TAG: western American art

Before You Go…Travel Recommendations from the Experts!
Lesson Plan

Before You Go…Travel Recommendations from the Experts!

Elementary (grades K-5)
Two 50 minute lessons

By making their own Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone drawings in small groups, students will develop a better understanding of the scope and size of the original painting. They will then use the painting as inspiration for writing creative travel guide entries.

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So Many Colors to See!
Lesson Plan

So Many Colors to See!

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 45 minute lesson

Students will closely examine the colors in Georgia O’Keeffe’s Petunia and Glass Bottle. They will then explore color by adding different amounts of white and black paint to a base color to create different hues of that color.

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a bug's eye view
Lesson Plan

a bug's eye view

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Children will explore the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of grass and draw on this information to more carefully examine American Grasslands.

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Saddle Symmetry
Lesson Plan

Saddle Symmetry

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 55 minute lesson

After viewing and discussing James Walker’s Cowboys Roping a Bear, students will explore symmetry with their bodies and then create their own symmetrical drawings in pairs.

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Beyond First Impressions
Lesson Plan

Beyond First Impressions

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will examine the visual tools used in the painting Road to Santa Fe and how those tools help the painter tell a particular story. They will then use the painting to explore storytelling and use brainstorming strategies to enrich the content and voice of stories they will write.

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The Power of Plein Air
Lesson Plan

The Power of Plein Air

Secondary (grades 6-12)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will examine and discuss Rabbit Hunt by E. Martin Hennings, paying particular attention to the fact that it is a plein air painting (meaning it was painted outdoors).

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My Own Backyard
Lesson Plan

My Own Backyard

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Children will examine the painting The Road to Santa Fe to see how many different animals, plants, people, colors, etc. they can find. They will then use their bodies to interact with the painting on a kinesthetic level.

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If You Give a Man a Horse
Lesson Plan

If You Give a Man a Horse

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 25 minute lesson

Students will read the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, explore Charles Deas’ painting Long Jakes, and exercise their imaginations to create their own cause-and-effect story.

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The Cool Colors of Snow
Lesson Plan

The Cool Colors of Snow

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 60 minute lesson

Students explore what is meant by warm and cool colors and apply what they learn to Theodore Waddell’s Motherwell’s Angus. They will also explore the idea that snow is really white, but in the painting, Waddell uses different colors to create the snow.

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What’s that Bear doing There? Making Inferences
Lesson Plan

What’s that Bear doing There? Making Inferences

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will examine Cowboys Roping a Bear and learn how to make inferences for comprehension and also how to gather information from a painting. They will also realize how these skills transfer from looking at art to reading.

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How Would a ___________ Move?
Lesson Plan

How Would a ___________ Move?

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Children will explore and carefully examine Wilson Hurley’s Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by imagining different animals moving around the painting. They will also think about and experiment with the sound of water, inspired by the waterfall portrayed in the painting.

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My Supersized Pet
Lesson Plan

My Supersized Pet

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 25 minute lesson

Students will look at Ostermiller’s sculpture and discuss how large it is compared to real life. They will use their imaginations to identify an animal they would like to meet in gigantic form and explain why.

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Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? (Or Was It Grapes?)
Lesson Plan

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar? (Or Was It Grapes?)

Early childhood (ages 3-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Students will have fun acting out a scene in which they are sneaking a cookie from a cookie jar, and then use this experience to write a story inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting Cow Licking.

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Creative Problem Solving
Lesson Plan

Creative Problem Solving

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 45 minute lesson

Students will examine Remington’s The Cheyenne and identify the challenges he faced in creating a horse that appears to be airborne. They will then work with a partner and go through a similar problem-solving process to create their own airborne sculpture.

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A Journey Through Wind River Country
Lesson Plan

A Journey Through Wind River Country

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 45 minute lesson

Students will examine Bierstadt’s painting Wind River Country and talk about how the painting makes them feel and why. They will also learn a little bit about the historical context of the painting and use it as the setting for an adventure for which they will write a travel journal.

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Order and Chaos – from Painting to Poems
Lesson Plan

Order and Chaos – from Painting to Poems

Secondary (grades 6-12)
One 60 minute lesson

Students will learn about ideas of order, chaos, pattern, and variation in poetry. They will then use Waddell’s Motherwell’s Angus to discuss these ideas. The painting will serve as inspiration for the students as they write both traditional and free form poems.

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Majestic Murals
Lesson Plan

Majestic Murals

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 30 minute lesson

Students will view the painting Wind River Country by Albert Bierstadt and discuss his motivation and process for creating majestic landscape paintings. Working in a similar style, students will create collaborative mural paintings of a fantastic landscape.

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Playing with Perception
Lesson Plan

Playing with Perception

Secondary (grades 6-12)
Two 45 minute lessons

After looking closely at Greased Lightning, students will examine the unusual angle the artist chose. They will explore other images of horses and then try their hand at drawing what Leigh’s scene would look like from the opposite side.

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Mad Lib Leigh!
Lesson Plan

Mad Lib Leigh!

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 55 minute lesson

Students will identify and describe details in William R. Leigh’s painting Greased Lightning, then choose appropriate vocabulary words to write Mad Lib stories about what may (or may not!) be happening in the painting.

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A Cow’s Tale
Lesson Plan

A Cow’s Tale

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 45 minute lesson

Students practice taking on the perspective of someone else and apply that ability to take on the perspective of the cow in O’Keeffe’s Cow Licking. They will use this perspective to write a story about the cow in the painting.

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