Beauty Form and Function
Rationale • Elementary Students tend to categorize things around them as art and “everything else.” If it is not a sculpture or does not hang on the wall, it is not art, or even artful. This unit is intended to make students aware of the beauty of fine crafts, those which have function. By looking at a variety of fine art pieces and fine craft pieces, they will begin to understand that when the elements of art and the principles of design are applied the useful can also be beautiful and artful.
Essential Questions • What is beauty? • How do we decide what is beautiful? • What is a functional artwork? • Why are some functional pieces also considered art?
Key Concepts • Some art is functional. • People create useful objects that are also beautiful. • Some pieces come from a functional background but have evolved to a decorative purpose. • Functional can be stretched to non-functional through • Abstraction • Humor • Manipulation of size or intent
Unit Objectives • Students will understand that different cultures often have different ideas about what is beautiful. • Students will understand the difference between a functional and a non-functional artwork. • Students will understand how the elements and principles of design are used by both fine artists and fine crafts artisans to create artful works.
Key Art Concepts • Good descriptions of artworks use rich, robust, revealing language. • Formal analysis depends upon and utilizes the elements and principles of design. • Judgments about artworks should be supported with evidence such as application of elements and principles. • Artworks (both fine art and fine craft) can be identified by artist (sometimes), date, place of origin, and materials. • Artworks are shaped by location, time period, and cultural context. • Artmaking problems are discovered, not pre-determined. • Manipulating media creates conceptual possibilities. • Philosophical questions inquire about the purposes of art.
Standards • Standards for third grade have been included in your packet; the appropriate ones have been highlighted.
Lesson 1: Knowledge Building (1pd.) Functional and Non-functional • What will students do? • Students will participate in a class discussion involving prints of a variety of functional and non-functional artworks • Students will work in small groups sorting stacks of postcard prints into categories (f, n-f, and ?) • (Assessment) Groups will present their sorts and defend their reasons for the groupings. Class will help decide the undecideds. • What will students learn from this? • Students will be able to distinguish between functional and non-functional artworks.
Lesson 2: Knowledge Building (1 pd.) Elements and Principles • What will students do? • Whole class: Students will review elements of art, and be introduced to principles of design. • Individual: Students will compare and contrast a functional and non-functional artwork, using the elements and principles. • What will students learn from this? • Students will begin to understand the elements and principles as applied to functional and non-functional art. • Students will understand that the elements are what we use to create art, and the principles are how we organize the elements into a composition.
Lesson 3: Production (3pds.) Circle Weaving • What will students do? • Students hear a story about a young Mayan weaver. • Students will weave on a circular loom. • What will students learn from this? • Students will gain an understanding of radial symmetry. • Students will learn that weaving is an ancient craft produced in many cultures. • Students will apply elements and principles to their weaving.
Lesson 4: Knowledge Building (1 pd) Emphasis • What will students do? • Looking at The Piñata and Self-Portrait with Hummingbird and Thorn Necklace, students will discuss the concept of emphasis. • Looking at an authentic mola from the Kuna of Panama, students will discuss the culture-specific attributes of the artform. • Students will begin preparation for creating a paper mola. • What will students learn from this? • Students will understand the concept of Emphasis in an artwork • Students will understand different methods of creating emphasis.
Lesson 5: Production (2pds) Paper Molas • What will students do? • Students will design and create a paper mola. • What will students learn from this? • Students will apply their knowledge of elements and principles in their design.
Lesson 6: Knowledge Building (1pd) Clay • What will students do? • Listen to When Clay Sings, by Byrd Baylor. • Students will discuss the origins, history, and technique of clay. • Looking online, students will view decorative teapots as examples of functional manipulated into non-functional. • What will students learn from this? • Students will understand the history and nature of clay. • Students will understand that artists can manipulate materials into the unexpected, changing the original intent of an object.
Lesson 7: Production (1 pd) Create a Fantastical Pot • What will students do? • Students will create a pinch pot which they will then alter in some way to make it less functional. • What will students learn from this? • Students will learn about creating a pinch pot. • Students will learn scoring technique. • Students will gain an understanding of form vs. shape. • Students will problem-solve to manipulate their pinch pots into something fantastical.
Lesson 8: Knowledge Building and Production (3 pds.) Stitchery • What will students do? • Students will look at excerpts from Dia’s Story Cloth. • Students will look at an actual story cloth and apply elements and principles. • Students will create their own stitchery piece, based on either an abstract design or an event in their lives. • What will students learn from this? • Students will learn about the Hmong culture and how they have chronicled their history through the use of story cloths. • Students will learn basic backstitch in order to create their embroidered piece.
Lesson 9: Assessment (1 pd) There are project-specific assessments throughout the unit. Some are based on discussion, while some are written. The final assessment is partially class discussion and partially written. Students look at all the pieces produced in the unit. Through class discussion we evaluate the use of elements and principles, and discuss the functionality of the pieces. Students will evaluate on paper two of their own pieces, answering the following questions? 1. What are the most important elements and principles in this piece? 2. How is this piece non-functional or functional? If it is functional, what can it be used for? 3. What is beauty? How is your piece beautiful?