Everyday People, Everyday Things: C is for Community Lesson Plan K-2
Artists rely on images to communicate their experiences and ideas about community to their audience. Through this project students will be introduced to a new word (community); explore their ideas of community, and use both the visual arts and language arts to communicate this experience with others. (Students may think of the class or school as their community, or expand beyond the classroom walls to their neighborhood.)
National Visual Arts Learning Standard K-4 #1
Content Standard 1
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
- know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
- describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
- use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
- use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
National Visual Arts Learning Standard K-4 #2
Content Standard 2
Using knowledge of structures and functions
- know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas
- describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses
- use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas
- Explore their community through understanding the different roles of its members.
- Create a 'mural' or large scale drawing that represents the different aspects and members of their community.
- Share their 'community mural' with other students by displaying in the class/school.
- 11x17 white paper or construction paper
- Large butcher paper (to mount individual 'panels' on for display. May be substituted for bulletin board if not available)
- 'My Community' reproducible / 'Word match' reproducible
- Hank Willis Thomas, It's The Real Thing!, 1978/2006
- Slater Bradley, Doppelganger in Harlem, 2004
- Jessica LaFortune, Untitled 02, 2007
- Crayons, markers, pencils
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Print out copies of "My Community" reproducible
- stack 11x17 sheets of white or colored construction paper for later distribution to students
- Prepare to view images and discuss "what is the meaning of the word 'community'?"
- Hank Willis Thomas, It's The Real Thing!, 1978/2006 (PDF)
- Slater Bradley, Doppelganger in Harlem, 2004 (PDF)
- Jessica LaFortune, Untitled 02, 2007 (PDF)
'C is for Community'
- As a class, discuss what the word community means. Discuss the difference between types of communities such as rural, urban or suburban. Students should also be lead into a discussion about the makeup of communities such as a neighborhood community or school community.
- View the images. Talk about the roles that people play in a community, and how they work together. Discuss why these roles are important to the people who reside in the community. Students may want to recognize people they feel make a positive contribution to their community—police, firefighters, community leaders, volunteers, doctors, or nurses. Students may also want to recognize the staff in their school community—safety officers, nurses, custodians, lunch helpers. They may choose volunteers, teachers, administrators or others who have made a difference to them.
- Identify the key members of the selected community. Discuss the details of the role these members play and their responsibilities to that community. Use blackboard and flip charts to record the students brainstorming, and key words as a reference for later activity. Comments should be made on how important these members are to the community. Efforts should also be made to identify members that may be unique to the chosen community – contributing to its character and reflecting its cultural identity. Students can then pair into groups, each group taking one of the community members identified in the brainstorming session.
- Give each pair or group of students a copy of 'My Community' reproducible.
- Have students create an image of their selected community member performing an 'everyday' act in service to the community. The image should be accompanied by a written description of who is the community member, what their responsibility is, and why it is important to the community. Remind students to use words and ideas listed from the group brainstorming as appropriate.
- Collect all complete 'panels', and mount on butcher paper or bulletin board.
Show and tell
- Ask the pairs or groups of students who worked on each 'panel' to stand together and speak about the community member they selected to work on. Students should read aloud their written narrative. Students should also be encouraged to describe their creative process in producing the visual image that reflects the community member, including why they chose the colors they worked with, any symbolism used, etc.