How are you using the Prism.K12 strategies and American artwork (by Pippin, O'Keeffe, and Hopper) in your classroom?

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How are you using the Prism.K12 strategies and American artwork (by Pippin, O'Keeffe, and Hopper) in your classroom?

For your forum post, create a new topic and respond to these questions: What drew you to this artist and their artworks? What aspects of these works of art have you introduced to your students, and how have you integrated another subject? Which Prism.K12 strategies did you choose for your in-classroom project? Please describe.

O'Keefe and the desert

In our Pre-K classrooms, we spend a lot of time studying nature, and in particular, habitats. Using the work of artist Georgia O’Keefe in this typically science-oriented study is easy, because of her in-depth examination of nature. I’m using O’Keefe’s artwork to enrich a unit on the desert as a habitat. What drew me to O’Keefe’s work for this is both her attention to natural detail, and her use of color and shape in desert landscapes. At first glance, young observers might describe O’Keefe’s work as simple and empty, but with a more focused eye, they are able to see the richness of color that she uses and/or the detail in the shapes she creates. This really mirrors one of the most important concepts I like to hit home in my desert unit- a desert might look empty and barren, but its really a complex ecosystem teeming with life.

In my first lesson, we start by examining a photo of a desert, as well as O’Keefe’s art (including Ranchos Church No. II, N.M., 1929), then we read a story about a day in the life of Georgia O’Keefe (what she sees, how she decides what to paint, etc.), after that, we reexamine the photo and artwork, to see what else we notice. Finally, the students create their own desert landscapes. This lesson focuses on the Prism strategy Identify, and helps students to the desert through a new lens.

For the second lesson, I like to have a little fun with O’Keefe’s artwork, and Connect (another Prism strategy!) her pieces with the flora and fauna that we research. After reading books about desert plants and animals, students use the information they’ve gathered to draw plants and animals to add to O’Keefe’s desert landscape. Then they compare the desert landscape to another of O’Keefe’s works (My Shanty, Lake George, 1922). Would our desert plants and animals make a home here? Why or why not?

O’Keefe is a fun and accessible artist. I love using her art in my classroom! Stay tuned for more details on our work!

From Pre-K to First Grade

It's great to see how a Pre-K classroom is working with O'Keeffe and combining it with science standards. In First Grade we're planning on doing a similar lesson in collaboration with a Fourth Grade class. We're currently studying plant adaptations and will use O'Keeffe's Ranchos Church work as a landscape to fill with plants we've created to thrive in that type of environment. Our Fourth Grade partners will be creating characters to add to the image, which will compliment our additions ,and tell a completely new story. I'm excited to see what our collaboration will yield!
PreK, First, and Fourth grade!

It is so awesome to see all of us using O'Keeffe's work.  Like Jon said, our fourth graders are also studying Ranchos II and will be creating characters to fit in the scene.  Who are they?  Why are they there?  What are they doing?  Do they contribute to a narrative and match their setting?  We plan to draw on a lot of the skills they practiced at the Phillips in October - setting, characters, story - to create a story with this piece.  I think it will be really interesting to study more about O'Keeffe the artist with the students - wondering if I could possibly borrow your book about a day in the life of her as an artist?  

Awesome connection!

How cool to see that we're doing a similar lesson! It would be interesting to look at the work side by side and compare the process with two different age groups! I'll post our O'Keefe art filled with our plants and animals, I'd love to see yours as well Jon!

Empathizing with Hopper

In my first grade classroom, we decided to explore Sunday by Edward Hopper. After learning that Hopper was reluctant to talk about his works and often responded with the phrase "The whole answer is there on the canvas," I wanted my students to develop their own concept of what the artist was trying to share with his audience. We began by viewing a projection of the painting and engaging in a whole group "See, Think, Wonder." In this activity, students shared their observations, thoughts and questions about the artwork. I wanted my students to IDENTIFY components of the artwork that intrigued them. We then transitioned to a whole group discussion where students developed their thoughts about the artist- they were only told the individuals last name. Students responded to the following questions: When was this artist born? Were they male or female? How does the artwork make you feel? How do you think the artist felt when they painted it? After students were given an opportunity to share their answers and rationales with the class, each student was asked to create a portrait of the artist using what they discovered. This independent activity required students to EMPATHIZE with the artist and SYNTHESIZE these feelings into a colored pencil sketch. At the end of this independent work time, students had the opportunity to share their unique sketches with the class. (Prism.K12 Strategies are listed in capital letters.)

Emotional connections with Hopper

I love the idea of using Hopper to explore emotions. Personally, he is one of my all-time favorite artists, I love the way his art is both incredibly vibrant and lonely. I think students of many ages would have so much to share about the story they see in the work and the complex emotions portrayed in the painting. Hopper can tell such an interesting tale with just one simple scene, it would be fascinating to see how students could add to that story. 

Leah (not verified)
Hopper with 1st grade

I always love the way early childhood students respond to artwork. And I would love to hear about some of their responses to Sunday if you recorded or scribed them. I also love and frequently use the See-Think-Wonder thinking routine. It is such a great entrypoint to artwork, and I find myself using it when I am at museums. I'm curious if you needed to clarify the "SEE" portion of the routine, and how you did that with 1st graders. I know it's easy to jump to interpretation when listing the things you see. 

Leah (not verified)
Pippin with 7th/8th graders

I chose Pippin’s art for my classroom because of the narrative nature of his paintings and his look at “everyday” scenes. I think his paintings offer concrete images that are accessible to my students and will inspire them to consider their own “everyday” scenes and personal narratives. Today, the students were introduced to several of Pippin’s paintings through a “Pass the Painting” activity where students stood in a circle and responded to prompts with their partner. When time was up, they would pass the painting, receive a new painting and a new prompt to respond to. The prompts were: What do you SEE? What do you THINK? What do you Wonder? Who are the characters in the paintings? What is going on in this painting? This activity exposed the students to several paintings while encouraging observation, spontaneous questions and quick interpretations.

Afterwards, we worked together through a close-looking activity where we made a claim about what was happening in the painting, and backed up that claim with evidence from the painting. We used the painting Christmas Morning Breakfast and I modeled how to mark up and notate the painting for evidence with arrows, circles and labels. Then the students were given the opportunity to respond individually to the painting Domino Players on a worksheet that asked them What is the story of this painting? And What makes you say that.

Today’s activities provided the opportunity to use the Identify and Compare rays of the Prism.K12 as students looked closely at paintings to identify details that would give them clues to a story and compare and contrast a body of work from one artist.

The next steps of this unit will give students a chance to use the Empathy and Express rays as they consider perspective through writing and illustrate their own personal narratives. 

Pass the Painting

What a great strategy for getting an up-close experience with art! Actually holding the work in their hands and really getting a good look at the details can give students an even stronger personal connection with the work. I also love the partner sharing, I think it helps the students view art not as an untouchable work to only be revered, but a relevant piece of culture to be examined and discussed. I can't wait to hear more about their work...

Leah (not verified)
Pass the Painting- Thanks!

Thanks! It was an activity I learned about at a PD event at The Phillips Collection. You're right, it's an excellent way to give the students an up close experience. Part of my goal for this semester-long class is to get these students more comfortable with viewing art, and not view it as something that is "scary". A lot of them have had experiences that made them afraid to interpret art, but, I'm hoping, that by allowing them numerous touchpoints with works of art, they will build strategies for close-looking and personal interpretation that will make them feel more at ease around artwork.  

See, Think, Wonder

I love the wonder part of this line of questioning.  I am always trying to get my students to ask more questions about artwork because it helps them to be truly engaged with the piece and the class.  I also like that sometimes students will ask really off the wall questions that will get other students talking and debating and sometimes those questions can then be explored in their own artwork.  

I am excited to hear how your looking and questions will lead to their own personal narratives!
Hopper with 5th Grade!

Our 5th grade class is studying American History in Social Studies, and examining the Great Depression.  I projected the piece Sunday by Hopper and gave each student a “See, Think, Wonder” graphic organizer (worksheet) to complete after a brief discussion.  I told the students that Edward Hopper painted this painting in 1926, and the students immediately connected to the Great Depression.  They had excellent observations and IDENTIFIED very specific aspects of the painting (solitary man, empty street and buildings, darkness shaded in the buildings, man dressed like he should be going to work but isn’t).  Students also shared their thoughts and wonderings about the painting.

We then transitioned to a different activity where students were asked to EMPATHIZE with Hopper.  Students were given a set of questions about the artist, and had to answer the questions as best they could without knowing any background information about Hopper (except the time of the painting).  Students predicted where this painting took place, what Hopper was thinking and feeling when he painted it, and what Hopper cared about based on his decision to paint this scene.  Students also inferred challenges and obstacles Hopper may have faced, and how he may have used this painting as a way to address the various challenges.  Many students projected that Hopper was a caring person who wanted to show others what struggles Americans were facing during the Great Depression.  

Leah (not verified)
Hopper-Great Depression

Great connection to Social Studies with examining the Great Depression, and using Indentify and Empathize rays. When students were responding to the set of questions about the artist- were they working individually? or in pairs?  This sounds like a very applicable art-integration lesson that many classrooms could use to deepen their students' understanding of the time period. I'll stay tuned to see how the lesson continues and I would love to share with my 5th grade teaching team at my school. 

Great Questions

I like the way you asked students to think more about the artist himself and what his challenges may have been.  I tend to have students look closely at the work but I think they/we often forget that these are more than just paintings; they are work and emotions felt by a real person.  Thinking about the artists will also help the students think more strategically about their own work.

Hopper and Empathy

In my middle school classroom I like to spend time really understanding WHY artists make art and why it is important.  I chose to look at Hopper with my students because he does an amazing job of telling stories through his work (one of the reasons we talk about for why artists make art).  There are lots of compositional details and symbols that my students can identify to help them understand when and where the story is happening and understand why the mood is often lonely or isolated.  

My students have been working on landscapes, and for their final landscape project they have been given the theme "What does it mean to be American?" In our first lesson we talked about how Hopper told stories of how many people felt in America during the 20s and 30s. We looked at how Hopper created the lonely and isolated mood using compositional elements such as color, body position, facial expression, and elements in the background that all helped to create a specific tone in the work (the Ray IDENTIFY). STudents were asked to guess what was going on in the picture and quickly began to see how the work tells a story.  Students were then asked how they feel about America today (What do they like or not like about America?). To help the students understand how America is different than other culutres and to help identify what specifically they like or don't like, we watched 3 videos about how students live in other countries such as Japan, India, and Africa. Students then compared the lives of the children in the videos to their own. In this way we are working with the ray Empathy and tying into Social studies concepts. Students cited things as freedom, cleanliness, opportunities, and technology, both as things that they like about our country and things they wish were more like other countries.  Students will complete their landscapes using these words as guidance for telling the story of what America is like today using compositional elements that we saw in Hopper's work.  A challenging task that I am sure my students will rise to meet!

Make it Monumental

I chose O'keeffe to help my students understand scale and its impact. To help them familiarize themselves with the process, the first strategy employed (IDENTIFY) incorportaed similar language and guiding quuestions that they use in science to make observations. They IDENTIFIED special features, CONNECTED to bigger ideas, EMPATHIZED with feelings expressed in her work and COMPARED Pattern of Leaves to My Shanty, Lake George, finding that one seemed to have a "happier" energy  than the other.  Next, they will choose something important to them, something they want to bring to the attention of others and make it monumental....lager than life size. (maybe I will pull in Claes Oldenburg for a further COMPARISON) This activity will eventually inform a consequential supersized self-portrait. They will draw from a smaller self portrait and use their eyes to measure and make a larger proportioned drawing.