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A Visual Arts Unit for Grade 6

Unit Description/Rationale:
This unit, designed to fit into the Grade 7 Visual Art Strand Unit of What’s it All About: A Sense of Order, is constructedto demonstrate physical challenges that people have overcome in the expression of art, as well as to give students a chance to attempt to create art using the same disabilities. Students will learn a bit about various types of art, how art can represent individuals or cultures, as well as develop an understanding, appreciation and respect for people who challenge themselves on a day to day basis. Batiking, painting with both feet and mouth, and drawing are some of the mediums with which this mini-unit is based on.

Unit Objectives:
The Students will:
• • examine ways visual art mirrors and influences individuals, societies and cultures, past and present examine sources of ideas for art-making, make connections between ideas and visual art works, and generate ideas for personal expression

• •

continue to discover a variety of sources of inspiration and consider the sources as starting-points for personal expression reflect on and examine the intentions, development and interpretations of their own and their peers' art works

Supplies: • •

• • •

Thin white cotton material and T-Shirts Sticks of Parafin wax Pot Clothes iron RIT dye

• • • • • • • •

Washable poster paint Large pieces of thick art paper Dish soap Wash tubs LCD projector Water color paints and brushes Sight impairment tools(goggles, paper coverings, blindfolds, etc) Garbage bags –

Jeffrey Ladow. AMFPA - Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World. i_exhib=-1&bcnt=-6&bnr=1&pid=76 This website has many images and explanations of Jeffrey Ladows artwork, as well as a biography.

Color Symbolism Chart by Culture. 2008. Videos: Video1-3.Alvins Law of Life. Alvin Law talks about his motivations, experiences and challenges that he has overcome, while demonstrating his adaptability to life.

Lesson #1
Art with a Challenge Strand: Visual Arts Time Required: 2 classes Lesson Description: This lesson will introduce the unit, and an artist to inspire students and make them aware that anything is possible if you look at the situation in the right way. This is a good way to start so that hopefully students will take the challenges of the unit in a positive way to see what they are capable of, and how others although may have physical challenges, are still able to express themselves through art. A look at Alvin Law and then feet painting will make up this lesson. Objectives: Knowledge: Students will examine un-traditional ways of making art. Assessment/Evaluation -final portrait/description

-Students will know and implement the principles of design Skills: Students will create a portrait -description and portrait(rating scale) of themselves using their feet. Attitude: Students will appreciate -exit slip their abilities, and think about how they view themselves. Materials: LCD Projector, garbage bags, large thick art paper, washable poster paint CELS: COM, CCT, PSVS Curriculum Components: Creative/Productive, Critical/Responsive



Play video 1-3 of Alvin Law. Ask students to write down points that they think are important. htm Push aside desks for a talking circle, start a class discussion about some of the challenges he has overcome, his ‘laws for life’, etc. -Get students to jot down some ideas about how they see themselves. What parts of them do they value, characteristics, features, etc. How do they think others see them, and anything else that makes them who they are. -then ask them to do a rough outline of a self portrait. It does not have to look like themselves, but instead may represent how they see themselves, and some of the qualities they have written down. -Introduce Principles of design(give handout) --there must be at least 2 principles thought of when doing their final piece. Finally, once students are finished their rough drafts, they may start their good pieces. BUT tell them that they must paint with their FEET(they can use brushes or toes, etc) -Tape down garbage bags on the floor all over the room, and then tape the paper on the floor. Make sure students get their paint on a plate ahead of time, shoes are on the sides

Principles of Design: Emphasis, Contrast, Balance, Repetition, Variety, Movement and Unity.

of the room, and they have lots of paper towel!! -play music, and let students have at er’! -when students are finished, get them to write a description of the priniciples of design they used and how. -finally, display portraits, and have a ‘viewing’ for the class. Get students to analyze them and try to see the Principles of design used. -Have students fill out exit slips on a scrap piece of paper about whether or not they enjoyed this assignment, and what they learned from it.


Principles of Design:
The way in which the elements of visual are areorganized is referred to as the Principles of Design. There are 7:


Is used to make certain parts of an artwork stand out and grab your attention.


describes the degree of difference in an element of art. For example, there is a high degree of contrast between the colors black and white. Contrast creates excitement and interest in artwork.


describes how artists create visual weight. There are several ways to balance an artwork: Symmetrical Balance: If you were to draw an imaginary line through an artwork, both sides would be the same. Asymmetrical Balance: if you would draw an imaginary line through an artwork, both sides would be different, but equal in visual weight. Radial Balance: Lines or shapes grow from a center point(eg: a sunflower)


Occurs when a single element is used over and over again to create a pattern in an artwork.


Allows an artist to create interest and avoid the same effect. This often involves theme and variations: the same image is repeated, but in different sizes, colors, values or shapes.


Can be implied in works of visual art. Live figures portrayed in unstable body positions cause us to feel that motion is occurring. When figures movepast us at very high speeds, we perceive that figure as somewhat blurry. Similarly in art, showing multiple overlapping images gives us the impression of motion(so if you don’t want an illusion of art, maybe don’t use this effect!)


Is the feeling that everything in the work of art belongs together and looks like it fits. For example: repletion of shape or color can make an artwork unified.

Lesson #2
Art with a Challenge Strand: Visual Arts Time Required: 1-2 classes

Lesson Description: This lesson will challenge the students once again to create art in a different way. This time they will be using their mouths to do watercolor landscapes or their favorite places. We will also study an artist that paints like this, and look at some of his artwork. Objectives: Knowledge: Students will learn how another artist’s work expresses their individual thoughts. Skills: Students will work individually to produce a watercolor communicating their thoughts Attitude: Students will foster a positive trying attitude while attempting a challenge Assessment/Evaluation -exit slip to peer artist. -finished product and explanation.


Materials: new paintbrushes, watercolor paints, paint shirts, LCD projector CELS: CCT, COM, Curriculum Components: Creative/Productive, Critical/Reflective, Cultural/Historical Set: Introduce Jeffrey Ladow. Biography and Paintings on LCD. mid=98&appl=GALERIE&thema=8&i_exhib=1&bcnt=-6&bnr=1&pid=76 Get students to think about a favorite place of theirs. Get them to imagine it: the color, shapes, lighting, etc. All corresponding with the mood of the place. Emphasize trying to convey feeling throughout the painting. Don’t forget principles of design!! -Introduce how to use watercolors. (first get paper wet, then dip brush, get some paint, and paint away.) Have paint, water in shallow bowls(not cups so they wont spill!), paper towels and paint shirts ready. **Ask students to come up with some important


safety rules for during the class: no movement out of desk with object in mouth, don’t bump anyone, etc. Encourage a few practice strokes (don’t forget…no hands, but be careful not to swallow the brush!!) on a scrap piece of paper. -Play music during work time. -When finished ask students to write a paragraph about the place they painted. Why is it special to them, what feelings do they have when they are there and Principles of design used. Get students to walk around and find a favorite piece of artwork. Get them on a piece of scrap paper, to write to the artist what they thought/liked about the piece and what they thought the place painted suggested.


Lesson #3
Art with a Challenge Strand: Visual Arts Time Required: 1 class Lesson Description: Students will tap into their memory and mind’s eye to represent an object through drawing without seeing it. Objectives: Knowledge: Students will learn how other senses take over with the loss of one. Skills: Students will work independently and use their memory to reflect in their artwork. Attitude: Students will not worry about what they look like, but rather what other things look like. Assessment/Evaluation -personal reflection -participation


Materials: classroom objects, paper, ‘blind’ materials(blindfold, goggles with glue over them to haze the sight, paper with small holes punched in right at the centre) CELS: COM, CCT, IL Curriculum Components: Creative/Productive, Critical/Historical Set: Ask students to get in partners to play the ‘blind’ game studentsmay use either classroom or portions of the school. One partner will close their eyes and trust the other. The other will start off guiding their partner by the elbow giving verbal and physical instructions. Eventually, they will stop, and the ‘blind person’ will have to guess where they are. Then they will switch. The object is



for students to practice imagining sights they may take for granted, and using their other senses. When all students have returned to the classroom, you will get the students to sit in their desks, and pull out one object from their desk and set it on top, and close their eyes. The teacher will come around, give each student some type of blind device, and collect the objects, and redistribute them giving each student a different object. They will then attempt to find a piece of paper from their desk, a writing material, and draw with as much detail the object they have. They can color as well, if they have access to color materials(without leaving their desk), and use shading for depth. Try to promote 3-D drawings, not simply 2D(although different levels of artistry may not allow for this on the best of days…the point is to try). When they are finished they can try to switch with a partner beside them, etc. When everyone has finished, get students to take off the masks, and see how they did. -ask students to write a reflection about what they noticed when they could not see. What happened to their other senses. What would it be like to be blind all the time, what kind of adaptations would you need to make? Would art be possible?

Lesson #4
Art with a Challenge Strand: Visual Arts Time Required: 2-3 classes Lesson Description: Students will work in small groups to create Batik, but they are unable to speak to each other. Objectives: Knowledge: Students will learn about Batiking and some symbolism that may come with it. Skills: Students will practice communication within a group without speaking Attitude: Students will appreciate others input and adapting their own ideas Assessment/Evaluation -check for symbolism in the finished batik and explanation -checklist for participation

-checklist for group work

Materials: Parrafin wax, paintbrushes, white cotton cloth/t-shirts, RIF (cold water)dye in old glue bottles, old clothes, CELS: COM, CCT, PSVS Curriculum Components: Creative/Productive, Cultural/Historical Set: Give a brief history of Batik and

Was created in East Africa, and asiancountries like Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Were signifiers of family lines, and had different patterns for different occasions. Development:

where it is used. Explain the use of symbolism and pattern that may be used.

Symbols: Are all usually related to earth, sky and water. Flowers or animals may demonstrate forms of life, or spirits Birds: may symbolize power and success, and are a symbol of the God Vishnu. A phoenix: is a symbol of beauty and wards off bad luck. Snake or dragon: are symbols of the underworld, water and fertility. Mountains: are symbols of the gods, since that was where they were believed to live. Clouds: procreative power Rocks: Strength endurance

-write symbols/colors on board

Some do not have any symbols at all and are simply to be visually pleasing. Colors: Red: purity, good luck or celebration Yellow: courage White: death

Using these symbols within an image,

as a group(2-3) you will create a batik. However, during the exercise students will not be allowed to speak, so will need to find other ways to communicate.

Clear desks to work on the floor. Heat up wax(teacher) in a can in a pot of boiling water. Students will then paint with a brush on their piece of fabric the area that they want to keep white, and wait for the wax to dry. When it is dry, by using a paintbrush, paint the dye on to the fabric(the next lightest color you want to use where you want it), then rinse out fabric in cold water to set dye. Then put wax over areas of the dye just done, and paint the next lightest color where it is needed, etc. When the whole fabric is completed(covered in wax, except for the darkest color which is now dyed), wash the fabric in hot water, or iron off the wax. TA DA!! **if a crinkle effect is desired, before dying shirt, crinkle up fabric to put cracks in the wax which will then be dyed. Ask students to do a final reflection about the last assignment (outlining their symbolism) past unit. Which activities were the hardest, the most fun, and what did they learn from them. What did you learn about yourself and your abilities or ability to face a



Rating Scale for Reflections: Reflection #_______ Student Name:_______________________________________________
Does Student reflection: Demonstrate thoughtfulness Represent art assignment Answer suggested questions Show effort Almost none(1) A bit(2) Quite a bit(3)



Rating Scale for Reflections: Reflection #_______ Student Name:_______________________________________________
Does Student reflection: Demonstrate thoughtfulness Represent art assignment Answer suggested questions Show effort Almost none(1) A bit(2) Quite a bit(3)



Rating Scale for Reflections: Reflection #_______ Student Name:_______________________________________________

Does Student reflection: Demonstrate thoughtfulness Represent art assignment Answer suggested questions Show effort

Almost none(1)

A bit(2)

Quite a bit(3)

Studen Participa t Name: tion Participa tion Participa tion

Effort(5 Group ) Work(5)

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