/educators/lessons/grade-6-8/Making_the_Ordinary_Pop

Making the Ordinary Pop

How does an object go from being ordinary to becoming art?

Overview

Key Staff

Visual Arts teacher
Opportunities to collaborate with computer teacher, librarian and/or technology coordinator

Key Skills

Making Art: Composing and Planning, Producing, Executing and Performing, Analyzing Assessing and Revising
Developing Arts Literacies: Understanding Genres, Applying Vocabulary, Analyzing and Evaluating - Critique, Comparing Styles
Creative Thinking: Creativity and Innovation

Summary

Pop art examines the distinction between "high art" and popular culture, and questions the role of the artist. Pop artists Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg used everyday objects and familiar icons in their artwork. This lesson focuses on Warhol's methods of repetition and Oldenburg's idea of presenting the ordinary object as sculptural form or art. Students will combine these two ideas into a two-dimensional artwork using hands-on painting and photo editing software.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Explore the concept of "ordinary" objects that are transformed, through various techniques, into art
  • Analyze and interpret the work of Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol
  • Identity techniques in Pop Art, including screenprinting, repetition, and embellishment of the familiar
  • Use digital cameras and photo editing software to alter images of "ordinary" objects
  • Use various hands-on art techniques and materials to alter images of "ordinary" objects
  • Create a diptych of altered digital images, incorporating a variety of art and graphic techniques and concepts

Teaching Approach

Arts Integration

Teaching Methods

  • Direct Instruction
  • Multimedia Instruction
  • Studio Practice

Assessment Type

Determined by Teacher

Preparation

What You'll Need

Materials
Resources
Required Technology
  • 1 Computer per Learner
  • Digital Camera
  • Printer
Lesson Setup

Teacher Background

Prior to this lesson, you and your students should have some familiarity with a digital camera and a graphics software program, such as KidPix, Hyperstudio, or Photoshop. You may wish to collaborate with the computer lab teacher, or work with students in the computer lab to familiarize them with the software.

To learn more about Pop Art, visit:

Prior Student Knowledge

Students should be comfortable using digital cameras and graphics software.

Students should be familiar with pop art.

Physical Space

  • Classroom
  • Computer Lab
  • Media Center or Library

Grouping

Individualized Instruction

Staging

Prior to beginning this lesson, place on students' desks an assortment of objects, including such everyday items as a sock, trophy, small toys, bottle caps, pencil, plastic spoon, baseball card, costume jewelry, screwdriver, toothbrush, etc. The objects should be a variety that students might describe as ordinary and/or special

Reserve time in the computer lab if necessary

Accessibility Notes

Students with physical disabilities may need modified movements.

Instruction

Resources in Reach

Here are the resources you'll need for each activity, in order of instruction.

Engage
Apply
Reflect

Engage

1. Begin by exploring a primary concept in pop art: using the ordinary, everyday object as the subject of an artwork. Have students look at the images on the Claes Oldenburg web site, focusing in particular on the following pieces: Giant Clothespin, Ball and Glove, Soft Toilet, and Trowel I. Read the short biography of him on the site.

2. Lead the class in a critique of Oldenburg's art and discuss the subjects of his sculptures. Ask students about the kinds of things they usually see in artwork. Include questions such as: Why do you think the artist chose these materials to create the piece? Do you think of objects like this as being art?

3. Show students a regular clothespin. Compare/contrast the real clothespin object with Oldenburg's sculpture, using a Venn Diagram. Direct students to notice the differences in size, material, and features of the clothespin and the sculpture. Ask students: What did the artist do to the clothespin to make it into art?

4. Have students look through magazines and search for "ordinary" and "special" objects. Students will tack or tape what they find to a board labeled SPECIAL on one side and ORDINARY on the other. Students should develop a rationale for their choice and describe a possible method to make an ordinary object into something special. (Potential answers could be to paint, enlarge, place it in a special container, decorate it, add features or materials, etc.)

5. Instruct students that must bring in an "ordinary" object for use in their artwork. The object must be something they consider ordinary. Ask them to complete The Search for the Ordinary Objectwriting assignment handout located within the Resource Carousel. (Note: Have some objects accessible in class for those who forget to bring their own.)

Build Knowledge

(Teacher Note: Prior to class, have an 8 1/2 x 11 photocopied image of a famous person for each student. If you find an image that is smaller than 8 1/2X11, simply enlarge it on the copier. You can use a magazine or the Internet. The quality of the image does not have to be good.)

1. Have students read a biography of Andy Warhol. Discuss with students his background and the major points in his career.

  • Explain his methods of repetition and embellishment of familiar icons or famous people.
  • Discuss how he repeated his images and added paint and changed the colors.
  • Discuss the Green Coca-Cola Bottles image and note the arrangement of the bottles.
  • Ask the class how this is different from putting just one Coca-Cola bottle on a shelf.
  • Notice the formal qualities of the art such as color, pattern, and texture and how they affect the image.

2. Compare/contrast the Mao Tse-Tung images to a regular photograph and note how Warhol changed the photographs to create "art." Warhol created these portraits using a specific technique called screenprinting.

3. Give students photocopied images of a famous person. Have students use tempera paint and a variety of craft items to embellish their images. Have students tack their images onto the wall, side by side in rows. Explain to students that this is the Andy Warhol method of repetition.

4. Lead the class in a critique of their artwork, asking them:

  • Did you think the image was art before you did something to it?
  • How do we perceive the images when they are placed next to each other like this?
  • Do any of the images look the same as they did when you first received them?
  • Allow time for discussion as students explore the idea of an artist transforming an ordinary object into art.

Apply

(Teacher Note: Prior to class, have an 8 1/2 x 11 photocopied image of a famous person for each student. If you find an image that is smaller than 8 1/2X11, simply enlarge it on the copier. You can use a magazine or the Internet. The quality of the image does not have to be good.)

1. Have students read a biography of Andy Warhol. Discuss with students his background and the major points in his career.

  • Explain his methods of repetition and embellishment of familiar icons or famous people.
  • Discuss how he repeated his images and added paint and changed the colors.
  • Discuss the Green Coca-Cola Bottles image and note the arrangement of the bottles.
  • Ask the class how this is different from putting just one Coca-Cola bottle on a shelf.
  • Notice the formal qualities of the art such as color, pattern, and texture and how they affect the image.

2. Compare/contrast the Mao Tse-Tung images to a regular photograph and note how Warhol changed the photographs to create "art." Warhol created these portraits called 'Diptychs' using a specific technique called screenprinting.

3. Give students photocopied images of a famous person. Have students use tempera paint and a variety of craft items to embellish their images. Directions on how to create a Dyptych is available within the Resource Carousel. Have students tack their images onto the wall, side by side in rows. Explain to students that this is the Andy Warhol method of repetition.

4. Lead the class in a critique of their artwork, asking them:

  • Did you think the image was art before you did something to it?
  • How do we perceive the images when they are placed next to each other like this?
  • Do any of the images look the same as they did when you first received them?
  • Allow time for discussion as students explore the idea of an artist transforming an ordinary object into art.

Reflect

1. Have students display their artwork and conduct a class critique.

2. Discuss the two methods used by Oldenburg and Warhol and how they used both of these methods in their artwork. Discuss Oldenburg’s method of making sculptures or art from ordinary everyday objects and Warhol’s methods of repetition and embellishing familiar images. Have students use the Pop Art: Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol interactive slideshow to review and check for understanding.

3. Have students reflect in writing on how they changed their ordinary object into art.Reflection writing prompt is available within the Resource Carousel. Discuss with class how their ideas of art have or have not changed, and revisit students' original ideas at the beginning of the lesson on the definition of art.

Standards

Throughout the nation, standards of learning are being revised, published and adopted. During this time of transition, ARTSEDGE will continually add connections to the Common Core, Next Generation Science standards and other standards to our existing lessons, in addition to the previous versions of the National Standards across the subject areas.

The Arts Standards used in ARTSEDGE Lessons are the 1994 voluntary national arts standards. The Arts learning standards were revised in 2014; please visit the National Core Arts Standards (http://nationalartsstandards.org) for more. The Kennedy Center is working on developing new lessons to connect to these standards, while maintaining the existing lesson library aligned to the Common Core, other state standards, and the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education.

ArtsEdge Lessons connect to the National Standards for Arts Education, the Common Core Standards, and a range of other subject area standards.

Common Core/State Standards

Select state and grade(s) below, then click "Find" to display Common Core and state standards.

National Standards For Arts Education
Visual Art

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

Grade 5-8 Visual Arts Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

National Standards in Other Subjects
Technology

Technology Standard 1: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer hardware and operating systems

Technology Standard 2: Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs

Technology Standard 6: Understands the nature and uses of different forms of technology

Credits

Writers

Daniella Garran
Original Writer

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