High School Art & Lessons

My classes are a combination of:

  • Journal Entries (addressing art criticism, art history, and aesthetics)
  • Mini-Lessons (mostly for skill-building, but also conceptual understanding; they frequently involved YouTube videos)
  • Creative Challenges (major and/or more "finished" works of art)
  • Assessments

You will find some of all of these here.  Please note that I typically share general descriptions rather than full-blown lesson- or unit-plans because I assume you are like me: you just need some general ideas and the freedom to make those ideas work for you and your students.  Using someone else's lesson/unit plan without major adaptation for your context is like trying to dance in a pair of ill-fitting shoes.

Creative Challenges

Miranda Davis, Grade 12

The Shape of Things

Level: beginning to advanced

Skills Taught/Reinforced: composition (whatever Elements & Principles or Dos/Don'ts you emphasize), color, appropriation

Materials: white tag board or card stock, pencils, image source, scissors/Xacto knives, cutting boards, spray paint, masking tape, optional glue stick

Cautionary note: this Challenge requires a very well-ventilated area for spraying and drying pieces; we go outside

Students cut stencils--both positive and negatives--based on whatever category of images you choose.  We used motifs and images from art history textbooks.  I encouraged students to consider a range of 2- and 3-D objects, images, and motifs, including details of larger pieces, encouraging them to seek diverse cultures and diverse shapes.  

They drew their favorites in different sizes on white tag board or card stock and then cut them out.

Next they taped the edges of their tag board/card stock support to create a border.  And they placed small rolls of tape on the back of each stencil.

Outside, students chose 3 to 4 colors of spray paint, adhered their stencils to their support, and then sprayed lightly with their lightest color.  When dry to the touch, students moved the stencils, adhered them, and sprayed with their next lightest color and so on until all colors were used, working light to dark.

After letting them dry outside, we brought them in, removed the tape around the border, glued one or more of the stencils back into the artwork if desired, and signed them.

Assessment: self-evaluation/discussion of, especially, composition.