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Lesson Plans

ID:UA- Shelley, Jackie,Michelle, Tom and Norma's water/ecology project

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 21:03:21 EST

We are creating a unit on art and ecology, specifically on water conservation.
To that end, we have chosen several artist's works that use water in an
ecologically sound manner. Our main focus has been on Jody Pinto's Papago
Park gateway, but we are planning to use other artists, Buster Simpson, Lori
Lundquist and Lynn Hull as well. We have developed a series of activities in
conjunction with this theme. We have geared our activities towards 5th-6th
Our second set of activities includes learning more about art criticism and
aesthetics: Students will be shown Buster Simpson's drainpipe artwork, along
with Jody Pinto's Papago Park gateway. Students will be asked to discuss the
artworks. Some of the questions posed will be:
Can these works be called art? Why or why not?
Are these artists successful in reaching their goals, if so, how?
Do the materials used contribute to the aesthetics of the piece? How would
you change them?
We will discuss how important water conservation is, and whether art can be
effectively used to make people aware of water conservation.
Along with questions, we are creating an art project to further the student's
understanding of aesthetics and art criticism.

Fantasy Machine Project
1. Each child will take home a short worksheet. The worksheet will ask the
child to find areas in and around their house where they could create a water
conservation artwork. For example; in the garden, a small rain catcher could
be placed, picking up on Jody Pinto's idea of storing, then using rain water
to reclaim an arid area.
2. Students will be asked to draw a Fantasy Machine. Their machine will have
to use some recycled parts (hoses, cans, etc.) It will also have to help them
solve their water conservation problem.
When the drawings are complete, we will all use our new found skills in art
criticism to discuss the drawings.
3. Students would then bring in recycled items to help create a prototype
model. We will provide material as well, based on their ideas. For example;
cardboard tubes and foil for Buster Simpson-type drain spouts. Each student
will build their Fantasy Machine model. After the models are built, we will
discuss each one, using the criteria used to discuss the Buster Simpson and
Jody Pinto works.
The goal of this project is to have the students see their artworks in
aesthetic terms. They will be able to use the same vocabulary they used to
discuss the "Professional" artist's works on their own artworks. They will
have the added benefits of having designed and created an artwork that
addresses the problems of our fragile ecology.

Tucson is currently looking into creating a renewed riparian area in the Santa
Cruz River area. The suggestions include asking artists to submit designs for
a gateway to the park. This is a good tie-in with our project; we will
discuss the park and create a list of possible ideas for the park design.
Seeing a project from inception to completion in the community is a great way
to learn about public art, the community and aesthetics.