Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Junk to You, Art to Me

Deborah Walther
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

The student will create a sculpture or relief by assembling found objects using the appropriate media, techniques, and tools that express a definite theme or idea, utilizing the elements and principles of design specified in the Art Production Criteria.

Objectives

The student uses tools, media, processes, and techniques proficiently, knowledgeably, and in a safe and responsible manner.

The student knows how the elements of art and the principles of design can be used to solve specific art problems.

The student uses effective control of media, techniques, and tools when communicating an idea in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.

The student applies various subjects, symbols, and ideas in works of art.

The student knows how the elements of art and the principles of design can be used and solves specific visual-art problems at a proficient level.

The student knows and participates in community-based art experiences as an artist or observer.

Materials

-Examples of assemblages either teacher-made or student-made if available.
-Photos depicting assemblages by Louise Nevelson, Joseph Cornell, or Leo Sewell (See Weblinks.)
-Photos can also be found in the textbook [Art: Images and Ideas] by Laura H. Chapman, published by Davis Publications, Inc. or [The Visual Experience] by Jack Hobbs and Richard Salome also published by Davis Publications, Inc.
-Any type of junk (aluminum cans, boxes, containers, bottle caps, wood scraps, odd machinery parts, computer parts, etc.)
-Glue
-Nails
-Hammer
-Metal cutters
-Cloth gloves (for handling metal pieces)
-Wire
-Paints
-Brushes
-Nuts and bolts
-Art Criticism Worksheet, Art Production Criteria, Evaluation Checklist (All located in the Associated File.)

Preparations

1. Gather information about assemblages: sculptures that are constructed of found objects and materials that in their original state were not meant to be art forms. This can be found at Louise Nevelson on the Internet. (See Weblinks.)
2. Have tools, materials, and junk readily available. (See Materials List.)
3. Download and preview the Art Criticism Worksheet, Art Production Criteria, and the Evaluation Checklist located in the Associated File. Make a copy for each student or have available for students to copy from overhead or board. (See attached files.)

Procedures

1. Have boxes of junk and trash in the art room so that students will be curious. Ask the students if junk can be art. Proceed to show them examples of assemblages which are sculptures made out of found objects and materials by a variety of artists, such as Louise Nevelson, Leo Sewell, and Joseph Cornell.

2. Explain what assemblages are and give a brief history of the artists represented to engage the students in learning. Ask if there are any questions or comments about the artists or their artworks.

3. Have students critique selected artworks by more than one artist using the Art Criticism Worksheet as a guide and lead them in a discussion of the benefits to our community to create artwork out of junk and what some of the problems and solutions might be when working with found objects. Responses may be written on the board to facilitate the discussion or have the students individually complete their analysis worksheet.

4. Assign students to create an assemblage where they choose objects or materials that express a definite theme or idea and follows the Art Production Criteria. ( See the Associated File.)

5. After students complete the assemblage, they will write a short essay on why they selected the materials they chose to use and how it related to their theme or idea and what tools and techniques they used throughout the process to best communicate their idea or theme.

6. Students may select to create a relief or a freestanding sculpture in the round (to be viewed from all sides) using whatever junk or found objects they choose. They must incorporate the elements and principles of design specified in the Art Production Criteria and may use whatever tools and techniques that are best suited to the choice of design.

7. Upon completion of their projects, students should assess their works of art using the Art Production Criteria. (See the Associated File.)

8. The class may critique each other's projects, and students may orally present their essays to the class or turn in a written copy with their projects.

9. Teacher will assess the projects upon completion using the criteria as both formative and summative evaluation guidelines.

Assessments

Each student should participate in the class discussion of junk as art and critique the various examples of assemblages created by different artists as noted by teacher observation, or have students write down their analysis of the different artworks and turn in. An Art Criticism Worksheet is located in the Associated File to facilitate the art criticism.

Each student should show mastery of the use of tools, techniques, and materials as noted by teacher observation.

Each student should have completed the construction of an assemblage in accordance to the art production criteria and have completed a self-evaluation based upon the Criteria Checklist located in the Associated File.

Each student should have written an essay describing the project and why he/she chose the objects they chose to communicate their theme or idea and describe the process with its problems and solutions while working on this project. The student may present their essay orally or hand in completed assignment.

Each student may also participate in critiquing another's finished project using the Criteria Checklist located in the Associated File.

Extensions

This lesson can be modified to be used as a project to promote recycling. Have students research the problems associated with waste materials and have them concentrate on just one type of trash, such as aluminum cans or paper. Students could produce a work of art out of objects that are creating problems for our landfills and show new ways to use unwanted materials.

Web Links

Web supplement for Junk to You, Art to Me
Louise Nevelson on the Internet

Web supplement for Junk to You, Art to Me
Leo Sewell

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