Tracy Howell
Grade Level: 6th
Approximate time: 60 - 90 minutes

MOSAICS

TOPIC: Visual arts lesson emphasizing pattern and design in individual student mosaics made with paper and reviewing line, shape, space, and color. The individual mosaics will be used to create a border for a group mosaic in another lesson.

RATIONALE: Visual arts are used in all cultures to communicate ideas, customs, traditions, and beliefs. Designing and making a mosaic, individually and later on as a group, encourages students' to develop perception, acquire skills in creative expression, study cultural and social history of civilizations, and develop aesthetic skills to analyze artworks. Creating a mosaic, while considering line, shape, space, color, pattern, and design during the process, allows students to better understand creativity and thoughtfully respond in emotional, verbal, and written manners.

Artistic Perception: Each student will identify a shape or pattern created by lines, space, and color that exists when the paper tesserae are glued on the base paper to make the mosaic.

Creative Expression: Each student will design a unique mosaic with a black writing implement (marker, pencil, or crayon) on an 8" x 10" piece of inch-lined graph paper before making the same mosaic on a 9" x 12" piece of construction paper with black and white one-inch square paper tesserae.

Historical and Cultural Context: During the introductory discussion, students will identify and share descriptions and explanations of shape, space, color, pattern, or tesserae in the mosaics and compare it to cultural symbols of the Roman Empire.

Aesthetic Valuing: Students will choose a partner to discuss the intent, purpose, and technical proficiency of each mosaic based on line, shape, space, pattern, and color. In his or her own journal, each student will write a positive response (a five-sentence paragraph) about the quality and success of the other student's mosaic. Be specific and refrain from using vague terms such as: good, bad, nice, ugly, or pretty.

STRATEGY: A combination of direct instruction and guided discovery

VOCABULARY: line, shape, space, color, pattern, design, tessera(e),mosaic

Line--a point moving in space; can vary in width, length, and direction.

Shape--a two-dimensional area that may be open or closed, free-form or geometric, found in nature or made by humans.

Space--the area between, around, above, below or within objects.

Color--the visual sensation dependent on the reflection or absorption

of light from a given surface.

Pattern--lines, shapes, and colors repeated in a variety of

combinations.

Design--a comprehensive plan; the arrangement of independent parts to form a coordinated whole.

Tessera(e) or tessella(e)--tile(s) or cube(s) used in making traditional mosaics. The name is derived from the Greek word, tesserae, meaning four. (Students may recall making tessellations.)

Mosaic--a design or a picture created with small pieces of material (glass, pebbles, tiles) laid on a base (floor, wall, table) and embedded in an adhesive material that holds them in place and fills the spaces between the pieces. Derived from the Greek word for the Muses. In classical mythology, the Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus who presided over the arts.

PROCEDURES:

Introduction: Display several examples of mosaic art. "Have you seen this kind of art before? Where? What is the name given to this kind of art? What is mosaic art? Who are the Muses? Does the word tessera or tessela sound familiar to you? Tesselations? (from a previous lesson) What type of materials do the tesserae seem to be? Do the tesserae touch each other?" (No. Traditionally, there is space between the tesserae.)

With a real sample, a reference to a known example, or detailed pictures or photos, discuss concepts of line, shape, space, color, pattern, design, and tesserae of a few mosaics. "Compare shape, space, color, pattern, or tesserae from these mosaics to cultural symbols of the Roman Empire."

"Mosaic is an ancient art form that still appeals to our imaginations. Mosaic had modest beginnings with black and white pebbles as two-tone designs of ancient Greek pavements and domestic floor surfacing. Mosaic art forms declined during the Renaissance (1350-1650) and painting gained in popularity. In the middle of the 19th century (1800's), mosaic began a role of importance in mural decoration. Modern mosaic art has expanded to include almost anything; it does not necessarily follow the tradition of working with specific materials in a prescribed way."

Pupil Activity Sequence: "Each of you will create a black and white mosaic that will become part of a border for a colorful mosaic mural to be made by the entire class." I will model the following steps of the activity before students begin. Activity steps will be written on the board and samples will be posted.

1. Design a mosaic with a black writing implement (marker, pencil, or crayon) on the 8" x 10" piece of inch-lined graph paper handout. Put name on paper.

2. Show me your design. Select a paper desk cover, a 9" x 12" piece of paper (mosaic base), a few black and white one-inch paper strips, scissors, glue, and a 1" square pattern or ruler. Put name on back of base paper.

3. Carefully cut 1" squares, as needed, no waste. Starting at a corner, glue the paper tesserae according to your colored design. Leave a narrow space (about 1/16-1/8 inch) between each tessera. Line >up the first row and column with the edge of the paper; excess base paper can be trimmed.

Clean-up: Each student will return extra materials and tools (glue, paper strips, scissors, desk cover, and pattern or ruler) to their appropriate places. (write "Clean-up" on board and discuss during modeling sequence)

Closure: "Choose a partner and talk about each mosaic's design based on line, shape, space, pattern, and color. In your own journal, write a positive response (a five-sentence paragraph) about the quality and success of your partner's mosaic. Be specific and refrain from using vague terms such as: good, bad, nice, ugly, or pretty." (Write instructions on board and discuss during modeling sequence)

Evaluation: Students will orally share written responses with the class and staple the completed mosaics up on the bulletin board to form a border during the last 15 minutes of the art lesson. Credit will be based on completion of the mosaic according to colored design, journal write and active, relevant participation in discussions. (write "Evaluation" on the board and discuss during modeling) Mosaics and journal writes may be handed in tomorrow morning, if extra time is warranted.

Materials/Preparation: Paper desk covers, 1" graph paper handout, black writing implement (student), 1" black & white strips of construction paper, 9" x 12" construction paper for mosaic base, white glue or glue sticks, scissors, rulers, 1" square patterns, journal (student), stapler

Extensions: The lesson can be adapted K-adult. Mosaics can be used in cross-curriculum lessons such as social studies, math, and science. Use other materials: grains for a health lesson.