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Lesson Plans

ID:UA, Art/Ecology activities

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 23:09:55 EST

Our theme for art and ecology regards recognition by students of aesthetic
orientations (sensory, formal, and symbolic), identified by Santayana, in both
natural and man-made environments, and the ways in which art can be used to
call attention to aesthetic and ecological concerns in our community.
Students will research how humans and nature interact locally, and will study
artists who have adopted ecological themes and who create art using site
specific materials. The art works and activities will generate thought about
art and the environment and how it is created, experienced, and examined.
Designed for High school students (9-12th graders), these activities will help
them focus on art and ecology and thinking critically about how the two are

Activity #1
Commissioner of an Artwork:

Students must select an artist to create an ecological artwork. As the
commissioner of the piece, they must then choose the site/location they wish
the art to be created, the materials (found at the site) they want the artist
to use, and an explanation of what the work is to mean to future viewers, the
environment, or both. Students will spend time researching various
environments as well as artists who create ecological art. As the
commissioner of an artwork, students should take these orientations (sensory,
formal, and symbolic) into consideration; they should begin to understand the
role art can play in calling attention to the environment. This activity will
be done in a cooperative learning style, possibly in groups of three to five

Activity #2


Prior to playing this game, students will have created a list of criteria of
what art is. Their lists will help them focus on the artistic qualities of
the work, or the lack thereof and will assist them in labeling the works.
Individual students will be given a list of artworks along with a description
of each. From the descriptions, students must then make a determination about
whether the piece is art. Based on their criteria, students will assign "In"
to artworks that clearly meet the criteria, "out" to works that do not meet
the criteria and "maybe" to works that have qualities, but still may not be
considered art. With any label, students must list a reason and/or criteria
that the piece meets or does not meet. Students will then come together as a
group and discuss their answers, defending their choices.

Possible artworks:

Object 1: A performance piece in which sticks are thrown into the air by a
group of people placed in a circle. The sticks are thrown at the same time,
are uniform in length and of the same material.

Object 2: Green leaves sewn together with grass to create a horn, placed
under the tree where the leaves were taken from.

Object 3: Sticks woven together at the base of a tree to create a nest like
appearance. There are three trees and three nests, all intertwined.