- Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School
- Subject Area: Art
In this unit, students will create drawings of their own homes and those that they imagine might be found in a foreign country. Students will also conduct research on that particular foreign country using a variety of sources and exchange artwork and questions with another group of students in that foreign country.
- Develop observation skills as they draw their own homes and buildings.
- Explore techniques for creating artwork based on inference from data and using their imaginations.
- Develop relationships with students in a foreign country through the international language of visual arts.
- Learn to use the Internet as a tool for research and creative inspiration.
- Use different media and techniques to communicate ideas and experiences.
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: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem) or higher.
Unit Lesson Plans
Relation to Standards
- Lesson One: Imagining Homes and Environments. Students choose a foreign country and create paintings of what they think homes might look like based on basic data about environments present in the country.
- Lesson Two: Exploring Homes and Resources. Students use a variety of resources to search for images of and information about the exchange country's environments and housing.
- Lesson Three: Exchanging Art. Students create drawings of their own homes and exchange them with another classroom of students in the foreign exchange country.
We have drawn on the National Standards for Arts Education outlined by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations. These standards provide excellent guidelines for teachers on how to focus visual arts in their classrooms.
One Computer versus Many
The plans for this unit are tailored to fit teaching situations where students have access to several computers with an Internet connection. To accommodate classrooms that do not have access to a computer lab with full Internet connections, students can work in research groups to explore Internet sites and conduct their research.
If you have only one computer with Internet access, you may choose to do one of the following:
- If you have the technology, you may hook up the computer to a TV monitor or LCD projector. This will allow the whole class to see sites in the preliminary stages when students are exploring sites created by other children.
- You may choose to have students take turns working in groups using the computer with Internet access.
- You may also download files from the Internet and save them on a disk. Now you can transfer the files you saved on a disk to the other non-Internet computers. Installing copies of your Web browser on all non-Internet computers will allow you to view the pages you saved to a disk. This will not allow students to explore hyper-links, but they will be able to access and view the information by opening each file with the Web browser.