Simple Art Lesson Plans: Written Reflections of Famous Art
Art and language arts go hand in hand. Beautiful words and images can be seamlessly integrated together in many lessons. Connecting simple art lesson plans to a language arts lesson can help add interest and allow students with an artistic side to shine. Students who have strong spatial intelligence in the Mutiple Intelligences will also do great with this activity.
Even if students cannot draw, they can still learn about art and its beauty. In addition, any student can turn in a neat and colorful piece or a well-thought out reflection.
Art as a "Bell Ringer" or Opening to a Lesson
One way for students to appreciate art is to just spend a little time looking at famous pieces. As a "bell ringer" or an opening activity to engage students, teachers can ask students to respond to famous pieces of art. Language arts teachers can connect the art pieces to the time period of a novel being read in class or to a theme being studied. Or, language arts teachers can connect the art to areas being researched in the classroom or for visual aids for speeches given by students.
This response is a reflection of how the art piece makes the student feel, what memories the piece can dredge up from his or her memory, or a written description of what the student sees. Teachers can discuss the saying, “Art is in the eye of the beholder" before beginning the reflection activity.
Teachers may first need to model responding to art piece themselves. They can point out important images, techniques or colors in the art. Or, they can give students some background about the artist and/or the artwork itself. Sometimes, when teachers just give students the title of a piece and ask them to write how the piece makes them feel, they will be able to start writing a great reflection.
Each student might see something different in the art piece. There is no right answer in this writing activity; however, students need to give an adequate explanation of their opinions. Or, they need to write a good description of what they see. Hopefully, students will learn how to appreciate a variety of art.
Finding Art for Written Reflections
Some students are not familiar with classic art pieces that can be found in reference books in your own school library. The Art Institute of Chicago Art Access website has 12 pieces of art that teachers can access and enlarge to show to students.
In addition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art website has a Collection Database, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Recent Requisitions, etc. of its artwork. Teachers can click their way through the links to find great art for their students to view as well as learn about the artists, subject matter and/or time period.