LESSON TITLE: Facing Fears

NAME: Kaitlyn Davis


DURATION: 4 days 50 minutes each

Everyone has fears: boys and girls, children and even adults! We can relate to each other
through the lights of our lives, but also from the darkness we share. A fear we all can relate to is
one mankind has had for ages, it’s a fear of Laslo’s and the title for Lemony Snicket and Jon
Klassen’s picture book: The Dark. This is a book about a boy who loses the safety of his night
light and has to go into the darkest part of the house, the basement, to find a solution to his
problem. I believe it is important to empower young people to find solutions to their own
problems and to find assistance among their peers. In this unit students will discuss what causes
fears and possible solutions as small and large groups. Then they will create an artwork depicting
a time they faced a fear or depicting a hypothetical moment then they are facing a fear.


Watercolor paper 8.5x11 (4-5 per student), construction paper, paint brushes, small cups for
water, watercolor palettes, scissors, glue, black felt/ball-point pens.


Students will read and discuss the theme of the picture book The Dark by Lemony Snicket and
Jon Klassen. We will also give examples of others fears we have and their similarities and

Students will define the terms listed in the lessons and will incorporate them into their design.

Students will describe a fear they have and will analyze why they have that fear.

Students will generate a solution to their fear.

Students will sketch an image of a creative solution to their fear and from that will produce
materials for and create a collage.

Students will present to the class the work they have created.


CR.1.3.1 Extend an imaginative idea into a broader solution

CR.1.3.2 Investigate personal interests and ideas using materials and tools
CR.2.3.1 Create personally meaningful artwork through various media using grade-level
appropriate elements of art and principles of design

CR.3.3.1 Revise personal artwork based on insights gained through peer discussion

R.7.3.1 Search for expressive and aesthetic characteristics in a variety of contexts

R.7.3.2 Identify the message communicated by a visual image

CN.10.3.1 Create art based on personal observations of surroundings, using art vocabulary

DAY ONE: Afraid of the Dark?

Introduction: 15 minutes

On this day I will read to the class the book by Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen entitled, The
Dark. Afterward, I will ask students some questions about the book and about fear in general.

What is Laslo afraid of in the story?

Why is Laslo afraid of the dark? Are other people afraid of the dark? Are you? Why are you
afraid of the dark?

Fears come in many different shapes and sizes, and what frightens one person, may not another.

What are some other things you are afraid of? I will share some things about myself: I am afraid
of the dentist, and of driving over tall bridges! Some people are scared of bugs, but not me! I’m
afraid of dark closets!

I will try to lead the conversation through a list of things people might be afraid of, with the
students doing most of the talking.

Following discussion, students will return to their seats for the day’s studio activity. I will tell the
students that they are going over the next 4 days make a collage work featuring themselves
facing their fears! The drawing will be a plain piece of paper, folded in half. On the top half,
students are going to write about the things they fear, on the bottom, following discussion, they
will write out a solution to their fear. Then students on another piece of paper will drawing
themselves solving their fears as they wrote it on their plan sheets.

Demonstration: 5 minutes

Students will be able to either watch me from their seats or we may gather around a demo table
to observe. I am going to show the students how to fold their papers in half, and draw a line in
the crease to divide their pages. On a projector of some sort, I will have a list of questions that I
want students to think about while they write. I am going to fill out a sample to show them what
I am expecting. I shared some things earlier that I am afraid of, how about the dentist?
I will write on my paper: I am afraid of the dentist!

Why am I afraid of the dentist? Does anyone have any ideas as to why I feel scared? I will write
this down as well. Maybe something like, I am scared he will drill my teeth or I am afraid of him
pulling out all my teeth

What might help me to not be so afraid? How could I not be scared of the dentist? The students
will offer some suggestions and I may take them, or I could suggest my own ideas too, such as I
will brush my teeth twice a day, every day, because if my teeth are good, then the dentist doesn’t
have to fix any cavities! This I will write on the bottom half of my page.

Then, using my other sheet of paper, I will draw an image of me brushing my teeth very well and
the dentist seeing my teeth and being so happy he doesn’t have to pull any! I will describe to the
students that I am mostly using section 2 of my paper to inform my drawing, I don’t want to
draw myself being afraid, I want to draw myself being strong and brave and smart and over-
coming my fear!

Student Activity: 20 minutes

The students may each take one piece of paper from the supplies table and go back to their seats
to begin. First, they will fold their papers in half and draw a line, just like in demo, and then they
will answer the two questions on the board on the top half, and the last on the bottom. I will let
them know to leave a bit of room at the bottom because we are going to ask our neighbors for

After about 5-8 minutes, students are going to turn to their neighbors (this depends on classroom
seating arrangements) and will take turn asking “how could I get over my fear?” Some solutions
may be very practical, and some, more fanatical! But that is okay! As their neighbors give them
suggestions they should write them down! After another 2-5 minutes, students can come to the
supply table and get another sheet of paper.

On this paper, they are to take the written portion of section 2 and create it into an image! For
this they have about 10 minutes. This image doesn’t have to be detailed, it is just a basic outline
for what they are going to do next lesson.

Guided Practice:

For this section of the lesson, I will walk around to assure everyone is on task and moving in the
correct direction of thinking. During discussion and filling out the first paper, I will guide
students with questions like:

What are you afraid of?

Why might you be afraid of ______?
How might you be able to overcome this fear?

During the latter part of filling out their planning sheet, I will direct this last question toward
other students in reference to their neighbors. Part of this assignment is that students ask advice
from their peers.

While students are making their drawings I will continue walking around asking students to tell
me what they are drawing and to tell me about specific details in the image. I will ask them to
relate what they are drawing back to what they had written about and to the suggestions their
neighbors made.

Clean up and Closure: 10

After students have had 10 minutes to work on their drawings, I will ask them to stop so a few
people can share their work for the day! I will ask for volunteers or I will ask students at random.

Tell the class about the drawing you made today.

What was your fear?

What solutions did you/your neighbors come up with?

How are you incorporating these ideas into your work?

(Directed at audience) What other ways might this fear be resolved?

After a few people have shared, 3 or 4, it will be time for me to ask the students to return all their
papers to their folders/mailboxes/cubbies and to return all their supplies to their appropriate

LESSON TWO: Elements of the Illustrator

Introduction: 15 minutes

For today’s lesson I will be showing the students the images from the story again. Instead of
focusing on the content of the story, we will be focusing on more of the formal elements of the
illustrations. Some vocabulary for this day includes:

Contrast: the play of light and dark shades, or it could be between opposing colors on the color
wheel, hence their names contrasting colors.

Color: Students should already know what the definition of color is without confusing them with
the scientific definition.

Line: a mark with a beginning and an end. Different lengths or a variety of shapes can help to
create texture.
Texture: a tactile sensibility. Some textures are literal and you can touch and feel them. Some
textures are illusions and we can only imagine what they feel like.

Proportion: this refers to the differences in size of objects. If something is in proportion it means
its size is true in relation to something else. For example, an average person has a head that is in
proportion to the rest of their body. However, someone who has a very large head, we would say
their head is out of proportion.

All these things are important to creating a narrative in 2D because they assist in the descriptive
and emotive quality. Students will be required to use at least 2 of these!

Next I will show the students some images from the book on the projector so they are big enough
to look at details. I will either scan them into my computer or I will download them from the

Image one above.

So firstly I will ask students what’s going on in this picture, and I may refer back to the book to
show them the exact page.

We talked about a few elements of design that we will be focusing on in this unit. Where are they
being used in the picture? Give me details! Or I will simply go down the list.

What colors do you see in this picture?
How does this picture have contrast? It has contrast in both value (light and dark) and in color
(reds and greens)

How is line being used? Here line is mostly contour, but, outlining the floorboards can give us a
sense of how the floor feels under our feet. It looks like wooden planks, which would be hard
and cold on bare feet.

Where is line being used to create texture? Once again, the floorboards maybe, but also on the
toppers on the stair posts!

Who can tell me what proportion means again?

Where is proportion being used here? Describe to me the effect of the proportion of Laslo to the
rest of the house.

Why did the artist choose to make the house so big and Laslo so small?

Image 2: This image is almost from the very end of the book.

How is this image different from the last one? The biggest difference here is the amount of
How does it make the picture feel different? Does it make the picture feel happier? Why or why
not? If it doesn’t make the picture feel good, how does it feel to you?

Now I will flip through the book, giving a sec or so on each page and talk to the class about the
progression of black in the image. The pages in the beginning start out bright enough, but slowly
black fills the pages more and more as you come toward the end of the book. How does making
the dark cover more and more of the page fit into the story?

Demonstration: 5 minutes

For today’s student activity the students will be making colored paper for their collages! During
demo I will ask the students to gather around my table so I can show them what I expect from
their activity. We will be used watercolors to create unique colored paper to cut up next class to
create the sketch we drew. On my table I will have a watercolor pallette, my water canister, a
brush or two, newpaper, and 4-5 pieces of watercolor paper and some paper towels or napkins.

Firstly, I am going to lay down my newspaper, to catch any paint that comes off my page. Then I
will set my watercolor paper on top.

One of the assignment’s parameters is that I use some of the vocabulary words, this is a great
opportunity to create contrast! Either by using value or color.

What is an example of contrasting colors? Maybe orange and blue!

To begin painting I am going to take my clean brush and dip it into my water and I’m going to
cover the whole page with water! Then I am going to cover my brush in blue and brush it onto
my wet paper. Notice how the water makes the color move quickly around the page. Next I will
clean and wet my brush and load it with orange paint, and put it onto the page. I will experiement
with the color and let the two color touch and blend to make a new color, or I will add a bit of
black maybe to make some darker values, which is anoter way to make contrast! Or perhaps I
will stibble the bristles on the paper to create texture when my paper is a bit dry or maybe
splatter paint by flicking the bristles with my fingers! Students are not creating images on this
paper. This paper is to be fields of color that will be cut up the next class.

Students will be expected to make 3-4 of these colored papers. I will have a pre-designated place
for them to dry so students can bring them to dry as they finish each one.

Student Activity: 20 minutes

I will have a couple of stations ready with newspaper, paper, watercolors, brushes, and empty
water containers. I will bring a pitcher of water around to each table. If students are set up in
pods, its possible that hey share a larger container of water. Very first thing students should do
with their 3-4 papers is write their names on the back. That way I know whose is whose and they
can not only get a grade for it, but also don’t lose their hard work.
Guided Practice:

I will walk around the room as students work making sure they stay on task and that they don’t
over-work their paper. And to make sure that complete the appropriate amount of papers they are
supposed to be creating and that they are not trying to create a representational image. I will also
ask students questions while they are working.

Which of the required elements to you think you’ll be using? How do you plan on incorporating

How do you plan on creating contrast on your watercolor paper? Which colors are you using?
Why? What do they mean in relation to the fear we talked about last class?

During this time, if appropriate, I will quickly make a few more watercolored papers, so they
will be ready to be used next class.

Clean up and Closure: 10 minutes

About 10 minutes until the end of class I will announce that its clean up time. First everyone
should take the last paper they are coloring to the drying station. Then they should take their
brushes to the sink, or a bucket with water designated for this purpose, and return their
watercolor pallettes to the supply station. Then they may throw their newpapers in the trash and
return to their desks with wet wipes to wipe down their areas, including floors to get any paint

LESSON THREE: Conquering Fear

Introduction: 5 minutes

I will remind the class of what we have done the last two classes. Today we are going to be using
the paper we made the class before and the sketches we did the class before that. Before
everyone gets started I will be doing a demo, and I will have a finished piece prepared so they
can see an end product.

Demonstration: 5-10 minutes

At the demo table I will have with me a) the sketch I did the very first demo, b)the paper I
painted the second demo, c) scissors, d) glue and e) extra paper, like construction paper.

First thing I’m going to do is look at my sketch from the first day. I drew myself brushing my
teeth so that I didn’t have to let the dentist pull any. Where do I brush my teeth? In the bathroom
at my house! My bathroom at the house is a light blue, and I have a piece of light blue
construction paper right here, so I’m going to glue that down as my background. Next I’ll move
onto putting myself in the picture, except I don’t like the way I made myself in profile, I want to
collage myself from the front so I can make my smile out of proportion because my teeth are the
important part of the picture. I will allow students to make minor changes from their sketch to
their collages, but they shouldn’t be changing their whole ideas at this point. I want show
students how to draw something on the back of a piece of paper, cut it out, and flip it over so that
no pencil lines show. I will emphasis that next class we will be using ink pens to create lines so
no details are to be drawn yet. I will refer back to the images in the book and show the students
how the artist used big broad planes of color and then added lines on afterward. After cutting and
gluing a few pieces I will show students a finished work the day that I had already completed.
This image will be made from cut and glued paper with no ink drawings. I will be doing that next
class for demo.

Student Activity: 25 minutes

Students will retrieve all their supplies (sketches and painted papers) from their
cubbies/folders/mailboxes and return them to their seats, then they may come to the supply table
for glue and scissors and construction paper. I expect the students to take a look at their sketches
before they start and to make decisions about what colors they are going to use where. Students
need to fill the page with collage. They may begin on a blank watercolor paper, or on one they
created last class, or they may glue paper to completely cover the page, like in the demo.
Whichever paper they decide, they need to write their name on the back first thing so they don’t
get lost.

Guided Practice:

During this part of today’s lesson I will walk around the room to keep students on task,
especially the task of reproducing their sketches and not copying the demo or Jon Klassen’s
work. I will also talk to the students about what they are working on and remind them about the
vocabulary words we are incorporating into our works. In this lesson, contrast and proportion are
particularily important.

Tell me about the colors you have chosen to work with. Why did you choose them? How will
you be using them?

How are you incorporating proportion? Contrast?

Keep looking at the sketch you made the first class period. Is there any details you are going to
change? Remember to refer back to it. If students seem to be drifting away from the sketch
towards the demo, or something different, try to redirect them back to the sketch they drew on
day one.

Clean-up and Closure: 10 minutes

10 minutes from the time class is over, I will ask students to begin clean-up. They will put their
papers in a designated place to dry, just like last class period. Then they may return their scissors
and glue to the supply table. I will have a box ready to receive good paper scraps that can be
recycled for future use. Then student can return to their seats to gather and throw away any
scraps of paper that are too small for recycling. Don’t forget under the chairs, cutting paper can
be messy. Lastly, students may take a wet wipe to their tables and wipe the surface down to get
off any glue that may have stuck!

LESSON FOUR: Where You Draw The Line

Introduction: 5 minutes

Today is the very last day that students are going to get to work on this particular assignment. We
will be adding some finishing touches and then a few people will get to present their work. Jon
Klassen’s work has a strong emphasis on line. The type of line he uses is called contour lines,
which mostly outline shapes or edges. It is the most common form of line in drawing, but line
can also produce an illusion of movement.

Demonstration: 10 mintues

Same as the last lessons, students will gather around the table to watch me. Firstly, because I
will be eventually drawing this out in ink, I will be starting with a pencil so I can erase any errors
or mismarks. I have the collage I should have finished from the last lesson. I will show students
how I will use a pencil to create contour lines, but also how to create movement and texture! For
example, my image is of myself brushing my teeth, so not only will I outline my face and smile
and brush, but I will also draw a lot of really short, straight line for the bristles of my brush to
make it looks fuzzy. Also, I will create little areas of squiggly lines around my tooth brush so that
it seems like it is moving! Once I have all my lines in place (or at least enough for the demo), I
can start using ink! I will take my ink pen and closly follow the lines I drew in pencil. Afterward,
if there are still pencil marks I don’t like, I can always go back in a very carefully erase them!

Student Activity: 20 minutes

Students will need to retrieve their sketches once again for this activity for reference from their
folders/ cubbies/mailboxes. The first 10 minues of this activity will be devoted to drawing all
their lines in pencil, or at the very least emphasising major shapes. The second 10 minutes will
be for redrawing in ink. Students will start with the pencils at their desks and can come get a pen
at the supply table when they are ready to start. Students should think about the different textures
in their image and how they can create them using lines!

Guided Practice:

As students work I will walk around the room, asking them questions about their drawings and
what they are choosing to outline and where they are incorporating texture.

What are the shapes you are outlining? Tell me more about what is happening in your picture.
How are you going to create texture? Or movement?

Some students may become very engrossed in their pencil drawings, so I may have to encourage
them to move on to the ink before time runs out. Or perhaps I will see their original sketches and
ask to refer back to them about the details they have included or forgetten from the sketch.

Clean-up and Closure: 15 minutes

Today’s closure will last a bit longer because now we get to share what we made with the class!
The first five minutes students will return their ink pens to the supply table and will put away
their pencils and their sketches. Then I will ask students to return to their desks to share their
works. I will first ask for volunteers to share, and if students are being shy, I may have to draw
popscicle sticks from my jar. I will ask my students during critique about the images they made.

What are you afraid of? Is anyone else also afraid of _______?

How in your image are you overcoming your fear?

Tell us more about the details of your image.

We were supposed to incorporate line, or color, or texture, or proportion, or contrast. How did
you incorporate each of these things? Point them out to me.

Any other comments for _______?

I will go through as many students as I have time for, and at the very end of class students will
put their things in a stack for me to grade.

The grade are given on a scale of 1 to 5

5: Excellent 4: Good 3: Acceptable 2: Needs Improvement 1: Poor

1. Participation in Discussion ___

2. Completion of Planning Sheet and Sketch ___

3. Preparation of Collage Materials ___

4. Incorporated Elements of Design ___

5. Craftsmanship ___

6. Attitude and Motivation ___

Total Grade: ___/30