Playing with Basic Elements
For Grades K–12
Inspired by Fletcher Benton: The Alphabet
(July 30, 2009–July 3, 2010)
Fletcher Benton has another strategy for working. He uses a group of small basic elements and combines them in different ways to create small sculptures. Then he looks at all the sculptures and decides which ones are most interesting. These he turns into large-scale sculpture.
- Students will learn that everyday materials can be used as shapes
- Students will use everyday materials as repeated shapes in designing and building their own sculptures
- Students will learn about balance
Select a half dozen elements and give each student a half dozen or so of each. Some everyday objects that might be easy to include as elements are:
- Cotton swabs
- Peppermint puffs
- Styrofoam packing pieces
- Sugar cubes
- Cotton balls
- Geometric shapes cut from cardboard
Ask each student to build a small sculpture using whatever means they can to get things to stay together—twist ties, glue, etc. Evaluate each sculpture using the evaluation included with this lesson plan. Choose one sculpture to make a larger version. Have each student build a version of that sculpture, adding color. Compare these sculptures. How are they the same? How are they different?
New York State Learning Standards
- English Language Arts Standards 1 and 3
- Visual Arts Standards 1–3
Updates in Progress
We are in the process of revamping the Lesson Plans section of our website to help you find the lessons that suit your needs more easily.
During this time, please click through to an individual lesson plan to see all of the learning standards associated with that lesson.
Thank you for your patience. New tools are coming soon!
Which works are on view?
If you are planning to visit the Gallery to see a specific work of art, please call us first to confirm that it will be on view: 716.882.8700.
GUIDED SCHOOL TOURS
The Gallery offers guided school tours designed to create the critical and creative thinkers of tomorrow as part of the Art’scool program. Learn more