Back to Art Across the Planet Unit Lesson Plans
- Grade Level: Elementary School, Middle School
- Subject Area: Art
Students connect with another classroom or school of students in a foreign country and exhange artwork on which they have drawn their own homes.
- Explore art used as a source of information about society and material culture.
- Use different media, techniques and processes to communicate ideas and experiences.
- Practice drawing architectural structures from naturalistic observation.
Materials and Resources
In developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer with the necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as a World Wide Web browser. In the section below, we specify any "special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
- Special hardware requirements: None.
- Special software requirements: None.
- Internet access: A medium-speed or higher connection.
- Classroom Resources: Colored pencils, 9"x12" paper, rulers.
- Introduce the lesson by reviewing the previous two activities. Let students know that they will draw their own homes or examples of housing in their area and then exchange their drawings with students in the foreign country.
- Discuss with students the idea that artwork from different places and times can be used as a source of information about the people and the material culture of a society.
- As preparation for this assignment, ask students to make a sketch of their own home or housing typical of their community directly from observations. Students should try to accurately capture the shape of the building and the roof, the placement of windows and doors, and the colors they see on the house or building.
- Have students bring their sketches to school and use them as a reference when they draw their houses using colored pencils and rulers.
- Ask students what they learned from their own observations and frame the discussion using the concepts of housing, natural resources and environments elaborated in Lesson One.
- Fold the students' artwork into thirds and address and mail the drawings to the students at the foreign exchange classroom or school.
- When the drawings of students in the foreign school arrive, discuss the drawings as artwork and sources of information. The following is a list of possible discussion questions:
- What do you like about the drawings as works of art?
- Does anything surprise you about the drawings? Why?
- What could we infer about the environment, natural resources and housing just by looking at the drawings?
- How are the houses similar to or different from our own?
- Are the drawings similar to or different from the photos and descriptions of houses we got from other sources of information? In what ways?