Monday, August 19, 2013

Studio Art: Unit 1 (Common Core and Marzano Incorporation)

My previous post gave you a preview of a project for my Studio students.  Here I am going to share a bit more how I am going to work to incorporate some Common Core into this unit, as well as more details of what I hope to accomplish with this unit.

Now, I know some of you may think that this project I want them to do is a little elementary, and to an extent I agree, but let me explain why I am starting off a little "easy".  I have not had this group of students since 6th grade, which was my 1st year of teaching.  When I taught them, I did not really touch on the elements and principles very much.  Only recently, as I have gotten a good grasp on how the school year goes, have I really focused my elementary curriculum on incorporating those important art ideas.  I also know that the previous high school teacher may have slightly touched on these elements and principles in 7th grade, but the retention rate of this information is very low from 7th grade to 9th grade, particularly since interest in the art department in high school students has dropped the last few years and students don't receive art in 8th grade.  I also know that the previous teacher did not do much for writing/Common Core type assignments with the students, so I want to break them in easy...I'm hoping by starting out with a simple project for what is often viewed as "boring" subject matter will get me some positive results.  Ideally, as the next few years move on, the incoming 9th graders will hopefully be retaining more of the elements and principles from their years in the elementary room and I won't have to spend an entire unit on the topic, but we'll see how the next few years go!

As I said in my previous post, I will be utilizing this Art Talk textbook for Studio Art.  I'm not extremely happy with how the content is laid out in this book, so I will most definitely not be following it from start to finish throughout the year, but I will be using it where it fits with my curriculum.  I plan to supplement using the Scholastic Art magazine and possibly with printouts from this awesome website that was shared on the Art Teachers Facebook page...This website is called Boundless and it is a free resource to print off excerpts from textbooks!  Now, it appears from what I've read that the art history textbook is definitely for high school.  The particular textbook they have online is actually one of the editions of a textbook I have from college, Gardner's Art Through the Ages.

Goals:  By the end of this unit, students will be able to…
·         Identify the purposes of art.
·         Identify sources and ideas that lead to artistic inspiration.
·         Name the six elements of art
·         Identify the principles of art
·         Explain how subject, composition, and content relate to works of art
·         Identify information presented in a credit line

In using Marzano, it is expected that students will know what their learning objectives/expectations are for each unit and/or project, so I have the learning objectives on the front of the unit note packet.

Chapter 1: Lesson 1: What is Art?
The first section of chapter one in the textbook deals with asking the question, "What is art?"  We will talk about what media constitute as being part of the visual arts, what it means to perceive, and what the purposes of art are.

Chapter 1: Lesson 2: Why Do Artists Create?
This section obviously deals with what inspires artists to create, whether it is for personal or commissioned purposes, influenced by the media, government, war, family, etc.

Chapter 1: Lesson 3:  The Language of Art
The final section of the first unit deals with the language of art...a.k.a. the elements and principles.  This is where the art project I showcased in my previous post will come into play.

This section also talks about the credit line in an artwork (name, title, medium, date, location, etc.).  This will lead to a good segue to teaching students how to properly maintain and display their artworks.  As students start to create 2-D artwork, I plan to teach them how to properly mat their artwork using a mat board cutter.  
Teaching Calendar
For each unit I create, I plan on creating an anticipated teaching calendar within the unit plan.  I still use a hand-written plan book, but having a plan of action for each unit will make it easier to plan around assemblies and such, especially when it's time to go on maternity leave.  I'm hoping that I can have enough of these units planned out in advance so that all I need to do is hand the entire unit over to my substitute and he or she will be able to handle my plans!
As part of Marzano, it's important that students reflect upon what they have learned, thus the bell ringer and exit slip.  I know many teachers probably already do this but it was something I struggled with doing at the elementary level.  I struggled with trying to figure out a quick way to accomplish a written review at the end of every class and have yet to really have something I'm happy with.  Until then, I'm confident the system I have chosen to use with the high school will work, and hopefully I can figure out how to alter it and use it at the elementary level.

The following are homework assignments that will be assigned to students to help learn the vocabulary.  I couldn't find a word search or crossword that included all the vocabulary I wanted, so I found two great websites that you can use for FREE to create your own!  I found this Word Search Generator on A to Z Teacher Stuff.  You type in the words you want to include, give it a title, and choose the shape and size of the word search space.  Click on "Create Puzzle" and it generates the word search!  You can either save the webpage to your computer, print it directly from the page that pops up (and then photo copy) or do like I did, copy and paste it into Microsoft Word to make it a document.

To create the crossword puzzle, I used Discovery Education's Puzzlemaker.  Again, you give it a title, decide the number of squares for the size, and then enter the information.  For this one, it's a little different.  You have to type the answer first (one word, or if you do two words, type them without the space) and then hit the space bar and type in the clue, all on the same line without any commas.  If your clue goes onto the second line, it's fine, you just hit return to go to the next clean line to enter the next word and clue.  Create the puzzle, and it's the same process as the word search to save.

I've seen various versions of a worksheet like this on Pinterest.  Currently, I do not have this worksheet planned into my unit, but I have it as a backup for many situations that could arise.  If I need to have a sub, this can be a sub plan...I may use this as a sketchbook assignment, an extra credit assignment for the first quarter, or as a review assignment for when I'm on maternity leave.

Again, this is the project the students will be completing that deals with the elements.  I have included the rubric here that I will be using to grade them as well.


  1. I still have my 1981 edition of Gardner's from college on the shelf in my art room! And don't you love puzzlemaker! I have been using it for years! it's awesome and so timesaving! Have a great year! :)

    1. Was your Gardner's a HUGE textbook too? Mine is about 5" thick!

  2. thank you for sharing your awesome elements of art informational organizer. It is the inspiration for one of my 6th graders projects for the year. Thank you again!

  3. Hi! I just found your blog via Pinterest and finally got to read it (vs clicking through random worksheets earlier!). I have a simplified version of your calendar so that I know the general idea of what goes on every day. I have two versions... one is empty and I can fill in with what we actually did, and one is planned out for the entire semester (we only do semesters at my school, not a full year with the same kiddos). I've changed it slightly over the past year or so as this is only my third year, but it's great. I'm getting ready to go on maternity leave and it helps me figure out exactly what I need to get ready for the sub and what they will be doing. I also then have a large binder that I'm currently working on of written out lesson plans and step by step directions for the sub to follow. I'd love to add to it as I continue teaching, changing up projects and finding things that are truly me vs. the previous art teacher. All in due time, right?! Have a great year!

    1. I am starting my 4th year teaching and only by the end of the 3rd year did I feel like I really had a strong elementary curriculum started. As part of my documentation for APPR and Marzano, I submitted my binder of lesson plans as evidence of planning and scaffolding. I have a curriculum written up for each grade level that covers the basic ideas I like to cover at that grade level (including which elements and principles, famous artists, history lessons, etc.). I have specific units planned out within the curriculum but also included a list of interchangeable projects I can do within each unit...I hate repeating every year, I get bored easily!

      This year is my first year teaching high school (aside from student teaching in 2008) so I am basically starting back at square one with curriculum again. Just when I thought I was finally caught up and comfortable I get thrown this curve ball! So, it's back to planning. I'm also going to be going on maternity leave around November/December time so it's my goal to have enough units somewhat planned out that my sub will be able to handle it. Even though I have the calendar planned out, I know it will probably be adjusted once we get into the unit, that's why I still use a hand-written weekly planner. There's just something about having that plan book with me at all times and being able to erase and re-do plans as needed!