Katie Seale
Lesson Subject: Visual Art
Grade Level: 5th
Planned Lesson Duration: 60 minutes

This lesson will teach the students about how Mosaics are made and how they have been used in the past history and in modern times. Students will construct their own paper mosaics.

Mosaics are one of the first forms of visual art. Mosaics were a practical form of decoration because they are moisture resistant and durable. They have been used throughout history to decorate homes, churches, garden walls and public centers. Recently Mosaics are being used to decorate high traffic urban areas. Mosaic art is popular and is all around us on murals in history and in our cities. Students should be educated on the history of Mosaics and the use of them in our modern societies. This will add to the students visual literacy skills that they will use throughout their lives.

Historical and Cultural Context: Students will view pictures of modern and ancient Mosaics and discuss the history and evolution of them.

Creative Expression: Students will use the concepts of Mosaic art to create and complete a Mosaic with paper, using line and shape. Mosaics will have a common theme selected by the class and teacher.

Direct Instruction and Guided Discovery

Mosaic - The art of embedding small pieces of stone or glass into a permanent bed for wall or floor decoration. Mosaics are made with colorful tiles that never touch and are placed in a design or a picture.

Tesserae - The cubes or tiles used to make the designs in the Mosaic.

Introduction: Show some examples of Mosaics. Has anyone seen art that looks like this before? What kind of art is this? Most likely the students have seen modern examples on walls in their city or in the bottom of water fountains. This is a Mosaic, a Mosaic is a picture that has been made out of little tiles permanently stuck together to make a design or picture.

Discuss: The Romans used Mosaics to decorate the floors of their homes, this is a very fancy or elaborate floor. They collected pebbles from the beach and used them to make a strong floor. At first the pebbles were not made into designs or pictures they were only used to make the floor strong. In time they used different color pebbles to make designs and to make scenes of their life. These Mosaics became very elaborate and fancy. Many colors were used to make them even gold and silver.

Because the Mosaics were very strong and could withstand harsh weather they became popular outside in gardens, town squares, and fountains. Because Mosaics were very colorful and beautiful they were used in churches. Now the Mosaics are used in city areas where art needs to be strong and durable, like on outside building walls and in fountains in the park.

Talk about what goes into making a Mosaic. Who can see what all these pictures have in common? The pebbles or tiles never touch, many colors can be used to make a picture or tell a story and the background color helps to make the picture stand out.

Check for Understanding - Can you think of any places around that you have seen Mosaics? What materials were used to make it?

Activity Sequence:
We will create our own Mosaics to be displayed in the hall for the month of October. We will make ours out of paper. First you will need to sketch your idea on what ever color paper you want and decide what colors of paper tiles you want to use. After your picture is drawn you can cut the colors you want to use in to squares about a big as a dime. You may want to lay your squares out as you cut one color so you will know how many of each color you need to cut. Once you have the colors cut glue them on your drawing. Remember to glue them close together but leave some space between the paper tiles to show the back ground color. This gives it a separated or Mosaic look. Materials will be distributed as students complete the sketch of their project. Students will be given time to create their projects.

Check for Understanding - Raise your hand if you can tell the class the steps you are going to do to make your own paper Mosaic.

Clean up: 10 minutes, please return all the supplies to the art center and clean up the little pieces of paper around your desk.

Closure: Put all the projects on the board and talk about if they met the criteria for being a Mosaic. Do the colored tiles touch and blend into one, does it show a scene or a design and does the background color help to make the picture stand out?

Evaluation: Students will receive full credit if their project is completed with visual evidence of the concept of Mosaic art, including proper use of the tesseraes and spacinge, and if they demonstrate a understanding by participating in the class discussion about the concepts and guidelines for making Mosaics.

Students - Background paper, scissors, glue, colored paper for tiles
Teacher - Pictures of Mosaics for the whole class to discuss