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My America

Lesson Plan

Description

Students will examine the work of Gordon Parks and his use of symbolism of American society through the lens of multiple populations. Students will create a mixed-media artwork symbolizing personally relevant content and perception of America through their own lens.

Level

Areas of Study

Collections

Lesson Objectives

Students will examine the work of Gordon Parks.

Students will explore an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art with a story.

Students will experiment with a mixed-media approach to form meanings and symbolism using painting and photography.

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Teaching Strategies

  • Explain how artists use visual imagery to tell stories about various perspectives.
  • Discuss the artistic contributions of Gordon Parks and how his visual narratives explain his perspective as a Black artist.
  • Facilitate students in analyzing the symbolic features of Parks’ artwork.
  • Facilitate students in reflecting upon their life experiences and symbolism and imagery to illustrate their own lives.

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National Standards


Create

Formulate an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art.

VA:Cr1.2.6a

Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art- making or designing.

VA:Cr2.1.8a

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Time Requirements

Teacher Prep Time

45 minutes

Demonstration Time

45 minutes

Student Studio Time

3 hours

Supplies and Materials

  • 9” x 12” multipurpose paper
  • Black paint
  • Printed photographs of each student (black & white prints)
  • Printed symbols (black & white prints)
  • School glue
  • Gloss medium (Mod Podge or similar)
  • Paint materials (brush, cup)
  • Scissors

National Standards


Create

Formulate an artistic investigation of personally relevant content for creating art.

VA:Cr1.2.6a

Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art- making or designing.

VA:Cr2.1.8a

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Steps

Planning

View artworks by Black artists that tell visual stories and feature symbols of America including American Gothic by Gordan Parks. Brainstorm and sketch ideas about personal experiences that relate to American society. Identify two symbols that represent a personal position.

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Instructional Materials

Worksheet

Categorizing Subject Matter

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Worksheet

My America Planning Sheet

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Anchor Chart

A Guide For Writing Artist Statements

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Artist Bio

Gordon Parks

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Reflection

Reflective Artist Statement Guide

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