Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wish You Were Here (Lesson Plan)

Teacher: Bryan Rice
Grade Level: 7th & 8th Grades
Title: “Wish You Were Here” (Postage Stamps)

Brief History/ Background:
Postage stamps are used all over the world and span any type of subject material you can think of. You can learn quite a bit about a culture from the types of stamps they produce. Do they like to promote nationalism? Are they a proponent of popular culture? Etc. Rarely do people get to design their own postage stamps, so it will be a unique experience and an opportunity to tell everyone a little bit about where you live and what’s important to you.

1 a./b.
2 b./c./d.
3 c./d.
4 a./b.

5 d.

Arts & Humanities:
9.1.8 a/b/c/h
9.2.8 a/b/d/g
9.3.8 f

Students will create postage stamps that visually describe the unique/ special qualities of their ‘homes’ with the use of collage. They will then choose a country a write a letter to a fictitious friend in this country. The letter should indicate that the student has an understanding of the geography and culture inherent in that country as well as tell his/ her friend about the unique qualities of his/ her ‘home.’

Objectives: Students will:
1. gather ideas about their homes, communities, and what is important about these places
2. create a postage stamp (8x8 inches) about their special places
3. describe how their images represent their special places
4. be able to make use of collage elements of design when making images
5. gain an understanding of the thought processes that are involved in the making of collaged images

Requirements: Students will:
- gather magazines/ book/ misc. printed images that represent their homes/ special places as well as upload digital images
- collage images together to make one cohesive image (there must be at least 5 different images used)
- leave a 2”x2” square blank within their pieces
- complete the cohesive image with either pencil or colored pencil within the square
- choose a country outside the United States to send it to (possibly a country of their nationality) and research this country
- write a brief (fictitious) letter that would be placed inside the ‘stamped’ envelope to send to particular country
- included in the letter should be indications that the student understands the geography/ culture of the area
o e.g. If you are sending it to an area that is primarily dry/ desert climate, then you could include questions like: “How as the weather been their? I understand that you’ve been through a drought. Has it affected your family much? Tell me about those dances you have been performing in? (etc./ the questions and comments should indicate that you have an understanding of this place and what happens there)
o also included in the letter is an explanation of ‘the student’s’ home/ what is happening there that is unique/ that corresponds with the stamp image that is created

Supplies/ Materials:
1. magazines
2. books
3. possibly fabric
4. misc. image resources
5. scissors
6. pencils
7. colored pencils
8. white construction paper
9. glue
10. world map
11. digital camera

Resource Materials/ Visual Aids:
- various internet resources
- books on artists who utilize different types of collage
- cultural and geographical references for their letters
- power point to explain different options for creating collages as well as various collage artists and techniques

Teacher Preparation:
- online resource list
- prepare example
- world map (online)
- digital cameras
- develop power point
- create exemplar (perhaps not completely finished so students aren’t merely trying to mimic the ‘teacher’s’ copy

Students will be asked to think about what makes their ‘homes’ stand out to them. What is unique about ‘your’ home? They will be shown a power point with an introduction to different subject matter that has been utilized in the design of stamps all over the world. The power also be shown various collage techniques as well as artists who employed these techniques.

- Find visuals that represent what is unique about your “home”
o Use magazines/ books/ newspapers/ uploaded digital images/ etc.
- Use collage elements to arrange the visuals so that a cohesive image can be read
o You must use at least 5 different visuals to make your image
o Leave a 1” blank border
- leave a 2”x2” section blank, as you will be (pencil/ colored pencil) drawing in this section to complete the cohesive image
- Cut the 1” blank border to reference the edge of a stamp
- Choose a country to send your stamp to/ research this country
- Write a letter to a “friend” in this country explaining the unique qualities of your “home”
o The letter should also have questions to your friend about his/ her “home” (indicative of your research on the culture and geography of the country)

Critique/ Evaluation/ Assessment:
Each student will shortly present his/her stamp and letter. They will then discuss various successful aspects of the postage stamps. How does it display unique things about someone’s home? Does the collage read as one cohesive image?

For those who finish early, they will be working on one of two things:
  • - A second postage stamp that involves collaged images of the culture to which they are sending their letters
  • o E.g. If a student is sending his/her letter to India, then he/she will be making a postage stamp they displays visuals which refer to India’s culture/ uniqueness
  • - Or they will be working on their extension projects that are ongoing throughout the marking period.
  • o Students are to have 4 artist critiques by the end of the marking period
  • • Using the resource materials in class (internet/ books/ etc.), students will choose an artwork (to be approved by teacher) and critique this artwork
  • • They will refer to their handouts which explain the critique process/ they can also refer to the critique that was done in class via power point with the aid of the instructor
  • • They will write 3-4 sentences for each section: describe/ analyze/ interpret/ judge

Time Budget:
Day 1
- 15 minutes – Power point introduction (project/ materials/ collage elements)
- 25 minutes – gather materials/ resources and ideas
- 5 minutes – Clean up
Day 2
- 5 minutes – Recap
- 33 minutes – Work on collages/ research country
- 7 minutes – Clean up
Day 3
- 5 minutes – Recap
- 33 minutes – Work on collages/ research country
- 7 minutes – Clean up
Day 4
- 5 minutes – Recap
- 33 minutes – Work on collages/ research country
- 7 minutes – Clean up
Day 5
- 10 minutes – Hang work
- 25/30 minutes – Group critique/ presentations
- 5/10 minutes – Take down work

- collage
- mixed media
- culture
- geography

Safety Concerns:
The artistic materials should all be used appropriately, and as always, students’ work should be respectful in regards to a classroom setting.

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