9-12
high school UNIT EXAMPLE
9-12
high school UNIT EXAMPLE

My definition of a "unit plan" is a span of lessons, discussions, and research that collectively result in a thoughtful, original, and skillfully made work of art that a student can take pride in. My high school unit plan structures typically contain these steps:

 

  1. Visual demonstration of a new technique/skill.

  2. Students practice the new technique/skill with a guided activity.

  3. Introduction to a new concept with relevant historic and contemporary artists and artworks. This includes small group and full class discussions.

  4. Introduction to the unit project which will combine the new skill/technique with the new concept.

  5. Students brainstorm for individual project ideas through guided brainstorming activities and sketching.

  6. Project work days.

  7. Student self-assessments and critiques.

  8. Grading/feedback.

Below are the materials that I have created for a unit that focuses on the appropriation of historic artwork with pop culture imagery. This unit is originally designed for the high school level, but can easily be adapted for the middle school or even elementary level. It is an absolute blast!

HISTORIC ART APPROPRIATION WITH POP CULTURE UNIT

Length of Time: 2-3 Weeks

1. Visual demonstration of a new technique/skill.

 

The skill that would be demonstrated would be color matching. It's like color mixing, but more tedious. This will be relevant for the unit because students will eventually choose a historic painting to essentially re-create, therefore color matching will be important! For younger groups this could simply be a basic color theory/mixing lesson.

Color matching techniques would be demonstrated via doc cam, and a recording would also be uploaded to Google Classroom for those that need to review or were absent on the day of the demonstration.

 

2. Students practice the new technique/skill with a guided activity.

 

After the primary color matching demonstration, students will engage in a color matching activity along with me on the doc cam. For this activity, students will have several paint chips on their tables, and they will attempt to match one paint chip at a time with their paints. Being able to test colors directly on the paint chip is very effective!

Depending on how interested the students are in color matching, this activity can last 1-2 days including the demonstration.

 

3. Introduction to a new concept with relevant historic and contemporary artists and artworks. This includes small group and full class discussions. 

Below is the presentation that includes the concept introduction, visual examples, and discussion prompts.

4. Introduction to the unit project which will combine the new skill/technique with the new concept.

 

Below is the handout that includes the basic notes and examples from the presentation as well as the unit directions.

5. Students brainstorm for individual project ideas through guided brainstorming activities and sketching.

Here is the webpage that I used to help students find a historic painting. https://www.brushwiz.com/most-famous-paintings/

They were also welcome to use other research methods to find different historic painting options if they wished.

For this unit, no two students could choose the same historic artwork to appropriate. Therefore we had a lottery name drawing for choosing. Surprisingly, there weren't really any issues. I made sure to let the students know ahead of time that they should make a top 5 list of potential artworks to choose, just in case their first couple were chosen before their turn.

Below are two research/planning handout assignments that the students were to complete before beginning their paintings.

6. Project work days. 

 

These are days that students are independently working on their projects. 

7. Student self-assessments and critiques.

 

On the due date of a project, the students engage in small group critiques. In order to keep the flow going, I usually provide key topics to discuss. I pop into each critique as well just to make sure the discussion is on task and that everyone gets a chance to participate.

Before turning a project in, students are required to fill out a self assessment. This process is essentially grading themselves using the unit rubric. This is not only a way to get them used to actually reading the rubric, but to get them used to evaluating themselves and seeing how they could do better in the future.

8. Grading/feedback.

 

Below is the rubric used for the student self assessments as well as my grading.