Using project-based learning, students create a fully functioning art gallery, featuring replicas, prints and original interpretations of famous works.
Art, history, artists, paintings, appreciation, museum, gallery, project-based learning, curation, docent
There’s no place like an art museum. The air is thick with history, emotion and human experience. The colors consume and the shapes speak. Build art appreciation and incorporate project-based learning with this fun curation event where students create a fully functioning art gallery featuring replicas, prints and original interpretations of famous pieces of art.
Split the class as evenly as possible into three groups. Assign each group a different artistic movement or period.
Group 1: Re-creations
Ask students to use the pencils, tracing paper and art textbooks to re-create their favorite works of art from the assigned period of history. Then have students put their traces against a white piece of printing paper. Encourage them to color their traces with felt-tipped markers, matching the originals to the best of their abilities. Afterwards, have students write on an index card the name of the piece, artist, time period and the year it was painted. Ask them to include one unique fact about the piece.
Group 2: Prints
Have students find and select at least three digital images of different pieces from the assigned period of history. Make sure that they find the highest-resolution images available. One good source of public-domain images is the National Gallery of Art. Then ask them to resize and “frame” the photos using the free photo editor PicMonkey.com. Afterwards, for each print, have students write on an index card the name of the piece, artist, time period and the year it was painted. Ask them to include one unique fact about the artist.
Group 3: Original Interpretations
Picasso was known not only for his originality and creativity, but also his imitations. He re-created (in wildly different form) famous pieces from throughout the art world. Have students use pencils, markers and printing paper to imitate a piece of artwork form either a library textbook or image search, creating an entirely new piece of art in the process. Afterwards, ask students to write on an index card the name of the original piece, artist, time period and the year it was painted. Encourage them to share their reasoning behind the artistic direction they chose.
After all three groups have completed the activity, let students organize the “collection” on the walls of your classroom (or in the hallways), posting each accompanying index card below the appropriate work.
To add depth to the project, have students plan out the amount of wall space they will need, along with the type of placement and groupings that are most sttractive and/or make the most sense from a historical or style perspective.
Finally, encourage students to view and quietly discuss the works in the gallery. Have each of the three groups take a turn walking through the gallery while the other groups stand by their artworks, ready to answer questions.
Optional: Play classical or jazz music to create a cultured and fun environment. This is also a great event for incorporating fancy food and beverages such as hors d’oeuvres and sparkling grape juice. In addition, try having students serve as “docents” for gallery visitors such as parents, other teachers, administrators, or students from higher or lower grades.
Lesson Plan Source
Jason Cunningham, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
GRADES 5 - 8
GRADES 9 - 12
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