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 Museum of Fine Art in Boston, MA. 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.

Artistic Visions Fantasy Creatures
Students view fantasy illustrations based on the anatomy of modern animals and learn how artists break down complex 3D forms into simpler basic shapes, forms, and ideas. Students explore complex photographs of modern animals, such as birds, lizards, and mammals and simplify them into basic shapes: organic and geometric. Drawing from 3D figures and with reference images, students invent their own fantasy creature based on real anatomy. Students create unique imagined creatures with colorful plumage, patterns, fur, feathers, hair, scales, and various textured skin. Students choose a color scheme based on the color palette of a famous artwork. Students design their creatures for a specific environment and include this as a detailed background in their finished illustration. Students write artist statements on their creative process.

Exploring Identity Through Japanese Masks & Anime Portraiture
Students view the origins of anime and Japanese masks and compare them to traditional portraiture. Students draw basic portraits using standard proportions and compare them to the familiar distorted facial features of anime portraits. Students explore their concept of identity (how they view themselves, how they are perceived) and self-expression by creating a two-sided self-portrait, one side drawn in anime-style and the other side represented by a Japanese mask.

Myths, Legends, and Fairy Tales: Narratives in Imagery
Students discuss how artists tell stories through imagery and the artwork of a variety of artists and different mediums. Students choose a classic fairy tale that they’d like to use as their narrative image. Students brainstorm and write a list of visuals from the story. Students create thumbnail sketches of the narrative image they’d like to create which shows a sense of depth through use of space. After creating sketches, students cut colored paper and layer it to create a background, middle-ground, foreground. Students use symbolic imagery and character silhouettes to help tell a story. Final artwork is mounted on paper. Students critique the artwork of another class and explain their thoughts to their peers.