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Elementary Lesson Plans. Nicole Joly. Overarching Goal.

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overarching goal
Overarching Goal

Because social development is so important in elementary school, I wanted to create lessons plans which consisted of a significant amount of collaboration, such as creating murals. I also wanted my lessons to help the students realize that art is not limited to only museum interiors. The drawing and media criticism projects especially focus on opening their eyes to what they see on a daily basis.

statement of origin
Statement of Origin

The idea for this lesson plan came from discovering Ben Heine’s “Pencil vs. Camera” collection. His illustrations are silly and playful, something younger artists would love, and would not require too much technical skill. His work is a good example to share the differences between observational and imaginative drawing with the class. The lesson would also be a useful way to provide the students with a basic introduction to photography.


Introduce Ben Heine’s “Pencil vs. Camera” collection

Discuss the illustrations and the artist’s method of combining imaginative and observational drawing

Teach basic photography skills and have students take pictures around their town

Encourage thinking critically to consider what type of drawing will be placed on top of the photograph

Demonstrate the illustrative process

Discuss what it means to “continue the photograph” in their drawing

Consider ways to add an imaginative twist to the photograph

While demonstrating, review concepts of line and form, and explain different ways to achieve value

Students will select their favorite photo and brainstorm clever ideas

After given approval, they may begin working

Students will tape down a small piece of drawing paper to the photograph and use drawing pencils to create their illustration

They will be displayed after completion

Lead-in to Dada art movement?

objectives assessment
Objectives & Assessment



The students will learn how to draw from observation, while also drawing imaginatively. They will learn basic photography skills to photograph a certain place in their town. They will then successfully use line, form, and value to create an illustration which adds a humorous twist to their photograph.

  • Rubric:
    • Effective photography techniques
    • Completion
    • Illustration “continues the photograph” and has value
    • Good craftsmanship
    • Following directions
    • Participation
ralph fasanella
Ralph Fasanella

Painting lesson


Coney Island

Oil on Canvas


59 x 96”



Original Silkscreen


29 x 30”

statement of origin13
Statement of Origin

I believe sometimes young students can be overwhelmed with painting lessons because paint is harder to control than a pencil. I wanted to select an outsider artist because of the child-like qualities most outsider art has. I thought Ralph Fasanella’s large scale paintings would be a perfect example for a mural lesson. Also, his paintings do not have much value, just shapes of color, and I thought it would be quicker and easier for the students to focus on just color and perspective, rather than value.


Show various examples of mural paintings

Introduce and have a discussion about the work of Ralph Fasanella

Identify the artist as an outsider artist and explain what that means

Discuss what Ralph Fasanella’s work says about New York lifestyle and brainstorm what sort of activities would be in a mural about the school environment

Offer some suggestions such as lining up for lunch or playing at recess

Divide each group by different areas of the school, such as the classroom, cafeteria, and playgroundStudents will sketch their ideas in groups at their tables

Once complete, arrange the sketches to create a rough sketch of the mural

Students will use acrylic paints to create the basic layout of the mural and then begin to paint their assigned section of the school

Emphasize the importance of planning in not only large-scale paintings, but in all artworks

Remind students to be conservative with space

As the mural progresses, students will be able to move to areas where space is less limited

Estimate that each class will get about a day or two’s worth of painting time

Once completed, each class will be given time to look at the finished mural

The students will write one or two paragraphs discussing their favorite and least favorite parts of the process and what they love most about the finished product

objectives assessment15
Objectives & Assessment



The students will learn about outsider art, specifically the artwork of Ralph Fasanella. They will learn about mural paintings and will work collaboratively to paint a mural of various activities that occur within the school environment. To successfully do this, the students will utilize knowledge of perspective, color theory, and basic painting techniques.

  • Rubric:
    • Participation during the group sketch and in discussions
    • Effective painting techniques, especially with color and perspective
    • Good craftsmanship
    • Completion of the written assignment
    • How well they worked collaboratively
wesley anderegg
Wesley Anderegg

Ceramics lesson


Reaching For the Moon

Mixed Media


26 x 12 x 8”


Looking For Polly

Mixed Media


18 x 14 x 8”

statement of origin19
Statement of Origin

During my internship, I’ve learned that elementary school students are great story tellers and they always have something to say. I just know that kids would love guessing the narratives of Wesley Anderegg’s pieces. This lesson would also help to get the students to start thinking about the message behind all artworks and artist intention. The lesson and the peer interpretation also help them consider how to successfully convey a story through their own art. I thought Wesley Anderegg was the perfect artist for this lesson because most of his work is simple enough so that the students can add their own unique experimentations to their final piece.


Show the students numerous ceramic pieces by Wesley Anderegg

Explain the word “narrative” and ask the students to guess the story that each piece of his is telling

Point out the simplicity of his works, and how they only consist of a ceramic figure or two, and a painted background

Inform the students they will be making similar sculptures which tell a narrative

Students will be write two or three paragraphs about a bizarre dream they once had

Students will sketch out a design that has at least one ceramic figure and a decorative background

Encourage them to add some ceramic pieces to their background as well

Demonstrate different ways to make and decorate the figures

Begin creating the ceramic pieces first, and the background second

The backgrounds will be made from cardboard shoeboxes

Painting and assembling will be the final steps of this lesson

Once complete, the students will swap their sculptures

They will write one or two paragraphs guessing their peer’s original narrative

Students will compare their peer interpretation with their original story to consider how successful they were at conveying their message

objectives assessment21
Objectives & Assessment



The students will observe various works by Wesley Anderegg and hold a successful critical discussion about the narrative qualities of his works. The students will write two or three paragraphs about a bizarre dream they once had and then turn their story into a three-dimensional ceramic figure. They will learn to construct a background for their figure as well.

  • Rubric
    • Participation during discussion
    • Pre-construction sketch
    • Has a complete background and at least one painted ceramic figure
    • Good craftsmanship
    • Followed directions
    • Completed both written assignments, the short story and the peer interpretation.
statement of origin25
Statement of Origin

The idea for this lesson plan came immediately once I stumbled upon Robin BarcusSolina’s “State of Dress” collection. Her sculpture is the perfect inspiration for the students to create a collaborative sculpture which would require them to apply certain elements and principles of design, reflect on their environment, explore the methods of collage, and learn about found art and symbolism. Her work reminded me of Jane Gillings’ Dream Home (2009), which I used for inspiration when creating a similar lesson plan.


Show pictures of Robin BarcusSolina’s various unique dresses

Talk about found objects in art and how she used them to create her designs

Show pictures from and discuss her “State of Dress” collection

Point out her use of symbolism to make each dress representative of a certain state

Inform the students that the artist has not yet made a Florida dress and have them brainstorm what sort of symbols could be used to represent our state

Review the elements and principles of design, with a focus on balance, variety, unity, and harmony, and demonstrate the process of collage

Students will practice for the sculpture by making a small collage representative of Florida, using glue, travel magazines, scissors, and construction paper

Inform the students that we will be making a “State of Dress” Florida dress

Encourage them to bring back any found objects symbolic of our state, such as postcards, souvenirs, or sea shells.

Each group will get a section of the dress. They will use glue to aesthetically arrange their found objects, some of which I will provide, on the pre-cut canvas

Offer suggestions and assistance while they are constructing and will encourage them to “think like an artist” and arrange their objects with intention

After completion, the sections of the dress will be put back together and displayed

Hold a classroom critique to observe the students’ appropriate use of vocabulary and understanding of what makes an artwork successful or unsuccessful.

objectives assessment27
Objectives & Assessment



The students will explore found objects and the use of symbols in art. They will focus on balance, variety, unity, and harmony from the principles of design. The students will learn how to create a collage on paper, and then will successfully create a collage of found objects on a three-dimensional sculpture.

  • Rubric
    • Participation in class discussions and the critique
    • Successful completion of their collage
    • Good craftsmanship
    • Effective use of balance, unity, variety, symbols, and harmony on their group’s dress section
creative advertisements
Creative Advertisements

Media criticism lesson


Double Strike?

KarstadtQuelle Dental Insurance



Drinking Straw



statement of origin34
Statement of Origin

I knew I wanted to focus on advertisements for the media criticism lesson because it would be a fun and easy way to introducing students to art criticism. To make the project more exciting, I searched the web for some of the most humorous and clever ads I could find. Advertisements are very relatable to students of all ages because of its existence in their daily lives. This connection will help to make students realize that there are various types of art and it is not just limited to the interior of a museum.

  • Flip through a magazine on a visualizer
  • Point out various types of advertisements and lead a discussion on advertisements and their powerful effect over its viewers
  • Ask the students to list some places they have seen advertisements before
  • Mention that usually the cleverer an advertisement is, the more memorable it becomes
  • Discuss which advertisements they still remember after a long period of time
  • Give each table of students one advertisement from selection
  • Include a handout which asks questions such as:
    • Would you buy this product?
    • Do you think you will remember this advertisement in a year? In ten years?
    • What do you like most about this advertisement?
    • Is there anything you would change?
  • In their groups, students will use these questions as a guideline to intelligently critique the assigned advertisement
  • Afterwards, the groups will give an oral presentation to the class defending their own advertisement as the most successful
objectives assessment36
Objectives & Assessment



Students will learn about the power of advertising and its role in our society. They will intelligently critique several advertisements and understand that art is not limited to only paintings and sculptures. They will defend why and how their group’s assigned advertisement is the most successful.

  • Oral presentation
    • Group grade
    • Participation
    • Check for understanding
    • Knowledge of criticism

All (Corporation). Laundry Bus [Advertisement]. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.adverbox.com/ads/all.

Anderegg, Wesley (Artist). (2010). Looking for Polly [Ceramic Sculpture]. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from http://wesleyanderegg.com/wesley_anderegg.htm.

Anderegg, Wesley (Artist). (2010). Reaching for the Moon [Ceramic Sculpture]. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from http://wesleyanderegg.com/wesley_anderegg.htm.

Coca-Cola (Corporation). (2010). Drinking Straw [Advertisement] Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.ibelieveinadv.com/2010/09/coca-cola-drinking-straw.

Fasanella, Ralph (Artist). (1950-1970). Coney Island [Painting]. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from http://www.folkartmuseum.org/?p=folk&t=images&id=4328.

Fasanella, Ralph (Artist). (1975). Stickball [Painting]. Retrieved October 5, 2010 from http://www.galleryfelicie.com/Large.asp?id=6.

Heine, Ben (Artist). (2010). 11 [Photograph]. Retrieved October 26, 2010 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/sets/72157623723956821.

Heine, Ben (Artist). (2010). 12 [Photograph]. Retrieved October 26, 2010 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/sets/72157623723956821.

Heine, Ben (Artist). (2010). 33 [Photograph]. Retrieved October 26, 2010 from http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/sets/72157623723956821.

references continued
References Continued

KarstadtQuelle Dental Insurance (Corporation). (2006). Double Strike? [Advertisement] Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.joelapompe.net/2010/10/14/double-strike-dent-pour-dent.

Rubin (Corporation). Freshness Bags [Advertisement]. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.adverbox.com/ads/rubin-freshness-bags.

Slonina, Robin (Artist). (2008). Casino Chip Dress [Sculpture]. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.stateofdress.blogspot.com.

Slonina, Robin (Artist). (2010). Garbage Dress [Sculpture]. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://www.stateofdress.blogspot.com.

Smart (Automobile Company). (2007). Brabus Bridge Jump [Advertisement]. Retrieved October 27, 2010 from http://adsoftheworld.com/media/ambient/smart_brabus_bridge_jump.