Turtle neck-clad art connaisseurs and high brows will have you know that there is truly art in everything. A layman like myself would, however, beg to differ. This lesson plan lets your students tackle this very question. I’ve used this mini-lesson as intro to one of the suggested assignments found at the end of this post. I’ve also used it in conjunction with a session of online Pictionary.
Start by discussing the questions in smaller groups or the whole class together.
Watch the film “What is Art” and respond to the comprehension questions below.
What examples does Phil Hansen give of things that could be considered art?
- A beautiful shopping cart
- A sac of candy bars or a chair
- A chair and a canvas
Does everyone agree on what art is?
- Yes, everyone knows what art is
- Only artists, historians and philosophers agree
- No. It varies from person to person
According to Phil Hansen…
- …not all art is beautiful
- …all art is beautiful
- …beauty is the best way to judge art
How can we analyse art?
- Through beauty standards
- Through the principles of design
- Through the elements of art
Matisse said that…
- …he paints the table
- …he paints the emotions he gets from the table
- …he paints what he sees
What is important in conceptual art?
- Both the idea and the final product
- The final product
- The idea
How can we come closer to a definition of art?
- By understanding the artist’s intent
- By interpreting the artist’s product
- By combining the artist’s intent and our own interpretation
Follow up activities
Artist and artwork presentation
Individually or in groups, have the students prepare presentations on an artist of their choice along with one (or some) of their works. Encourage the students to pick artists whose art they truly admire. No one wants to listen to a handful of presentations on the allure of Mona Lisa’s smile. 😀
The Artist is You
Ask the students to produce one piece of art themselves and have them present it in front of the class. The presentation should include their thoughts about the meaning behind and possible interpretations of their piece, as well as a detailed description of the creative process, i.e. how they went about creating their art.
Coat of Arms
Have the students draw personal coats of arms and ornate them with symbols that represent them. Wrap up the assignment with presentations. Material for this assignment is available on my TpT-store.