The Task The Process Learning Advice Resources Evaluation Notes to the Teacher
Notes to the Teacher
Lesson Title: Art for Sale
Curricular Area: Visual Arts
Grade Level: 5
Goal/Purpose: Visual and Performing Arts
components for Visual Arts
(excerpted from the California State Visual and Performing Arts
Framework, California Department of Education, 1996)
H-SS Content Standards:
Students describe the major pre-Columbian settlements, including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the wood-land peoples east of the Mississippi River.
Describe their varied customs and folklore traditions.
H-SS Analysis Skills
Research, Evidence, and Point of View.
Artistic Perception Component:
- Students use their senses to perceive works of
art, objects in nature, events, and the
- Students identify visual structures and functions
of art, using the language of the visual arts.
- Students expand their visual arts
vocabulary as they observe and use the
elements and principles of design in
language and visual imagery.
Creative Expression Component:
- Students develop skills in the visual arts and
appreciation for using the visual arts in lifelong
- Students use the art museum as a resource for
investigating the influences of the visual arts
in a community.
- Students develop knowledge of and artistic skills in a
variety of visual arts media and technical processes. (extension
- Students demonstrate, through their creations,
combinations of elements and principles of
design. (extension activity only)
Historical and Cultural Context Component:
- Students explore the role of the visual arts in culture
and human history.
- Students identify artworks from various cultures
and understand the way in which the artworks
reflect their culture.
Aesthetic Valuing Component:
- Students derive meaning from artworks through analysis,
interpretation, and judgment.
- Students recognize and discuss multiple purposes
for creating works of art.
Length of Lesson: approximately 2 weeks
- For the presentation, the student's choice of medium will
dictate the materials needed. Discuss what you have
available with the students beforehand (e.g.,
presentation software, Hyperstudio, classroom art
supplies, etc.) Offer them as many choices as possible.
- For the hands-on extension lesson you will need to
prepare a handout that illustrates the main shapes used
in Northwest Coast art: ovoid, U shape, split U shape,
formline, eyelids, eyebrows, hands, feet, and claws. You
can find examples of these in the books listed in your
resources or any good book on Northwest Coast art. A good
place to obtain such resources is in art museum
In addition you will need: large, colored
construction paper (black, red, green, blue, and blue
green); white drawing paper for the background; tracing
paper for the students to trace the basic shapes;
scissors; and glue.
Interdisciplinary Connections: History-Social
California Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills:
Chronological and Spatial Thinking
1. students place key events and people of the historical era they are studying both in a chronological sequence and within a spatial context; they interpret timelines
3. students explain how the present is connected to the past, identifying both similarities and differences between the two, and how some things change over time and some things stay the same
4. students use map and glove skills to determine the absolute locations of places and interpret information available through the map's legend, scale, and symbolic representations
5. students judge the significance of the relative location of a place (e.g., close to a harbor, trade routes) and analyze how those relative advantages or disadvantages can change over time
Research, Evidence and Point of View
1. students differentiate between primary and secondary sources
2. students pose relevant questions about events encountered in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photos, maps, art and architecture
2. students identify the human and physical characteristics of the places they are studying and explain how these features form the unique character of these places
California History/Social Science Content Standards - Grades K-12
5.1 Students describe the major pre-Columbian settlements including the cliff dwellers and pueblo people of the desert Southwest, the American Indians of the Pacific Northwest, the nomadic nations of the Great Plains, and the woodland peoples east of the Mississippi River, in terms of:
- how geography and climate influenced the way various nations lived and adjusted to the natural environment, including locations of villages, the distinct structures that were built, and how food, clothing, tools and utensils were obtained
- the varied customs and folklore traditions
- the varied economies and systems of government
California State Visual and Performing Arts
Framework, California Department of
Bancroft-Hunt, N. & Forman, W. (1989). People
of the Totem. (2nd ed.) New York: Peter
Clark, K., & Gilbert, J. (1993). Learning
by Doing: Northwest Coast Native Indian Art .
Victoria: Raven Publishing.
Furst, J. & Furst, P. (1982). North
American Indian Art. New York: Rizzoli.
Hoyt-Goldsmith, D. (1990). Totem Pole. New
York: Holiday House.
Holm, B. (1993). Northwest Coast Indian Art.
(6th ed.). Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas and
Schuman, J. (1981). Art From Many Hands.
Worcester: Davis Publications.
- The first three resources are actual lesson plans
that can be adapted as hands-on art experiences
for this unit.
- The National Digital Library
has much information concerning Northwest Coast
- Canada's Schoolnet
has a list of learnining resources concerning the history of Canada.
- Powells Book Company offers a catalog,
of books about Indians of the Pacific Northwest
Coast of Canada and the United States.
- Raven Roost is an online bookshop of reading suggestions for stories and art of the Pacific Northwest Cultures.
Seattle Art Museum has a great teacher ideas
for using their website.
- Jeanette Mills is the Director of Visual Services in the School of Art at the University of Washington. While not claiming to be an expert on Northwest Coast Indian art, she does have many years experience in the field and is willing to share what she knows. She has personally attended a Potlatch. You can reach her via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Teacher Background Information: Northwest
Coast art elements:
- The colors the artists used were limited to a few
natural pigments. The main colors were black, red, and
green, blue, or blue-green.
- Line in Northwest Coast art is referred to as
"formline" because the width of the line
- The most common shape found in this style is
called an "ovoid" (best described as a rounded
rectangle, an angular oval, or a bean-shaped figure) and
is used as eyes, joints, and space fillers.
- The space in Northwest Coast art is filled with
shapes. Very little negative space (or white space) is
- There are two texture patterns that occur often in
the art: hatching and dashing.
Before this project, students should have experience in:
- talking about the art concepts of line, shape, space,
color, texture, style, and symmetry
- creating spreadsheets, charts, and graphs
- downloading graphics
If students don't have prior knowledge of these things,
consider them teachable moments!
- Identify vocabulary - Guide the class in
brainstorming descriptive words for each of the elements
of art: line, shape, space, color, texture. List these
ideas on chart paper and display in the classroom for
reference throughout the project.
- Grouping - There are two ways you can
approach this lesson:
- Option 1: Divide the class into groups of three
to six students. Each student has a specialized
role: the historian, the graphic designer, or the
art broker (depending upon the size of the
groups, there may be more than one student for
each role). This option gives students the chance
to have a more real life business experience, but
takes more management in terms of timing. It may
also be dependent upon how much access you have
to computers and the Internet; if you have very
limited access, option 2 might be best for you.
- Option 2: Divide the class into groups of three
to six students. All students share the tasks of
the historian, the graphic designer, and the art
- Journals - Depending upon access to computers,
journals may be kept electronically to facilitate the
downloading and use of online images and information. The
use of journals will also depend on your grouping option:
- If you use grouping Option 1, students should
keep individual journals, entering data about the
tasks they complete. At the end of the project,
the team combines all of the journals into a team
journal to reflect the process the whole group
went through. Have students use the order of the
"Process" section in the student
activity to organize their information.
- If you use grouping Option 2, have the groups
choose a team recorder. That person is
responsible for compiling all the information
collectively into a team journal. It is still a
good idea to give each student their own journal
to jot down notes as they work. These then become
prompts as they report their findings to the team
Written by Karen
Coates, Professional Development Coordinator, San Bernardino County
Superintendent of Schools.
Questions, comments, and suggestions may be addressed