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    By Iris Bildstein

    Grade Level: 10

    Students will use line to draw a still life of their shoes and sneakers from observation.

    This lesson plan acknowledges that adolescents in the 10th grade often time show concern about getting their drawings to "look right." They might struggle with complex aspects of drawing such as rendering from a foreshortened perspective. Instead of giving a lesson that deals with purely technical aspects of drawing, this lesson provides the students with the opportunity to make discoveries on his/her own, which they then will be able to reference during future art making experiences. (Prior learning: It would be beneficial to the outcome of this lesson, if students had some experience working from observation.)

    Understanding the Philosophy of the Lesson Plan

    This lesson plan follows the format designed and used by Dr. Judith M. Burton, in the "lesson planning" component of her Child/Adolescent development classes, in the Art and Art Education program at Teachers College Columbia University. This format is meant to instigate dialogue between, teacher and student(s) as well as between student(s) and student(s). Additionally, this lesson plan is meant to guide students into awareness of their own thinking and art making possibilities. It provides a chance for students to engage in a "deeper" learning that comes out of the experience of talking about, looking at and making art. Activities, featured within the lesson plan, are meant to accommodate the abilities and developmental stages of specific age groups based upon theories of Piaget, Lowenfeld, Hurwitz and Day, Arnheim, and Burton.

    It is critical to students' learning and growth that teachers recognize this lesson plan is not meant to be free-standing, but is to be seen as one lesson in a sequence of many, therefore allowing learning to expand exponentially. In building sequential lessons, prior learning is called upon so that new learning can occur. Furthermore, this style of lesson planning does not make the assumption that all students have the same cognitive and physical abilities. Often times we as art teachers, as adults, take for granted our understanding of material and we assume that it our students may be equally as capable. However, children, young adolescents, and adolescents need to understand and know what they are doing so that they may own the experience and utilize that knowledge in the future. Finally, this lesson plan format allows for the (art) teacher to guide the student towards realizing his/her work in meaningful and thoughtful ways. It also gives opportunity to the student to reflect and re-reflect on how they come to make their own art.

    This lesson plan has been designed and are suggested for specific grades and age groups. Stages of developmental growth approximate the ranges of change that occur as children grow. Since it is not static, its fluidity allows for this lesson plan to be tweaked to accommodate (possibly) a grade lower and a grade higher than indicated. That determination will have to rely on the art teachers knowing of her students and understanding their needs and development.

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    Understanding the Components of a Lesson Plan

    The following lesson plans have been created to provide teachers with age-appropriate art activities for their students and a format for creating lesson plans in the future. The components for such lesson plans are:

    The actual lesson plan is written as a discussion between teacher and students. It is formatted in such a way so that the teacher can guide the students into thinking about how they will engage in their art making. The "T's" that appear represent things that a teacher might say to his/her class while the "S's" represent the anticipated responses of students, of course theses are not the only possible responses nor are they exhaustive. Writing anticipated student responses provides the teacher with the opportunity to reflect upon the questions that (s)he intends to ask while accessing if they will lead the students towards the objective.
    • OPENING STATEMENT- is what the teacher says in the beginning of the class to set the tone and focus towards a specific idea.

    • TOPIC QUESTION- is the first question that the teacher asks the class in a way that will incorporate the idea of the opening statement in a way that will connect to students and their experiences.

    • ASSOCIATION- is a discussion that explores various aspects and ideas that arise from the Topic question, which guide students to reflect and focus on multiple perspectives and possibilities.

    • RECAP- is the teacher's verbal review of the answers and ideas that were put forth by the students during the Association.

    • TRANSITION- is when the teacher reveals to the class the specific's of the day's activity and begins to navigate the students towards thinking about their own work with the materials.

    • VISUALIZATION- is a series of questions and responses that help students focus on the specifics of their individual work. It helps the student organize ideas, and visualize what they need to do to create the desired outcome. Through well-directed prompts, the teacher can guide the students through a cognitive layout of their artwork.

    • RECAP- is the verbal review of ideas and notions that were discovered during the Visualization.

    • TRANSITION- moving from talking about ideas to actually making art, the teacher provides the students with some questions and ideas, which will help them, begin their art making process.

    • CLOSURE- is an opportunity to look at and discuss students' work while reinforcing the learning that the activity provided.

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    Students will learn that different kinds of lines such as; thin, thick, dark, light, short and long can be combined in an observational drawing of a still life, expressing the idea that objects may appear to change their form, size and direction dependent upon how they are positioned and re-positioned in space.

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    Necessary Materials

    • Good quality drawing pencils- light/dark

    • 18" x 24" heavy stock white drawing paper

    • Erasers (Pink Pearl)

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    Teaching Procedure

    T: The other day, while on the bus, I was seated directly across from a man who did not appear to have a big nose when I looked at him face to face. However, when I saw his profile- I realized he had a very large nose indeed.

    T: What other things can you think of that appear one way, but when positioned another way may look very different?
    S: Trees- one fell by my house, it looked a lot bigger on the ground than when it was standing up.
    S: Shoes sometimes look different- because from the front they look one way but when you turn them to the side you see how high they are and that makes them look different.
    S: This guy sat next to me in the movie theater and he didn't look so tall but when he stood up he was like a giant.

    T: Well, what is different about how a body looks when it is standing or when it is sitting?
    S: When you're sitting you are folded up in a little area or - but when you stand up it seems like you take up more space.
    S: Sometimes when I'm sitting I cross my legs- but when I'm standing my legs don't seem to overlap or be one in front of the other.

    T: Yes that's right - but why do bodies or things that change position look different as well? Why does this change occur as we change or point of view from position to position?
    S: Because things can look like they take up more or less space- even though they stay the same size.
    S: Sometimes- depending on how someone is positioned- you don't see some parts, like a leg or an arm.
    S: Parts of things or people might look like they are moving outwards while other parts may appear to go backwards.

    T: What is different about how things look when they appear to be moving outwards and backwards?
    S: Things look like they are getting smaller when they move away from you.
    S: When some parts appear to be moving forward- sometimes they block or overlap other parts.
    S: That's easy the closer something is the bigger it looks, the farther it is the smaller it looks.

    T: Lovely, you have provided thoughtful answers to my questions. Based on what we've discussed it would be fair to say that when something or someone changes position - it can affect how we perceive its size. We've also discussed how parts can appear as though they are moving back or forwards in space and that some parts may block or overlap other parts.

    T: Today we are going to draw from a still life set up of shoes and sneakers. If everyone would take off their shoe or shoes, I'll arrange them into a still life (in the middle of the room for all to see). Let's try to situate ourselves around it so that everyone has a good view. How is what you see different from what the person directly across from you sees? How is it different than the person next to you?
    S: The girl next to me probably sees more of the left side of the still life and less of the right side.
    S: The guy across from me sees the backsides of all the fronts that I see and the fronts of all the backs.
    S: Things that seem to be moving towards me would probably look as those they are moving away from the person right across from me.
    S: Stuff overlaps so we may see totally different things.

    T: What kind of lines will you need to use as you draw this still life from your perspective?
    S: I'll need some curvy lines to show the fronts of the sneakers that are closest to me.
    S: You could use little short lines for the stuff that is kind of cover by other things.
    S: Light lines to show things that are way back and sort of faint.

    T: When might you need to combine your lines?
    S: When I am trying to draw from shoe to shoe.
    S: I'll combine lines to show different directions like for moving backwards I'll use diagonal lines.
    S: I'll use dark line to show things that are overlapping and light lines to show what is moving backwards.

    T: If you want to make a line that describes the relationship between several shoes, how might the quality of your line(s) vary?
    S: You could use thick dark lines for the shoes in front and as they appear to move back in space the lines could become broken and lighter.

    T: Everyone has great ideas about how to use lines to show things in the front and things in the back, things that overlap and things that seem to move off in the distance etc.

    T: As you all find your places around the still life, think about where you'll begin your drawing? Will you use a viewfinder to focus on a specific area of the still life? Will you combine several types of lines together to express you view? And will your lines move in different directions? What part of the still life will you start with? Before you begin think about the direction you'll need to hold your paper. Consider when to use a dark pencil and where and when you might want to use a lighter one. As soon as you have all your materials you may begin.

    CLOSURE: Spend the last five or ten minutes of the period looking at and discussing the student's work. Focus on the use of lines, movement and combination of lines and how those lines changed to accommodate different perspectives.

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    Adaptation/Extension Ideas

    Now that students have worked from observation, allow them to develop work based in fantasy, incorporating the learning gained here.

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    Arnheim, R. (1990). THOUGHTS ON ART EDUCATION. Los Angeles: Getty Center for Education and the Arts.

    Lowenfeld,V. & Brittain, L (1982). CREATIVE AND MENTAL GROWTH. New York: MacMillan.

    Hurwitz, A. & Day,M. (1995). CHILDREN AND THEIR ART. New York: Harcourt Brace.

    Burton,J.M. (1981 January). "Developing minds: Ideas in search of forms." SCHOOL ARTS, 58-64.

    Burton, J.M. (1995 January). "NAEA research task force on student learning in and through the visual arts: Briefing paper." Reston, VA:NAEA.

    Burton, J.M. (1994, June). "The arts in infancy:Celebrating artistry in the child." Paper presented at the conference: The Arts in Infancy, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimre, Maryland.

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    About the Author

    Iris Bildstein is currently a Program Associate for the Art and Art Education Program at Teachers College Columbia University where she is pursuing a Masters of Education in Art Education. She expects to receive her degree at the end of the year and then will continue on to the completion of a Doctorate in Education. She is co-editing a graduate journal at Teachers College and also does some supervision of student teachers. For seven years, Ms. Bildstein taught and coordinated an art education program for New York City school children who did not receive any art education as part of their regular curriculum. Ms. Bildstein worked closely on this lesson plan with Dr. Judith Burton.

    Dr. Judith M. Burton is Professor and Chair of the Department of the Arts and Humanities, and Director of the Program in Art and Art Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Burton is an internationally recognized scholar, lecturer, author, and a highly respected 'developmentalist' known for her research on the artistic-aesthetic responses of children and adolescents. Among numerous publications, her widely acclaimed series 'Developing Minds', published in SCHOOL ARTS has become essential reading for art education students across the country. Dr. Burton has been awarded several prestigious honors, including the Lowenfeld Award for lifetime achievement by the National Art Education Association.

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