Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Internet Art Research

Antonio Fernandez
Colleges and Universities - Florida


Upper-elementary students choose two artists from a Yahooligans search of African-American artists, answer questions on an Artist Biography Checksheet, and write an essay on the differences and similarities of the two styles.


The student recognizes comparison or contrast in a text and understands how it impacts the meaning of a text.

The student uses a systematic research process (including but not limited to selects a topic, formulates questions, narrows the focus of a topic, develops a plan for gathering information).


-Artist Biography Checksheet (See Associated File)
-Teacher Evaluation Checksheet (See Associated File)
-Fourth Grade Rubric Examination of Criteria by Score Points (See Associated File)
-Computers with Internet access
-Floppy disks for each student


1. Make sure your students are capable of doing simple Internet research.
2. Make sure all computers are working and linked to the Internet.
3. Arrange time to use the computer lab.
4. Have paper, pencil, the Artist Biography Checksheet (See Associated File), and one floppy disk per student.


Fourth graders must be capable of using the keyboard to perform Web page research. This lesson has three, 30-minute components, each on a different day.

1. Give students an overview of seven African-American artists: Romare Bearden, Claude Clark, Aaron Douglas, Clementine Hunter, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, and Henry O. Tanner. Short biographies and sample artwork of these artists is located at the following Website: This Website can be reached by using the Yahooligans search engine. (See Session 2, steps #1-2)

2. Verbally compare and contrast the artists as you introduce them to the students.

3. Alert students to the forthcoming Web research and review procedures for searching Yahooligans.

1. Place students at a terminal hooked to the Internet. Have them go to the Yahooligans site and type in “African-American Artists.”

2. Under the Website Matches listing, have them select the site titled African-American Artists. This site has biographical descriptions of the seven artists mentioned in Session 1. (If time is short, bookmark the site for the students.)

3. Students read all seven biographies and choose two to download onto a floppy disk. Stress that students should be reading in order to compare and contrast the information about the artists and their work. (You may need to do a quick review of comparison and contrasting in text and provide an example of what to look for.)

4. A sample piece of art should also be downloaded as a JPEG file, one for each chosen artist.

5. Students open the floppy and print out the two biographies, which are taken home (along with the floppy) and read as homework.

1. Students return to the lab and insert the floppy back in the computer to view the two JPEG files.

2. The open images, along with the hard copy printout of the biographies, are used to compare/contrast the differences and similarities of the two artists' works as the students complete the Artist Biography Checksheet. (See Associated File)


The teacher evaluates the Artist Biography Checksheet (See Associated File) using the following criteria:

a. Completion of all parts of the checksheet;
b. Accuracy of the factual information provided by the student;
c. Quality of writing when the student compared and contrasted the similarities/differences of the two artists;
d. Success in downloading both the biographical text data, as well as the two JPEG images.

Note: This is a formative assessment and students will need constant feedback. Students who have difficulty with any part should be noted and additional help and information and practice provided to them.

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


1. Students use a regular search engine (AltaVista, Lycos, etc.) to find other art pieces of the two artists selected for research.
2. Students download one additional picture on each artist as extra credit.
3. An overall assessment of the writing quality could be performed by the teacher using the Florida Writes assessment scale if students write an essay using the information. (Please note that the students would need instruction on what the criteria on the rubric is prior to assessing them on it.)

Web Links

Web supplement for Internet Art Research
ISTE NETS Standards

Web supplement for Internet Art Research

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