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Norman Rockwell Paints America


Subjects

  • Arts & Humanities
    --Art History
    --Language Arts
    --Visual Arts
  • Social Studies
    --History
    ----U.S. History
    --Sociology

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Students take a "gallery walk" of Norman Rockwell paintings, discuss the stories the painter was trying to tell through his paintings.

Objectives

Students

  • become familiar with the American master painter Norman Rockwell.
  • work cooperatively with peers in a "gallery walk" setting to describe the scenes that Rockwell painted.
  • think critically about/interpret the stories Rockwell was trying to tell through his paintings.

Keywords

Norman Rockwell, setting, character, event, vocabulary

Materials Needed

  • index cards or slips of paper, one per student (see detailed instructions in Before the Lesson)
  • books with images of Norman Rockwell paintings or copies printed from the Internet (see sources in Before the Lesson and the sidebar)
  • chart paper or poster board (see details for preparing these in the Before the Lesson section)
  • markers or crayons
  • paper and pencil

Lesson Plan

Before the Lesson

Gather slips of paper, one per student. Divide the slips into four groups of roughly equal number.

  • Write the word Setting on each slip in one group.
  • Write Characters on each slip in the second group.
  • Write Event on the third group of slips.
  • Write Vocabulary on the slips in the fourth group.

    Print copies of these two Rockwell paintings.

    Rockwell Paintings
    At Your Fingertips

    The images below might be printed for use in your classroom discussion. Click on the small image at the top of each Google Images page for a full-size image to print.

  • Autumn
  • The Dugout
  • Gossip
  • Oh, Yeah
  • The Runaway
  • Sunday Morning
  • Surprise
  • Tattooist

  • In addition, gather four sheets of chart paper or poster board. Attach to each sheet a copy of a different painting by Norman Rockwell. These four paintings might be good ones to use for this activity (or see the sidebar for additional ideas).

    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:

  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Event
  • Vocabulary

    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

  • the setting of the painting (for example, a bedroom, an attic, in front of a mirror). Write student responses in the block labeled Setting.
  • the characters in the painting (for example, a girl, a movie star in a magazine, a model). Write student responses in the block labeled Characters.
  • the event or situation in the painting (for example, girl trying to strike a facial pose similar to the movie stars pose in the magazine, a girl who has combed her hair to mimic the style on a movie stars hair, a girl who is torn between being a child who plays with dolls and a grownup). Write student responses in the block labeled Event.
  • things or feelings depicted in the painting (for example, pout, pose, movie star, hairstyle, magazine, makeup, growing up, expression, mimic, imitate). Write student responses in the block labeled Vocabulary.

    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.

    Norman Rockwells
    "Four Freedoms"

    Norman Rockwell captured the heart and soul of America in his "Four Freedoms" paintings. You might share these paintings with your students.
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Worship
  • Freedom from Fear
  • Freedom from Want

    Share the story behind the paintings too. These paintings were inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelts State of the Union Address in 1941. (Click to hear an excerpt of FDRs speech. Doesnt work for you? Here is an alternate audio source.)

    Challenge students to describe the Setting, Characters, Event, and Vocabulary of each of Rockwells four "Four Freedoms" paintings.

  • Next, arrange students into four groups. Fan out the cards or slips of paper on which you have written one of the words Setting, Characters, Events, and Vocabulary. Invite each student to choose a slip. Students will gather in groups according to the slips drawn. (For example, all students holding a slip labeled Setting will gather in one group, and so on.) Introduce students to four more paintings by Norman Rockwell.

    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.

    Assessment

    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.

    Lesson Plan Source

    EducationWorld.com

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    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

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.3 Evaluation Strategies
    NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
    NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    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)

    See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.)

    For additional lessons in the arts, see these Education World resources:

  • Lesson Planning: The Arts
  • The Arts Subject Center
  • Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans: The Arts

    For additional language arts/reading lesson plans, see these Education World resources:

  • Lesson Planning: Language Arts
  • Language and Literature Subject Center
  • Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans: Arts & Humanities
  • Writing Bug
  • Every-Day Edits

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    Copyright© 2006 Education World

    11/20/2006



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