Developing Arts Literacies:
Analyzing and Evaluating - Critique, Understanding Genres
Producing, Executing and Performing
Studying different artists' contributions through literacy is of value to the young child. This lesson introduces young students to the elements of the arts, and teaches them to use appropriate vocabulary when discussing paintings. Further, the students experience the process of creating paintings in various styles.
Be able to discuss works of art incorporating proper vocabulary
Learn about different artists and their style of art
Learn appreciation for art created not only by them but by others as well
Learn art-related vocabulary
What You'll Need
Teachers should familiarize themselves with elements of the visual arts and the genre of painting using the following sources:
De Bie, Cecil, and Martijn Leenan.
Rembrant: Children's See and Do Book. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum Publishers, 2001. Flux, Paul.
The Life and Work George Seurat. Oxford, UK: Heinemann Library, 2002. Lionni, Leo.
Matthew's Dream. New York: Knopf, 1995. Mayhew, James.
Katie Meets the Impressionists. Orchard Books, 1999. Venezia, Mike.
George Seurat: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 2003. Venezia, Mike.
Jackson Pollack: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1994. Venezia, Mike.
Michaelangelo: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1992. Venezia, Mike.
Rembrandt: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1988.
Web: Prior Student Knowledge
Students should have a general knowledge of the genre of painting.
Small Group Instruction
Materials for individual stations: Station 1: Jackson Pollock: Abstract Impressionist Action Painting Supplies Butcher paper Newspaper to cover table Table (enough room for each student) Paintbrushes (one for each student) Tempera paint
Venezia, Mike. Jackson Pollack: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1994. Station 2: Michaelangelo: Upside-Down Drawing Low table (enough room for each student) Pieces of paper (one for each student) Markers (one for each student) Masking tape
Venezia, Mike. Michaelangelo: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1992. Station 3: Rembrandt: Self-Portraits Easels (one for each student) Large self standing mirrors (one for each student) Tempera paint Paintbrushes (one for each student) Paper (one sheet for each student)
De Bie, Cecil, and Martijn Leenan. Rembrant: Children's See and Do Book. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum Publishers, 2001. Venezia, Mike. Rembrandt: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 1988. Station 4: Seurat: Q-tips® Pointillism Drafting/masking tape Q-tips® (2 or 3 per student) Tables (enough room for each student) Watercolor paper (one sheet for each student) Watercolors
Flux, Paul. The Life and Work George Seurat. Oxford, UK: Heinemann Library, 2002. Venezia, Mike. George Seurat: Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists. San Francisco: Children's Book Press, 2003. Station 5: The Impressionists A vase of flowers Easels (one for each student) Watercolor paints paintbrushes (one for each student) tables (enough room for each student)
Lionni, Leo. Matthew's Dream. New York: Knopf, 1995. Mayhew, James. Katie Meets the Impressionists. Orchard Books, 1999. Accessibility Notes
Students with physical disabilities may need modified movements.
Resources in Reach
Here are the resources you'll need for each activity, in order of instruction.
1. Read the students a book about art appreciation, such as . Ask students if they have ever seen paintings in a museum or another location. Ask them to describe some of the paintings they viewed. Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni
2. Display several prints of paintings, gathered from posters, art books, or Web resources. The paintings should reflect very different styles of art (Impressionism, Cubism, Realism, Pre-Raphaelite, etc.) Ask students to talk about each painting (both objective and subjective responses are acceptable).
3. Introduce students to the concept of the elements of the arts. Tell students that paintings have certain "ingredients." Artists choose to use these ingredients in different ways, depending on how they want their painting to look.
4. Use cards from the Define each word for the students and point out illustrative examples of each element on the paintings that were previously displayed to the student. handout to introduce and discuss elements of art. Word Card Note: This list is not an exhaustive list of the elements of art; however, these words should be readily understood by children at the K-4 grade level.
Color: red, blue, yellow, etc. Point out that some paintings have many colors, and some have none.
Line: A mark on a painting with length and direction. Types of lines include horizontal, vertical, wavy, curved, bent, straight, etc.
Shape: Forms such as circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, ovals, etc.
Texture: The "feel" of an artwork: rough, smooth, soft, hard, etc. Texture can be real (for example, an oil painting may be bumpy) or an artist may create the appearance of a texture.
Value: The lightness or darkness of the colors used in a painting.
5. Post the words on a word wall and refer to it throughout the rest of the lesson.
1. Read aloud an age-appropriate book about Jackson Pollock, such as Discuss the artists' work with the students, being sure to incorporate the vocabulary on the word wall. Jackson Pollack (Getting to Know the World's Famous Artists) by Mike Venezia.
2. Display Referece the word wall that you created. Pollock's art in the Resource Carousel above, and have students evaluate it according to the words they learned in the Engage step.
1. Set up five stations around the room, each representing a famous artist or style. The supplies for each station are listed below. At each station, have available several prints of paintings by the artist, so that students will have a point of reference.
Each area should have the following:
A drying area for finished paintings
Bucket of soapy water
New vocabulary terms w/visuals
One to two volunteers
Pictures of artwork depicting the technique
Additional materials needed for specific stations are noted below.
2. Divide the class into small groups and send them each to a different station for 10 minutes.
Station 1: Jackson Pollock: Abstract Impressionist Action Painting Supplies
At this station, have a section of butcher paper rolled out on the ground to catch any spills and drips. Display various colors of paint in small containers on a newspaper covered table. Have children write their names on the back of their paper/canvas. Place a sheet of paper or canvas on the butcher paper - one sheet per child. Using the paintbrushes, the students will stand directly above their paper and drip paint onto the paper below using whatever colors they choose. Because this is an action painting, it is important that the children can move around their paper as they paint. Allow the paintings to dry.
Station 2: Michelangelo: Upside Down Drawing
Tape a piece of paper (one per student) to the underside of the low table, and have the children lie underneath the canvas as they paint. Let the children discover how it feels to draw while lying on their backs while reaching up to draw on the paper. Remove drawings upon their completion and set up the area for the next group.
Additional supplies needed:
Station 3: Rembrandt: Self-Portraits
Have the children stand in front of the mirrors and look at themselves. Allow children plenty of time. Have the students paint their self-portraits while discussing their attributes such as: hair color, eyes, etc. Let the paintings dry on a nearby flat surface.
Additional supplies needed:
Large self standing mirrors
Station 4: Seurat: Q-Tips® Pointillism
Remind students of the way Seurat used dots to make paintings and placed colors next to each other rather than mixing them. Have students write their names on the back of their paper. Tape the edges with drafting tape. They will wet their paint with a brush, dip the Q-tip® in water and dip it into the paint. Discuss the technique of pressing down lightly to make a small dot while more pressure will create a larger one. Have the students try and fill up as much of their paper as possible with color. Remove the tape and place the painting on a flat surface or hang to dry.
Additional supplies needed for 3-4 students
Station 5: Impressionists
Students should paint an outline of the flowers on the top half of their paper. After filling in the flower(s) with color, have them create a vase below the flowers. Remind students that the flowers do not have to look entirely realistic. Like the Impressionists, they should use light strokes to create an artistic version of the flowers.
Additional supplies needed:
A vase of flowers
Reflect 1. Have the students present one of their paintings to the class.
The class should try to determine which style of painting the work represents, and should discuss the painting using the vocabulary terms.
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.
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 in Other Subjects
Language Arts Standard 8:
Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes