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[teacherartexchange] Theme based/concept based lessons on IAD (organic shapes)


From: Anonymous (teacherartexchange_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Apr 17 2005 - 08:53:27 PDT

Greetings Teacher Art Exchange,

All new lessons that will be added to Incredible Art
Department (IAD) will be theme based or concept based
AND will integrate some art history. For new lessons,
I am looking more for the source of ideas rather than
a particular artist's style. Of course ALL lesson
plans that are shared with me will be shared with the
list - I just might not link them to the site. I would
like to have an image of student art to go with the
lesson (but that is not a must).

Here is one from Theresa Parker that will be added to
the Georgia O'Keeffe Lesson Plan (as elementary

LESSON-Organic Shapes
(First-Second Grade)

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: How are organic shapes made?
How do artists use organic shapes?
Where do artists get ideas?
GENERALIZATION: Curvilinear lines make organic shapes.
Brief Description of Lesson
Students observe and draw plant forms.

Art objects: Georgia O'Keeffe, Trumpet Lily, Purple
Petunia, or other similar images
Art Materials: oil pastels (or choice of drawing
materials), 12" x 18" white drawing paper (or choice
of colored papers), assorted plants

Target Learning
The student:
Knows and uses curved lines to create organic shapes.
Recognizes and uses organic lines to create plant
Understands and uses varying pressure to draw.
Sees nature as a source for ideas
Develops skills in observational drawing
Identifies organic forms/shapes in art

Assessment Criteria
The student:
Uses curved lines to create the curvilinear edge of an
organic shape.
Uses organic lines to represent observed plants.
Uses firm and light pressure with drawing tools as
seen in lightness and width of line.


(What the Teacher Does)
1. Introduces O'Keeffe paintings, asking students to
identify kinds of lines that define edges of flowers.
2. Showing a real plant, asks students to identify
lines that define edges.
3. Models observing a plant without drawing (look at
the plant to see all the types of lines that give the
plant its shape).
4. Models drawing while looking at the plant (Draw the
plant large enough that it reaches out and touches all
the edges of the paper. While you
draw press harder in areas that stand out to you and
lightly in others).

(What the Student Does)
1. Observes and identifies types of lines in painting
reproduction and traces fingers over curvilinear
2. Observes and identifies types of lines in living
plant and traces fingers over curvilinear lines.
3. Looks at and then draws plant.

Assessment Strategies
Performance Assessment
Teacher journal (Drawing pressure)

Evidence of Student Learning
Student drawings include plant forms made with
curvilinear lines of different widths based on tool
curvilinear line
pressure: hard, light

Life Applications
Student recognizes kinds of lines in the natural and
constructed world and draws with varying pressure.
(ARTS EARLs 1.1 concepts and vocabulary
1.2 skills and techniques (drawing pressure)

Added by Judy:
There could be a follow-up on the life of Georgia
O'Keeffe (just briefly - students could listen to the
song about Georgia O'Keeffe by Greg Percy -Songs in
the Key of Art. Students could create movements/dance
to act out the lines/shapes present in Georgia's
works). You could show some additional prints showing
organic shapes - like from Henri Rousseau or Matisse
(and maybe some with geometric shapes to see the
difference) and ask students to identify the organic
shapes). Perhaps show a work that has both organic
and geometric shapes, too. You might also introduce a
three dimensional work with organic form.

Science extension: learn about the parts of the plant
- life cycle of the plant (this ties in with 2nd grade

Note: a local florist or green house may donate use of
their plants for this lesson.

Theresa - hope you are back with us on the New Getty
list. Thanks for sharing. Your lesson will help

Note: this lesson is shared here with permission. If
one wants to publish this lesson elsewhere, permission
must be obtained from Theresa Parker. Of course, art
teachers are free to use this lesson as they wish.


Judy Decker
jdecker4art at

Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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