A detailed look at the elements of a preschool lesson plan that relies on the use of an art object as a focus of inquiry for a lesson in shape recognition. Created to go along with my final project for MoMA's MOOC Art & Inquiry, March 2014.
STUDENTS WILL USE VISUALIZATION
AND SPATIAL REASONING TO ANALYZE
CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES
OF GEOMETRIC SHAPES
NEW YORK PRE-K MATH STANDARDS
PK.G.1 Match shapes, first with same size and orientation,
then with different sizes and orientations
• Identify circles, squares, and triangles (A.1)
• Identify rectangles (A.2)
THE NEXT SLIDE FEATURES THE ARTWORK THIS LESSON EMPLOYS
TO ENGAGE STUDENTS. PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO
ENGAGE WITH THE NEXT SLIDE.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE. HOW YOU FEEL. WHAT YOU NOTICE.
You will find it useful to start the lesson with a big question,
or theme, in mind.
The theme of this lesson is recognizing shapes.
The big question in this lesson is:
How can artists use shapes
to create pictures?
OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS
Preparing at least three open ended questions to ask your students will help you guide
inquiry toward your learning goals, and will provide students the opportunity to express
their different observations and opinions.
Three open ended questions for this lesson are:
1. What do you notice about this art piece?
2. What do you observe about how the
artist used shapes in this artwork?
3. If you were to make a similar piece of
artwork about your family, tell me about
the shapes you would use.
REVEAL, OR PROVIDE, INFORMATION FOR CONTEXTUAL SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE
THE INFORMATION YOU REVEAL SHOULD BE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS FACT OR
OPINION AND SHOULD ENCOURAGE FURTHER EXPRESSION OF ORIGINAL IDEA S AND
BE CAREFUL NOT TO PROVIDE TOO MUCH INFORMATION TOO SOON.
Print, from MoMA’s Prints
and Illustrated Books
MoMA Number: 224.1990
Date: 1920, reprinted c. 1989
Let students inquire and explore on their own to create stronger connections to the piece and,
when the time is right, to connect developmentally appropriate context to the piece and its creator.
Three pieces of information appropriate for this lesson are:
1. The title of the piece: Family. (connection to self)
2. Varvara Stepanova used simple geometric shapes in much of
her artwork and design. She used shapes as a basis for creating
pictures of people, for designing posters, and even to
design clothing. (connection to classroom content)
3. Varvara Stepanova created artwork in a number of different
ways. Sometimes she painted, sometimes she drew, and
sometimes she used geometric woodcuts to create figures.
(connection to home and classroom activities)
PROVIDE STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO
EXPRESS THEIR UNDERSTANDING IN AUTHENTIC
OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPRESS
In this activity, students will use
a combination of ink stamps and pre-cut paper geometric shapes
to create a picture that represents their family.
During their investigation of the artwork, students will verbally share their
observations and connections with the group (which consists of 12 young
learners, one teacher, and one teaching assistant). Throughout that
discussion, students will be encouraged to share their own observations,
connections, and questions, and will also be encouraged to especially
consider the shapes and subject matter of the work. The students will
also be asked during group investigation to think about how they would
change the shapes or picture to represent their own family. Additionally,
the teacher will introduce the method that Stepanova used to produce her
artwork (this wood engraving in particular),
and the similar ways we produce artwork in the classroom.
Using the stamps, ink, paper shapes and glue sticks at your table,
create a picture of your family.
You may use any of the materials you want to use,
and can include anyone you consider "family" in your artwork.
Students will gain familiarity with and identify
circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles of different sizes and orientations.
Students will observe, investigate, and demonstrate how simple shapes
combine to create representations of things they see every day.
Students will further have an opportunity for creative expression
through manipulation of these shapes.
SHARING WORK AND REFLECTING ON THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A
LESSON’S GOALS IS
INCREDIBLY MOTIVATING FOR STUDENTS,
A WONDERFUL WAY TO REINFORCE LESSON CONCEPTS,
AND AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT IN ENCOURAGING FURTHER INQUIRY.
A FEW ADDITIONAL PIECES
TO INSPIRE FURTHER INQUIRY
How would you use these pieces to inspire inquiry?
Designed when Stepanova
was a textile designer at the
Tsindel (First State Textile
From: Design Life Work | Varvara Stepanova
Oil on canvas
Painting, from MoMA’s
Painting and Sculpture
MoMA Number: 433.1941
MOMA | THE COLLECTION | VARVARA SEPANOVA
VARVARA STEPANOVA | MONOSKIP
BADASS LADY CREATIVES [IN HISTORY] | DESIGN
TEACHING INQUIRY LEARNING | MARK CHALONER
INTRODUCTION TO INQUIRY BASED LEARNING | NEIL
ART & INQUIRY IN ANY CLASSROOM | CATHLEEN