You are on page 1of 5

Grade/Course: Grade 8 /Art - Unit Plan (4-5 periods /65 min each

Canadian Art: The Group of Seven/Lawren Harris – Abstract Landscape
Stage 1: Desired Results
Essential/Guiding Questions for the unit:

Who is Lawren Harris?
Who are the other members of the Group of Seven?
What is the artistic style of Lawren Harris?
How did Lawren Harris’s artistic style evolve over the years?
What inspired Lawren Harris?
What are some of the artistic techniques that Lawren Harris used to create his paintings?

Prescribed Learning Outcomes for this lesson:
GLO: Understanding Art in Context (A—U1- U3)
Students connect the visual arts to contexts of time, place, and community, and develop understanding
of how art reflects and influences culture and identity.

Demonstrate awareness of the contributions of a variety of visual artists from own community, Manitoba,
Canada, and various global contexts (5–8 a–u1.5)


Demonstrate awareness of general characteristic of art within groups (e.g., cultural, social, historical, art
(5–8 a–u2.2)
Demonstrate understanding of the multiple roles and purposes of art and design in society (e.g., personal
fulfillment, social commentary, religious expression, commercial persuasion, status) (5–8 a–u3.1)
Demonstrate appreciation of art as a means of experiencing the world and understanding the perspectives of
others (5–8 a–u3.4)
Demonstrate understanding of ways in which art reflects and influences the identity of individuals and groups (5–
8 a–u3.5)
Demonstrate awareness of the impact of context on artists and their art (e.g., consider personal, social, cultural,
geographical/environmental, historical contexts) (5–8 a–u3.6)


GLO: Valuing Artistic Experience (A—V1)

Students demonstrate interest, curiosity, and engagement while experiencing art in a variety of

Engage consistently and constructively in art learning experiences (5–8 a–V1.1)
Generate relevant questions and contribute thoughtfully to discussions in art learning experiences (5–8 a–V1.2)

Students will:

Learn about The Group of Seven with special focus on Lawren Harris.
View samples of Lawren Harris artwork.
Share their thoughts, comments, and observations about his art and techniques.
Research the artwork of various members of the Group of seven and share their findings with the class.

Students will be able to:
- Write a short paragraph to demonstrate understanding of the contribution of the Group of Seven to Canadian art.
- Practice various painting techniques such as gradation of color and shading, which will help them paint like Lawren
- Create own versions of Baffin Island or Bylot Island I.
- Write a short paragraph to demonstrate understanding of Lawren Harris’s art techniques.
-You Tube videos:


12” x 18” white sulphite paper
Liquid Tempera paints (blue, white, brown and black)
Water containers
Black oil pastels
Blank papers to practice gradation
Apple coloring page to practice shading
Lawren Harris visuals for final project.

Day 1:
Activating: (Introduction)
- Brief introduction about Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven
- Short documentary about The Group of Seven
- Lawren Harris’s famous paintings
- Students will identify characteristics they see in his popular work.
- Group and classroom discussions about students’ observations of Harris’s style and techniques.
Acquiring: (explain and model gradation of color technique)
I will introduce gradation of color technique to the students. This technique will be used later when we start painting.
Students will be able to use soft gradation of color technique on regular paper to apply their newly acquired
Homework assignment: Students will be asked to look up one of the Group of Seven paintings and write a short
paragraph about it (when was it painted? where is it now? And why did they choose to write about it?

Day 2: (Presentation of Painting Method):
- Will start this lesson by watching a short video about creating shadows and highlights.
Start at minute 13

- We will go over the main ideas of the painting with focus on light and how Lawren Harris created highlight and
shadow effects in his paintings.
- Students will use same technique they just watched to create shadow and highlight effect on a coloring page.
- When students are done their practice, I will distribute copies of a simple drawing for students to fill in. Students will
identify light sources in the drawings, and use oil pastels to fill in areas of color, using shadows to provide visual
interest. Students should practice using bright color against dark, with warm lights radiating outward from the light
sources similar to those in Lawren Harris’s paintings.

Day 3: (sketching, may start painting if time permits)
- We will review main shapes and forms in Harris’s painting.
Acquire, Apply:
- Using their white poster papers, students will create sketches for their paintings.
- Use a black oil pastel to draw the abstract and stylized landscapes. It helps to start by drawing a horizon line
somewhere near the bottom third of the paper. You can position your paper horizontally or vertically - whatever suits
- Follow the drawing guidelines as shown in the handouts.

Day 4: Final Painting
- Review techniques learned at the previous lessons (gradation of color and creation of shadow and highlights)
Acquire, Apply:
- Once students’ sketches are complete, they can begin adding paint.
- To create art like Lawren Harris, paint each shape or drawing section a different color. Use little water so your colors
stay thick and vibrant.
- Harris painted in cool colors that matched the frozen landscapes. Use blue, white and black to create tints and
shades. Challenge yourself to create as many hues as you can.

- It can take a long time to paint each section. If you paint over your lines, don’t worry. You can use a very small brush
in the end to cover your oil pastel lines with black paint. If you wait until the paint dries, you can use the same oil
pastels to trace over the lines. I prefer the brush as it creates a darker line.
- Not all of Harris’s paintings are created using cool colors. You can create a warm landscape using browns, oranges
and even yellows.
Assessment of learning:
Students will write a paragraph on how they used Lawren Harris’s skills to create their painting. Students can use the
following questions to guide them while writing the paragraph.
What was Lawren Harris's skill, how I used the skills, where I used the skill.
Assessmentas learning: Students will be asked to self reflect on their paining. They will need to self-assess their
painting techniques to see whether their use of gradation of color and radiating light achieved a look similar to Lawren
Harris’s abstract landscape.