 1
- Define the term narrative. Goal
- Name the three elements of narrative
(setting, characters, action or plot) and describe how artist use these
to tell their stories. Goals 3 & 9
- Define the terms: overlapping,
foreground, middle ground and background. Goals 4, & 10
- Name two differences between
two-dimensional space and three-dimensional space. Goals 4 &
- Attend to the opening activities
without disruption. Goal 7
- Discuss an art image in relation
to a story line (plot), the characters and setting. Goals 8 &
- Discuss what may have happened
before or after in the image. Goal 6, 8 & 9
- Decide as a group what part
of the story they want to tell in their diorama. Goal 6, 7, 8 &
- Discuss and describe the setting
(environment), the characters and objects for their diorama that help tell
the story. Goal 2, 6, 8 & 9
- Create the background environment
inside the diorama using desired media, covering all inner sides of box.
Goal 2, 3, 6
- Work cooperatively with group
members, share space and materials, make decisions and arrive at consensus
regarding story. Goal 6, 7 & 9
- Assist with clean up as directed.
- Correctly recall/describe major
concepts: narrative and its elements, three-dimensional space and spatial
positions. Goal 3 & 4
- Name the story idea of their
diorama. Goals 3 & 10
- Describe at least one way the
elements and principles were used in creating the background of the dioramas.
Goal 1 & 2
- Verbally contribute to group
presentation of dioramas when called upon. Goal 3, 6 & 7
Tools Needed For
in age appropriate, student-friendly language):
- Action: what
is going on in the picture?
the area or space behind an object
- Collage: a
design of objects glued down to paper
- Diorama: a
scene inside a box that tells a story, and is made from art materials
- Elements of art:
line, shape, color, texture
- Environment / setting:
where is the story happening?
- Narrative art:
an artwork that tells/shows a story
- Plot: what
is the main idea of the story?
not flat like a painting, having volume/weight/thickness, able to see an
object from many sides
- Art Resources:
An exemplary narrative artwork for each group. Our selection was: Leon N.
Smith Dance for the Hunt, Currier and Ives The Happy Family
(birds), Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles, Carmen Lomas Garza La
Feria en Reynosa, Juan Miro People and Dog in the Sun, Albina
Kosiec Felski The Circus, Degas Dancer with Bouquet, Allan
Crite Parade on Hammond Street.
- Diorama boxes for each group,
painted white on outside
- Watercolor or tempera paints,
brushes, cups, water containers
- Construction or other colored
paper (large pieces that for inside of box)
- Scissors, pencils, rulers
- Tissue paper, glue solution,
cups and brushes for tissue collage
- Paper towels or sponges
- 2 large buckets for collecting
- Glue sticks
- Scrap paper and pencils to sketch
ideas and notes
1. Teacher opens with Hello
Song, followed by a recall of what we learned from our still life drawing
experience: competency at drawing, observation skills looking with the eye
of an artist), creating a background using pattern and repetition, and creating
a strong composition using objects that overlap in fore middle and background
2. Teacher introduces the idea
of paintings or artworks that are narrative, and defines the term. Narrative
art is art that tells a story! What’s your favorite story? Have you
ever written one?
3. Teacher asks children what they
think a good story needs, and proceeds to explain/discuss that good story
needs an interesting idea, action that takes place, a setting where the action
takes place, and characters that perform the actions.
4. Teacher introduces idea that
artists also tell stories in their pictures. Let’s look at some pictures
of paintings and see if we can figure out the story the artist is telling.
Teacher shows a few of the selected exemplars and engages them in discussion,
drawing parallels with writing a story: Who are the characters, what is the
setting, and what is the plot or action taking place?
5. Teacher presents idea that artists
consider and organize elements of art into a composition or arrangement to
help tell the story. Class will discuss objects and elements in painting that
describe and tell the story. The teacher will then relate the artwork to a
snap shot in time. What may have happened before or after the picture was
taken, engaging the children in a discussion of continuing the story suggested
in the artwork.
6. Introduce the idea that the
students can be co-authors and artists who work together to show this new
story, but this time, we will not do it flat on paper like a drawing. We will
create our story inside of a box, in three-dimension, called a diorama.
7. Teacher defines diorama and
3-D space. Teacher uses a student volunteer to illustrate the three dimensions…a
student volunteer helps show that s/he is a 3-D object, not flat like a picture
but has height, width and depth and can be seen by more than one angle or
view, can be seen from many sides, not just the front. After defining space,
teacher defines diorama and shows the teacher exemplar, asking the children
to see if they can figure out the story illustrated in this diorama.
8. Teacher suggests that we can
use one of the artworks on display as our inspiration, and continue the story
we see in the artwork. We can make a diorama that tells more of the story
suggested in the artwork, or even what we think might have happened in the
story just before the part we’re seeing in the artwork. We will need
to us our imaginations, just like a person writing a story with words!
9. Artworks are given to each S/T
group and all proceed to work areas to begin their dioramas by deciding on
the story they will tell, and creating the appropriate background inside the
box choosing from the available media.
10. In small groups, S/Ts and children
will begin by exploring their artwork, discussing and deciding what story
the artist is telling us and who are the characters, the setting/environment
and plot in the picture. Discuss what may have happened before this picture
was painted or what could happen in the future.
11. Children decide as a group
what their story is going to be about, and decide on the setting and background
and characters. S/Ts write ideas down on paper.
12. S/Ts and children then work
together to create the five background areas inside the box that is appropriate
to the story (painted, collaged, mixed media). The group must work cooperatively
together to make decision, assign, and carry out tasks to accomplish this.
13. When the backgrounds are completed,
the children and their S/Ts will spend a few minutes making a list of the
things they might need and use to help finish their dioramas next week.
14. The children will help bring
their dioramas to the front of the room for brief discussion and display.
Students will help clean up as directed.
15. All reconvene and lead teachers
direct discussion and viewing of diorama backgrounds, having children recall
that what is found in a written story (setting, characters, plot/or action)
can also e found in a visual story.
16. Each group will display diorama,
name their story, and explain how they used an element or principle of art
to illustrate their backgrounds in a way that helps describe the setting.
17. Lead teachers give preview
of upcoming steps to finish the dioramas next week, suggestion that if anyone
has a small item that would fit in the diorama and help tell the story, they
can bring it in. Sing Good-bye Song.
In addition to observation of the
Performance Objectives described above for evaluating students, as well as
noting what teachers may need to re-teach or do differently, questions to
ask may include:
- Did each student participate
in determining the diorama story in his or her small groups?
- Did the students contribute
personal ideas to the decision making process?
- How did students work together
to brainstorm, solve problems and arrive at consensus?
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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