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    • A Wall in the Middle Ground

      For Grades 3–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Paul Gauguin's The Yellow Christ, 1889
      To talk about paintings, especially narrative paintings (those that tell a story), we often divide images into three sections—the foreground, the middle ground, and the background. The foreground refers to the space closest to the viewer, the background is the area farthest away, and the middle ground is everything in between. This lesson plan explores these concepts and includes discussion exercises and creative writing activities.

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    • Art for Remembering

      For Grades K–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Robert Rauschenberg's Ace, 1962
      Robert Rauschenberg, one of the twentieth century’s most prolific and well-known artists, lived in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. This lesson plan explores the invention of what he called “combines”—semi-abstract compositions combining Abstract Expressionist–style painting with real world objects he collected during walks throughout the city—and provides an opportunity for students to create and present "combines" about their own experiences.

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    • Basketball Drawing!

      For Grades K–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring David Hammons's Basketball Drawing, 2001
      Basketball Drawing, by African American artist David Hammons, was created using Harlem earth as a drawing material, and the act of playing basketball as a drawing method. After learning about and discussing Basketball Drawing, students will create their own work in a similar manner and discuss how it relates to and reflects their school and community.

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    • Blue Sky, Blue Wall

      For Grades 3–5

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Jim Dine’s Child’s Blue Wall, 1962
      Jim Dine’s Child’s Blue Wall combines sculpture and painting. It is both a realistic depiction of a child’s bedroom and an abstract painting of a night sky. This lesson plan explores how Dine accomplished these two ideas in the same work of art, and gives students a chance to try making similar works themselves.

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    • Can It!?

      For Grades 3–5

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Andy Warhol's 100 Cans, 1962
      Pop artists used consumer products, advertising, and popular culture icons as the major source for subject matter in their art. Between 1962 and 1967, Andy Warhol painted soup cans, both individually and in groups. 100 Cans is one of the last images he painted by hand before turning to silkscreen printing methods. This lesson contains activities that teach elementary math concepts, as well as the visual arts concept of multiple images.

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    • Capturing the Light and Color of a Moment in Time

      For Grades 3–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Claude Monet’s Chemin de halage à Argenteuil (Tow-Path at Argenteuil), ca. 1875
      Claude Monet was an Impressionist living in France in the late 1800s who wanted to capture the light and atmosphere of a specific moment in time, often painting outdoors. Impressionists used new methods of mixing colors based on contemporary scientific writings about optics. This lesson plan explores optical mixing, painting the same subject under different conditions of light, and the short choppy brushstrokes used by the Impressionists.

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    • Choose Your Words Carefully

      Grades 3–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing

      Featuring Ed Ruscha's Electric, 1963, and Nancy Dwyer's Kill Yourself, 1989
      Students will understand how elements of art work with text to communicate a message, create two images: one in which text and art elements work together and one in which they conflict, and use knowledge to critically “decode” the messages used in advertising.

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    • Color that MOVES!

      For Grades 6–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology

      Featuring Bridget Riley's Sequel, 1975
      Bridget Riley is known for her experimentation with shapes and colors in paintings that seem to move and change color before our eyes. Students will experience the effects of the optical illusions that Sequel generates, learn some of the science behind why they work, and use similar strategies to create their own op art—art that uses the science of sight to create optical effects.

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    • Compare and Contrast: It’s All in the Details

      For Grades 4–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Three Sculptures of Horses
      This lesson uses three small sculptures of horses by three different artists to give students practice in comparing and contrasting, in gathering and presenting data, and in integrating information to interpret works of art.

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    • Create Your Own Sculpture

      For Grades 4–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Three Sculptures of Horses
      This lesson uses three small sculptures of horses by three different artists to give students inspiration to create their own animal sculptures and poems.

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    • Culture Collage

      For Grades 4–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening

      Students will learn about Greek culture and its influence, and create a Jirí Kolár–inspired collage.

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    • Daedalus and Icarus: Two Perspectives

      Grades K–8

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing

      Students will learn about the ancient Greek story of Daedalus and Icarus, see how the story is depicted differently in two works of art, learn about Richard Hunt’s sculpture Icarus, and complete a drawing or writing activity inspired by Icarus.

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    • Dancing Flowers!

      For Grades K–3

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Dance; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Fernand Léger's The Walking Flower, 1951
      After learning about Fernand Léger’s sculpture, students will learn basic concepts of modern dance, create their own movements, select sounds or music, and combine all of these in a modern dance performance.

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    • Double Vision

      For Grades 9–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Pablo Picasso's La Toilette, 1906

      Pablo’s Picasso’s La Toilette is a loving portrait of Fernande Olivier, as well as a study in opposites and a reference to the history of art. In this lesson, students will discover the many levels of content in the painting through observation and discussion. Using photography, collage, and/or drawing, they will create their own portraits inspired by Picasso’s techniques for packing information into a visual work of art.

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    • Experiencing Sculpture

      Grades K–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; Health, Physical Education, Family, and Consumer Sciences; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Technology

      Featuring Mona Hatoum’s + and -, 1994–2004, Jennifer Steinkamp’s Untitled, 1993, and Erwin Wurm’s Jakob/Big Psycho VII, 2010
      Students will become familiar with three sculptures by Mona Hatoum, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Erwin Wurm, and observe and respond to sculpture through the use of discussion, writing, and artmaking.

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    • Experiencing Video Art

      Grades 6–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Technology

      Students will become familiar with the artist Kelly Richardson and her video work Twilight Avenger, 2008, and create a connection with Twilight Avenger through art, literature, and technology.

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    • Express Yourself!

      For Grades 3–5

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Amedeo Modigliani’s La Jeune bonne (The Servant Girl), ca. 1918
      One of the most noticeable aspects of many of Amedeo Modigliani’s paintings of people is the way he depicts their eyes. Watching people’s eyes is one of the major ways that we recognize the range of human expression. This lesson plan explores themes of self-expression and communication through the eyes, as well as through colors, shapes, and lines.

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    • Feelings in Color

      For Grades 2–8

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Mark Rothko's Orange and Yellow, 1956, and Jackson Pollock's Convergence, 1952
      This lesson is an exercise in looking and thinking; making comparisons and connections; and expressing emotions with colors, lines, and shapes. Comparing two expressive, abstract paintings from the 1950s, students will be encouraged to explore the different moods and feelings that can be created with line, color, and shape.

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    • Homecoming

      For Grades 3–8

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Romare Bearden's Return of the Prodigal Son, 1967
      This lesson plan uses a work by African-American collage artist Romare Bearden to explore parallels and differences between a biblical story and contemporary life.

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    • How Observant Are You?

      For Grades 3–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Tom Wesselmann's Still Life #20, 1962
      Pop artists of the 1960s encouraged people to look more closely at the everyday objects around them. How observant are your students? This lesson plan focuses on observation, memory, and home and classroom environments.

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    • If You Could Talk to the Animals

      For Grades 3–6

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Franz Marc's Die Wölfe (Balkankrieg) [The Wolves (Balkan War)], 1913
      This lesson plan includes activities designed to introduce students to looking, thinking, and drawing conclusions about a work of art. The plan could be used to complement curriculum areas such as social studies (politics, history, societal relations, etc.), science (animal characteristics, categorization, analysis, and drawing conclusions), or language arts.

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    • Imagine Your Own Civilization

      For Grades K–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Charles Simonds's Number II (Ritual Furnace), 1978

      Charles Simonds imagines a race of people he calls the Little People, who have their own history, beliefs, and ways of life. His sculptures, such as Number II (Ritual Furnace), represent their environment and the architecture they create. Students will envision their own imaginary civilization and create sculptures to illustrate their ways of life.

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    • It All Adds Up to Art

      For Grades 5–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Lorna Simpson creates evocative works that examine how combinations of pictures and texts create new meanings that do not exist in the images or words alone. This lesson plan explores the concepts she works with, including African American history and contemporary culture, and suggests hands-on activities combining images and the written word.

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    • John Pfahl: Having Fun with Landscape Photography

      For Grades K–6

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring John Pfahl's Moonrise over Pie Pan, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, 1977, and Great Salt Lake Angles, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1977
      Students will learn about horizon lines in traditional landscapes and portraits, shadows and reflected light, and John Pfahl's Altered Landscapes. They will also create their own altered landscape photographs and portraits and write creative narratives to accompany them.

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    • John Pfahl: Having Fun with Landscape Photography

      For Grades 7–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring John Pfahl's Moonrise over Pie Pan, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, 1977, and Great Salt Lake Angles, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1977

      John Pfahl used creativity, strategic placement of objects, changing vantage points, and a sense of humor to create his Altered Landscape series of photographs. Students will learn about his artist statements and methods and then create their own series of photographs and artist statements.

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    • Language of Art: The Written Word

      For Grades 9-12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Lesley Dill's Divide Light #2, 2002

      Lesley Dill creates sculptures that combine words and objects that are often inspired by poems or literature. This lesson focuses on a work of art inspired by "Divide Light," a poem by Emily Dickinson, and offers activities for artmaking and writing.

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    • Let’s Go Exploring!

      For Grades K–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Gustave Courbet's La Source de la Loue (The Source of the Loue), ca.1864
      This lesson plan uses activities that involve the sense of touch to inspire students to discuss their own experiences and to make art and write about those experiences in both informational and narrative styles and from a variety of perspectives. Additional activities can connect easily to science curriculum through the study of habitats and geology.

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    • Lines! Shapes! Words! Print!

      For Grades K–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Georges Braque's Job, 1911
      Georges Braque used simplified lines and shapes combined with words to make Job, which depicts a man sitting at a desk. Students will learn about this work of art through observation and discussion, and explore making prints of their own using common classroom materials.

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    • Meditative Drawings

      For Grades 6–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Agnes Martin's The Tree, 1965
      Although Agnes Martin's artwork looks very simple, she was concerned with communicating ideas and feelings, used the natural world as inspiration, and often referred to the meditative qualities of making her art. In this lesson, students will learn about meditation and make art inspired by Martin’s The Tree.

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    • Natural Materials

      For Grades K–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring David Nash's Small Ladder, 1978
      Students will learn that artists like David Nash use natural materials such as wood to create works of art that incorporate principles of design such as balance, repetition, rhythm, and unity. They will collect their own natural materials and create works of art demonstrating their understanding of these principles.

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    • Paul Sharits: Thinking in a New Way about Movies

      For Grades 3–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Paul Sharits's Frame Study 15: Study for "Specimen II," 1975
      Information about 16mm films made by Paul Sharits is packed into his two-dimensional drawings on graph paper. Students will learn about how film works to understand how to translate Sharits's drawings into information about his films. They will also create their own moving works of art, such as flip books, movies, or animation, and generate related informational drawings.

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    • Playing with the Grid

      For Grades 3–8

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Chuck Close’s Janet, 1992
      This lesson plan explores how Chuck Close uses photography and a mathematical grid to create his large portraits. Hands-on activities encourage students to create using the grid, during which they will learn about variation, repetition, experimentation, mathematical ratios, and the art term value.

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    • Putting It All Together

      For Grades 3–5

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      In this lesson plan, students compare three sculptures by Louise Nevelson. The differences between painting and sculpture are emphasized, and techniques for making paper sculpture are included for the hands-on activity. The sculptures can be displayed together and different lighting techniques used to learn about and discuss shadows.

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    • Seeing Feelings

      For Grades 3–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Vincent van Gogh's La Maison de la Crau (The Old Mill), 1888
      Vincent van Gogh’s major contribution to the history of modern art in the second half of the nineteenth century was his use of color. He was one of the first artists to free color from a merely descriptive function; that is, objects did not have to be reproduced on canvas in their natural colors. This lesson plan contains hands-on exercises that explore the connections between color and emotions.

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    • Shape and Line Remix

      For Grades 3–8

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Inspired by Sol LeWitt

      Sol LeWitt used ideas as his artwork, a method of artmaking that has become known as Conceptual art. From each idea, many drawings, prints, or sculptures could be created. Students will use simple geometric shapes as creative starting points for drawings and sculptures and, through activities and discussion, will debate what is most important: the end product or the idea.

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    • The World Around Us

      For Grades 3–12

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Robert Delaunay's Soleil, Tour, Aéroplane (Sun Tower, Airplane), 1913
      Sun, Tower, Airplane reflects Robert Delaunay’s enthusiasm for the technological developments of the time in which he lived. He reveled in the new, modern world, and celebrated it in his art. This lesson plan, written to be adapted for a variety of grade levels, will introduce your students to three significant technological feats of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, and start them thinking about things in their own world that could change society forever.

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    • Three Ways to Make a Scene

      For Grades 4–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring André Derain's The Trees, ca. 1906; Stuart Davis's New York Waterfront, 1938; and Giorgio de Chirico's The Anguish of Departure, 1913–14
      Students will analyze landscapes by three artists. After learning about the horizon line, they will create their own painted and collaged landscapes inspired by one of the artists.

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    • Translating Art to Music

      For Grades 3–8

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; Music; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Sonia Delaunay's Colored Rhythm, 1958

      Students will use Sonia Delaunay’s painting Colored Rhythm to explore musical concepts and as the source of information and inspiration for creating an original musical composition. An optional activity in which students create a fashion design is also included.

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    • Traveling Abroad

      For Grades 6–12, with adaptations for Grades 3–5

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language

      Featuring Eugéne Delacroix’s Street in Meknes, 1832
      This lesson plan explores differences between today’s culture and the cultures of both France and North Africa in the 1830s. The exercises include role-playing, writing, discussion, and making art.

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    • Visual Poetry: Mobiles and Stabiles

      For Grades K–12

      Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Alexander Calder's The Cone, 1960

      Alexander Calder invented two new kinds of sculpture: mobiles and stabiles. In The Cone, he combines elements of each—a stabile, or non-moving sculpture, connected to a mobile, or moving sculpture. In earlier moving sculptures he used motors, but in later sculptures he used only natural air currents and balance to create movement. In this lesson, students use their powers of observation and knowledge of mathematical practice and scientific inquiry to discover how the sculpture moves and balances, and then imaginatively express what they have observed through writing poetry.

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    • Wide Awake Dreaming

      For Grades 3–5

      Social Studies; Visual Arts; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing; Mathematics; Science; Technology; Theater; College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language; Mathematical Practice

      Featuring Joan Miró's Carnaval d'Arlequin (Carnival of Harlequin), 1924–25
      This lesson plan explores how Joan Miró, a Surrealist artist, used dreams and the unconscious to create his whimsical, playful painting known as Carnival of Harlequin. It includes hands-on activities and discussion to encourage students to create their own imaginary creatures.

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