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Lesson Plans

Re: unit ideas

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Melissa Chaney (meemo)
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 21:59:02 -0500

I was in your shoes a few years ago. I was teaching K-12 in a small district
with class sizes of 60 per grade. Under thirty in each class. It sure made my
life easier if units were all done at the same time.

One summer I sat down and dumped all my lesson plan files in the middle of my
living room floor. I purchased about 50 file folders and white labels. I
labeled each file with a different media. Graphite, paint, fibers, cut paper,
chalk, clay, charcoal. I then sorted each elementary project according to
media, thinking I could have every grade working with the same media at the
same time. Easier right??? Well I still felt there was no "connectedness" as
you called it. It was easier on me not having so many different supplies out
at one time but it just didn't make sense.

Well my third year teaching I dumped all those files out again. I then went
through an art history book and began relabeling the folders. Cave art,
Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Romantic, Medieval, Renaissance, Impressionist, Post
Impressionist, Realism, Cubism, Abstract, Pop/Op art, etc... I then sorted
each lesson into it's appropriate folder. I also put artist information in
each according to the artists style. I began the school year with Cave art.
The beging of time. It made sense to me. Well it also made sense to the
kids. As the year went on I went through the folders. If something came up I
sometimes may hold back on a time period and go back to it later, Ex: fied
trips, school art shows etc.. You have to be flexible. Well this system as
worked for me for 7 yerars now. I currently teach middle school and still use
the system of going through time. During Renaissance I cover perspective, we
study Michelangelo, Davinci. During Impressionism we paint landscapes and
study Monet and others. My classroom door is decorated like a time machine.
Students enter and proceed through time throughout the year. I have a time
line around my classroom along the ceiling. My bulletin boards change as the
time period changes. My only downfall seems to be multicultural art. I dont
seem to do enough of that and I haven't been able to figure out where it should
fit in the time line. Sometimes I do it sometimes I don't. Good luck in
finding your system and if you get any hints please share.

Melissa Chaney
Shull 6th Grade Center
Raymore, Missouri

Julie Trzybinski wrote:

> I need to pick some experienced brains. This was my first year as a
> full-time public elementary school art teacher. I tried a lot of different
> types of lessons and projects with my kids this year, and as a result there
> wasn't as much "connectedness" (is that a word?) from lesson to lesson as I
> would have liked. I am now trying to put together units for next year that
> will last anywhere from two to four or five class periods for each grade.
> I would like to be working on the same unit or themes for all grades at the
> same time, but doing age appropriate pojects with each class. My hope is
> to "transform" my room and display areas with each unit using work from
> each grade level. What I am looking for from you is suggestions for unit
> topics. Have you had more success using "time period" or "cultural" units,
> or units that revolve around particular artists, or units that revolve
> around a medium or media, etc. I would love to hear your suggestions and
> ideas.
> Thanks!
> Julie