Kandinsky Abstract ArtStudents learn about the life and work of Wassily Kandinsky, who is well known as the father of abstract art. Students look and discuss his use of line, shape and color. Students also learn that Kandinsky painted to music while trying to convey the emotion or mood of that music in his work. Students employ straight and curvy lines in their pieces to create shapes across the page. While listening to Vivalidi's Four Seasons, students select colors that matched the mood of the music to color their shapes in.
Cave PaintingsStudents learn about the Lascuax Cave Paintings from France, which are some of the oldest works of art ever discovered. Students look at and discuss the content of these paintings and observe that they are primarily of animals such as horses, deer, buffalo, bulls and cows. These animals were very important life force to the people living in this area some 20,000 years ago. They used everything from meat for food, bone marrow for torches to skins for clothing and blankets. Students also observe that hand prints were used among the paintings of animals. Although there are many theories to the meanings of these hand prints, there is one that suggests that they may have been a way of signing their work. For their project, students crumple and rip their paper to give it the texture of a rock wall. Students then draw animals that were observed in the caves using crayons. Students also trace and color their hands to "sign" their work. Finally, students use water color paints to paint the background to give the paper the look and feeling of stone.
Chinese DragonsStudents learn about the importance of dragons to the Chinese cultures. Students read an ancient Chinese tale about how the four rivers of China came to be. It is said that there were four dragons: the pearl dragon, the yellow dragon, the black dragon and the long dragon, who sacrificed themselves to become the four rivers of China. Students look at and observe key characteristics of Chinese dragons and then draw a dragon using these characteristics. Students also use traditional colors when coloring their dragons, including gold, red, green and blue.
Van Gogh SunflowersStudents learn about the life and work of Vincent Van Gogh. In particular, students discuss his use of all seven elements of art, which include line, shape, color, texture, space, form and value. Students create their own versions of Van Gogh's Vase with Sunflowers using all seven elements of art in their work.
Radial Symmetry Name Tiles
For this lesson, students learn the difference between bilateral and radial symmetry, as well as geometry in Islamic tile work. Students look at and discuss different brightly colored tile patterns and observe the use of radial symmetry in them. Based on this idea of pattern and radial symmetry, students create tiles using their names. First, students divided their tile squares into eight equal pie sections that radiate from the center of the squares. In one pie section, each student will write his or her name in bubble letters, making sure that each letter touches the top and bottom of the pie slice. Students then use light pads to trace their names in the seven remaining pie sections thus creating a radially symmetric design. Students then color each letter and the space between each letter making sure to maintain radial symmetry. Finally, they add a variety of patterns to their letters and spaces between to create an intricate, radially symmetric tile.
Aztec Sun StonesStudents learn about Aztec art, specifically the Aztec Calendar Stone. Students create homemade scratchboards, using analogous color schemes. Then students carve their own versions of the calendar stone with an abstract face in the center and rings of patterns around the face. As an extra challenge, students are asked tot base their patterns upon the five worlds/suns from the creation story of the Aztecs including the jaguar, wind, rain, water and earthquake worlds/suns.