Amelia J. Schonauer
Art Lesson Plan
EDTE 228A-03


Grade level: Grade two
Time Frame: one hundred minutes over two days (two sessions).

TOPIC: The lecture and discussion will cover the more notable events of Vincent van Gogh’s life, as well as his expressive use of color and movement in his artwork. The students will create their own versions of Starry Night and practice the use of expressive style.

RATIONALE: It is important for students to begin learning about influential artists in a historical context because cultural and aesthetic values need to be part of students’ background knowledge. Students will be able to appreciate fine art and learn techniques to use in their own self-expression. The students will be able to share a vision and identify with a master painter through artwork as means of communication. The unique history of van Gogh is a way to get children interested in the mind of an artist. The students will begin to consider their own artistic minds. They will see that art is a form of communication. The students will think about how emotions can be expressed through art. They will learn that art is an outlet for expression. They will become more aware of their own emotions. The students will begin to learn about their role as a viewer of art. They will see that art is open to interpretation.

Historical/Cultural Context:The students will discuss and explain the life and expressive artwork of Vincent van Gogh by listening to lecture and looking at examples of his paintings. (VA-Grade 2, 3.1)

Artistic Perception: The students will be able to discuss the lines, colors and shapes used by van Gogh in his work. (VA-Grade 2, 1.3)

Aesthetic Valuing: The students will be able to offer their own opinions of van Gogh’s paintings when prompted by questions about the formal characteristics of his work. (VA-Grade 2, 4.2)

Creative Expression: The students will be able to demonstrate beginning skill in using crayons to replicate van Gogh’s expressive style in a study of Starry Night. If they successfully imitate the expressive style of van Gogh by using directional markings and blended color, they can practice expressing themselves in originally created compositions. (Extension: The students will practice expressing themselves by creating their own compositions.) They will use crayons and white paper as their medium of expression. (VA-Grade 2-2.1)

Direct Instruction- lecture, facilitated discussion, and demonstration.
Guided Discovery- discover their abilities to express mood and aesthetics in artwork visually and verbally

Emotions-- an effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, etc., is experienced
Feelings-- an emotion or emotional perception or attitude (sympathetic perception revealed by an artist)
Expression-- to communicate the opinions or feelings of one’s self
Interpret-- construe understanding or bring out meaning

Show the Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Ask why he is wearing the bandage. Tell the story of how he cut off his ear. Show examples of his paintings. Tell them that he shot himself in the same field that is the subject of his very last painting. Tell them how he did not use any brushes in that painting. Fill in the more major details of his life and the time and place from where he came. Show a world map to explain where the students live and where van Gogh lived. Write the date of his death on the board. Show timeline that compares that date with the expanse of the students’ lives to illustrate how many of their lifetimes ago that van Gogh lived. Describe van Gogh’s artistic training and show that his training included studying the masters. Tell about how he was poor for most of his life, and sold very few of his paintings, but that they are worth millions upon millions today. Show example of Starry Night and Sun Flowers. Ask how these paintings make them feel. Ask what the students think the artist was feeling when he painted the pictures. Explain the formal characteristics of composition, movement and color in the artwork.

PUPIL ACTIVITY SEQUENCE: After the discussion demonstrate how van Gogh used his brush by using crayon in hard dashes on a paper. Show direction and explain the movement in the picture plane that is created from the expressive marks. Show a sample completed in crayon. The students can make their own successful copies of the master painter. Pass out traced copies of Starry Night (see attached for example) so that the students can copy his painting using crayons. Let them pick out their own colors to show how they feel about the painting. Day two: recap the previous day’s discussion of van Gogh. See what the students remember and refresh their memories accordingly. Let students finish up their Starry Night pictures or do the extension activity.

CLOSURE: The teacher will organize student presentations of their own expressive drawings. Discussion of van Gogh’s artwork and influence in their own artwork will follow.

ASSESSMENT: The teacher will listen for students to make a connection between van Gogh's life and the images they view of his artwork. The teacher will listen for students' appropriate use and identification of line, color, and shape as they review and discuss van Gogh's work. During the student presentations in the lesson closure, the teacher will listen for students own opinions about van Gogh's artwork. The teacher will review each completed Starry Night replice looking for a beginning level skills in the color blending and use of crayons. Furthermore, How do the students respond to the lecture about the history of van Gogh? Were they intrigued by his style of painting? Did they appear to appreciate the aesthetics of his artwork? The students will all contribute to the discussion and ask questions about van Gogh. The students will complete replicas of Starry Night that convey an understanding of his use of expressive marks and color. The students will be able to express a mood or feeling using crayons and paper in practice of creative expression.

Copies of Starry Night ditto.
Samples of Starry Night copy.
Props: (fake) red roses tied with a ribbon, a bowl of oranges, doll or stuffed animal, toy motorcycle (toy Harley aprox. $3 at Wal-Mart)
Samples of expressive prop representation.
Prints of van Gogh’s work, or a book with large examples.

EXTENSIONS: Set four objects on the a table in front of the room: a vase filled with red roses, a bowl of oranges, a realistic looking stuffed animal or doll, a toy motorcycle. Have a discussion to see if they think that any of these props are beautiful and why. Ask if any of the objects make them feel any emotions. Ask what color they could use to represent the object and how it makes them feel. Show samples of previously created drawings of the objects representing your own feelings about the objects (see attached for examples). Ask the students to pick one prop, or part of one prop to represent in their own expressive drawings. Remind them that they can use color and marks to express them selves. If the students do not feel comfortable representing the props, ask them to fill a small piece of paper with marks expressing how the props make them feel. For example, if the doll made them sad, they could color black and blue tear drops on the page. If the motorcycle made them feel happy they could fill a page with bright red and orange dash marks. (VA-Grade 2-2.0)

REFFRENCES: Metzger, Rainer. Walther, Ingo F. (1998) Van Gogh Italy: Tahchen.