TAG: western American art

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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Completely Crazy Creatures
Lesson Plan

Completely Crazy Creatures

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

After observing Donald Coen’s painting Yellow Rain Jacket, students will draw in missing parts of the horse on a printed copy of the painting. Students will also add parts of other animals to the original image to create imaginative animal hybrids.

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The Cow Book
Lesson Plan

The Cow Book

Secondary (grades 6-12)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will use Dan Ostermiller's Scottish Angus Cow and Calf as primary source material to inspire secondary language arts skills. After analyzing the sculpture, they will write a children’s book that tells the story of these two animals.

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Summarization Pyramid
Lesson Plan

Summarization Pyramid

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will examine Rabbit Hunt and apply a summarization technique commonly used in reading to analyze and learn about the painting.

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Wondrous Water
Lesson Plan

Wondrous Water

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

Students will enjoy moving like the birds in Blumenschein’s painting Mountain Lake (Eagle Nest). They will then use their powers of observation to learn what water looks like when it’s still versus when it’s moving and apply what they learn when examining the lake in the painting.

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I Can See Clearly Now: Practicing Careful Observation
Lesson Plan

I Can See Clearly Now: Practicing Careful Observation

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 45 minute lesson

Working in small groups, students will find as many details as possible in Blumenschein’s Mountain Lake (Eagle Nest) using specific words to guide their investigation. They will then select three of their favorite details and write a poem that incorporates all three items.

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Capturing Images Through Words
Lesson Plan

Capturing Images Through Words

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

Students will closely examine an image of Georgia O’Keeffe’s Petunia and Glass Bottle. They will then use words to capture what they see. The teacher will use those words to write a poem about the painting.

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So Much to See, So Little Time
Lesson Plan

So Much to See, So Little Time

Elementary (grades K-5)
One 50 minute lesson

Students will use American Grasslands to inspire their own investigation and representation of one square foot of natural space. The paintings will also serve to facilitate a discussion of the impact of living beings (humans and other animals) on the land.

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