This is the perfect unit for African American History Month or any time of the year!
My K-3 students all love this art/language arts/social science unit! They greatly enjoyed learning in detail about the life and childhood of famous African American artist John Biggers and getting to know the different styles of art he used.
I have found children enjoy making art, looking at different styles of art and flourish in talking about art! You can build on this interest by exposing them to new concepts and diverse artists that will enrich their curiosity in arts education and strengthen their cultural competency for their entire life.
This unit also reinforces literacy skills, practices geometric shapes and enhances your students' close observation skills.
Your students will love making the acquaintance with one of the most influential African American artists of his time and learn the two artistic styles of Realism and Abstract art.
This unit study requires NO PREPARATION on your part and all you need to do is print it out in either color or black and white.
The Unit includes:
(1) 4 full color art posters of the artist’s work
(2) 2 bonus arts posters of Realist and Abstract artists Millet and Mondrian
(3) Step-by-step teacher's guide
(4) Printable “arts walk” student notebook with questions
(5) Close reading section on the childhood and remarkable life of artist John Biggers
(6) Vocabulary words worksheet
(7) Sequence of events worksheet
(8) Identifying character traits with supporting evidence worksheet
(9) Close observations skills exercise
(10) Instructions for art activities that are similar to the artists’ styles
(11) Guided Drawing: “Red Barn Farm”
(12) Crossword puzzle
(13) Word search
(14) Art recognition and interpretation exercise
(15) Introduction to art styles: Realism and Abstract art with examples
(16) Symbolism in art introduction and exercise
After this week study you will find that your students willl be able to...
- Define and identify character traits
- Recognize a John Bigger’s painting in art exhibitions and museums
- Identify arts work of two different styles: Realism and Abstract art
- Identify two great additional artists (and their work)
- Apply compare and contrast concepts in arts (artists and arts work)
- Identify symbolism in art
- Apply practical skills in art observation
And they will...
- Have made several fun arts projects and a booklet
- Have had fun doing crosswords and word searches! (:
To turn your classroom or home into a temporary John Bigger’s art exhibition simply:
Print out the classroom posters of the 1-6 works you would like the students to study. If you like you can glue them on a black or white cardboard paper showing the black ‘frame’. Hang the “paintings” in your classroom and during the art observation exercise allow the students to walk for a few minutes quietly in your “classrrom museum exhibition” to each painting and take notes of what they see. Students will write down: artist, year, medium and observations. As you continue to study the artist give out the “close observation: sheets and have them document their second look observations and express their opinion about the piece of art.
With the print outs/templates and students’ works you can easily create booklets by stapling pages together.
I have done this unit with students grades K-3 but believe it can be used up to 5th grade or for combined classrooms. The unit is great during African American history month or any time of the year that you would like to cover an interesting less covered artists and explore new styles of art.