Before You Begin
For the teacher creating art lesson plans for middle school, there are several factors to consider prior to planning. Many times, middle school is a combination of various elementary school students and transfer students thrown together for the first time. This factor alone brings a combination of skill levels into one classroom. It also brings new conflicts between students who feel the need to find their spot in the crowd. These added issues play a role when teaching art. The teacher must discover which art concepts the students are familiar with while holding the interest of the class long enough to avoid conflict.
The first few art lessons attempted should focus on finding the level of all students involved. The lowest common factor can then be used for future art lessons.
The Past Meets the Present
Most modern schools offer computers for their classrooms. When teaching art, this technology can be useful in art lesson plans for middle school.
Often young teens at this level find “old” things boring. They will look at classical art as a thing of the past and consider them “uncool” or out of date. With the use of a computer, you can change this image of the classics for them while evaluating their creativity.
Introduce some classic portraits to the class. Da Vinci’s self-portrait may interest the class due to it’s simplicity. Picasso’s self-portrait may surprise students familiar with his work. Other portraits, such as the Mona Lisa are also very useful.
Upload pictures of the previously discussed portraits to the student information base in each computer.
More than Just Dots
Developing art lesson plans for middle school often involves creating projects to span an period of time. Some schools only allow short periods of time to be dedicated to art. For these situations, art concepts are often best taught with projects easily left and began again when art time rolls around. One of these such lessons involves the concept of Pointillism. Pointillism is the art of forming pictures and designs from very small dots.
George Seurat’s " Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” is one example to show to the class. Discuss how upclose, the picture is only many dots, but from a distance, they form a scene.
Let the students begin the project by using small hole punchers and construction paper to create the different colors of dots they will be using for their own pictures. Be sure they keep each color separated into different containers. Once they have a good amount punched, they can begin forming the idea for their picture.
Let the students give an outline to the picture they wish to create. These will vary from ultra simplistic abstracts to defined pictures of items. The students then commence to creating their art work by filling in the form with the small dots and glue.
This project can be stopped and started over and over. Set a finish date for the projects to keep students from lagging, but allow extra art time if needed.
Pictures and References
Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” compliments of Freebase.
Leonardo Da Vinci “Self Portrait” compliments of Freebase
Digital Portraits https://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/elem/aaron-digital.htm
The Lesson Plans Page https://www.lessonplanspage.com/ArtJH.htm