Students take a "gallery walk" of Norman Rockwell paintings, discuss the stories the painter was trying to tell through his paintings.
Norman Rockwell, setting, character, event, vocabulary
Before the Lesson
Gather slips of paper, one per student. Divide the slips into four groups of roughly equal number.
Print copies of these two Rockwell paintings.
Attach each image to one of the four sheets or chart paper or poster board. Divide the remaining space on the paper/poster into four equal areas labeled with one of the four headings: Setting, Characters, Event, and Vocabulary.
Finally, print out copies of some or all of the images in the sidebar.
The Lesson Divide a sheet of chart paper or a section of whiteboard into four blocks. Label each block with one of these terms:
Share with students the Norman Rockwell painting Girl at Mirror. The painting shows a girl looking into a mirror as she tries to strike a pose similar to the magazine picture she sees of a beautiful model/movie star striking a pose. Invite students to share words or phrases that describe
You might take extra time to encourage students to write as many descriptive words as they can to fill the Vocabulary block.
When you have completed this activity, invite one or two students to tell about the story Rockwell was trying to capture in this painting. Students might draw from the list of terms written on the chart as they describe the painting.
Repeat the procedure above with another of Rockwells paintings, for example, Waiting for the Vet. Invite students to share words or phrases that describe the Setting, Characters, Events, and Vocabulary of this Rockwell painting. Then invite one or two students to share the story of what Rockwell tried to capture in "Waiting for the Vet."
You might also talk about the "time period" when Rockwell was creating these paintings. Give students an opportunity to talk about how times have changed. They might draw parallels between the innocent times depicted in Rockwells paintings and some of the TV shows they might know from that era -- shows like Leave It to Beaver.
Once students are gathered into their assigned group, its time for them to go on a "gallery walk." Assign each group of students to one of the four charts/posters displayed around the classroom. Allow students five minutes to fill in their assigned block on the chart or poster. The Setting group will use markers or crayons to write words and phrases in the Setting block on the paper/poster to which they are assigned, the Characters group will fill in the Characters block on the poster to which they are assigned, and so on
When five minutes have passed, each group will rotate to the next chart/poster and fill in their block Continue rotating students at five-minute intervals until each group has visited and filled in their assigned block on each paintings paper/poster.
When the "gallery walk" is completed, bring the groups back together. Share what the groups have written and invite other students in the class to add to the words and phrases to each block on the charts/posters.
Finally, provide copies of some other Rockwell paintings (see first sidebar). Ask each student to create a 4-block graphic organizer; they will fill in each block -- Setting, Characters, Event, and Vocabulary -- with words or phrases that come to mind. When they have completed the graphic organizer, they will use the information in it to write a paragraph or short essay that shares their ideas about the story that Norman Rockwell was trying to tell through the painting.
FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
GRADES K - 4
NA-VA.K-4.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-4.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.5-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.5-8.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.3 Choosing and Evaluating A Range of Subject Matter, Symbols, and Ideas
NA-VA.9-12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts In Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.9-12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
SOCIAL SCIENCES: U.S. History
GRADES K - 4
NSS-USH.K-4.1 Living and Working together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago
GRADES 5 - 12
NSS-USH.5-12.7 Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)
NSS-USH.5-12.8 Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
NSS-USH.5-12.9 Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
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