Lesson Plans

Lesson plan summaries for grades 5-8 and 6-12.

Designing Functional Public Art for The Community

Students are challenged to design a functional public art installation that benefits their community. Through collaborative exploration and examination students recognize and evaluate issues affecting their community. Students build a small-scale model and write a proposal that highlights the functions and benefits of their art installation for the Greater New Bedford community. Effective communication will be practiced through group discussion, presentation, and collaborative brainstorming with peers.


Museum & Art Inspirations: Learning through Art History

Students visit a local art museum or view examples of art history from various cultures, artists, time periods, and mediums. Students will be shown the works of Takashi Murakami which were inspired by the Japanese art collection from the MFA. Works will be discussed, and the teacher will explain how they are influenced and inspired by previous works from art history. Other examples will be shown of artworks created “in response” to other works. Students will search for and provide samples of their favorite artworks, from artists past and present (can be an artist on the internet, not just historical fine art). Students will choose artworks that they feel influenced by and create works with their choice of media.


History & Place: Architecture in the Community

Students learn about New Bedford’s history through the exploration of area architecture by constructing small line drawings and low-relief plasticine clay sculptures of area houses and buildings. Students discuss architectural styles, the Abolitionist history of New Bedford, and the importance of place. Students view a gallery exhibit of “Black Spaces Matter” and have a guided tour by guest speaker Dr. Pamela Karimi.


Community Memory Map: Identifying and Communicating Locations of Social Importance

Students are challenged to construct an illustrated map that explores community. Students will identify important locations in their community through collaborative exploration and illustration. Through the use of symbolic imagery, student’s visual memory maps will communicate places of social significance specific to the Greater New Bedford community. Communication skills will be practiced through facilitated group discussion about location and community.


Exploring Leadership Through Mixed Media & Collage

Through group discussions, students explain the role and impact of leadership on their community. Students observe the art of modern collage and mixed media artists and discover the materials they used in their art-making processes. Students explore the topic of the qualities of good leadership through collage and mixed media techniques. In writing, students identify visual and physical textures and describe the differences between them. Students also reflect on the artists and the elements and principles of art that inspired and influenced their own artwork. During critique, students present their artwork to their peers and give and receive positive and constructive criticism.


Mark Making: Reusing Found & Recycled Objects in Art

Students discuss mass production/mass consumption, the life cycle of everyday objects, trash, and recycling. Students learn about the environmental impact of trash on a local and global level. The teacher shows examples of mark-making tools or objects, such as paintbrushes, made from found and recycled objects from the environment. Students will gather objects outside of class-hours, in their community, to fashion into mark-making tools. In following classes, students create tools for use with paint and ink. Students suggest ideas for solutions to issues with trash and cutting down on waste.


Kintsugi Papier-mâché: Beautiful Imperfection

Students learn about the Japanese art of Kintsugi / Kintsukuroi (golden repair), in which broken ceramics were repaired with golden epoxy and the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, seeing the beauty in flaws and imperfections. Students will create papier-mâché bowls and create gold paint ‘cracks’ on the surface. They will then paint the bowls with white and black paint and draw designs and patterns that have personal significance to each individual student.


Women in Art History: Feminism and Gender Equity

Students will analyze the artwork of historically significant female artists. Students will demonstrate their ability to reproduce the elements, techniques, and color palettes used in the work of their chosen artists. Students will work both independently and cooperatively to create a large portrait of a woman, with each student working on a single part of the whole artwork.


Dragons from Art History: Exploring Dragons from Cultures Across The Globe

Students view examples of artwork of dragons from art history: various cultures, artists, time periods, and mediums. Works will be discussed and the teacher will ask how they are influenced and inspired by previous works from art history. Prints of the artwork will be given to students. Students will choose one artwork each that they feel personally inspired by and create works influenced and inspired by that artwork. Students will sketch their dragons with pencil on practice paper, then draw and ink with sharpie marker on watercolor paper, before painting.


Clay Relief: Expressionism

Students create a portrait in the style of the Expressionist art movement in clay relief on cardboard, expressing their reaction and emotions relating to something current that is important to them. The teacher emphasizes the elements and principles of the Expressionist art movement and how it was a response and reaction to the events happening during the 1890s-1930s. Final works will be viewed, discussed, and critiqued by students.