What our Famous Artists lesson plan includes
Lesson Objectives and Overview: Famous Artists is a fun lesson that teaches students a little about four painters. Students will discover several styles of art and gain an appreciation for the variety of art styles that exist. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.
Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The supplies you will need vary based on each activity. Review the four activity pages to learn what materials you need.
Options for Lesson
You can check out the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page for additional suggestions for ideas and activities to incorporate into the lesson. You can add information or shorten each section depending on your needs. Activities can be condensed into one activity where you let your students choose which artist they want to do.
The paragraph on this page provides a little more information or guidance on what to expect from the lesson. It offers a couple suggestions to guide parts of the lesson plan. You can use the blank lines to record any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.
FAMOUS ARTISTS LESSON PLAN CONTENT PAGES
Famous Artists Pablo and Georgia
The Famous Artists lesson plan contains four pages of content. Each one focuses on one of the four artists. The first is about Pablo Picasso. Students will learn that Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain in 1883. His father was an artist, so he started painting at a very young age. Pablo made his first painting at nine years old. When he was only 16 years old, he went to the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, the top art school in all of Spain.
He became the most famous artist in the world during his lifetime. He created thousands of paintings and was also known for his sculptures. Picasso is credited with creating two kinds of art: collage and cubism. Collages are artworks that include many different random images and things put together onto one piece. Cubism uses simple geometric shapes to create an image.
The next artist is Georgia O’Keeffe. Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887. By the time she was 12, she knew she wanted to be an artist and started taking art lessons. She went to art schools in both Chicago and New York City. In Georgia’s era, women were not taken seriously as artists and were only able to be art teachers. So she taught art for several years while creating her own works. Finally in 1923, she had her first art show. Five hundred people came the first day and were impressed by her work. She was respected as an artist from then on.
Georgia O’Keeffe is known for her painting of big bright flowers and of desert landscapes. She uses bright colors and big, larger-than-life shapes so people will look at the subject of her work in a new way. People from O’Keeffe’s era rejected the rules of art at the time and experimented with new ideas.
Famous Artists Mondrian and Warhol
Students will next learn about Piet Mondrian, who was born in 1872 in Amersfoort in the Netherlands. Both of his parents were artists, so he began learning art at a very early age. When he grew up, he taught at the Academy for Fine Art and in his free time he painted landscapes. He discovered Cubism (see Picasso’s page) and the squares and geometric shapes inspired him to do his style—abstraction.
Mondrian’s painting Composition with Red Yellow and Blue (1921) is his most famous, and people still copy this image and style today. While these paintings look very simple to paint, figuring out the perfect arrangement of squares, rectangles and black lines can be a challenge. Mondrian’s ability to compose these elements is what made him the successful artist that he was.
Finally, students will learn about Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1928. He started drawing at age 8 and working on photography shortly after. He went to college to study art and then became a successful commercial artist, working for magazines, record labels, and advertisements.
Warhol wanted to do more though, so he tied in his commercial-making skills with fine art and created Pop Art. He is also credited with bringing fine art to the masses by mass producing prints of his art so they were affordable. He is well known for his paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans.
FAMOUS ARTISTS LESSON PLAN WORKSHEETS
The Famous Artists lesson plan includes six worksheets: four activity worksheets, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.
PABLO PICASSO ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
This activity requires students to create a work of art using cubism. You will need to cut out rectangles and squares of different sizes before the students begin this worksheet. The materials you need are listed on the page. Students will use the various shapes to create a picture, either a recreation of Three Musicians or a subject of their own.
GEORGIA O’KEEFFE ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
Students will practice their painting skills during this activity. Using the supplies on this page, they will paint a watercolor picture of flowers in a vase. They will also use crayons to create outlines when necessary.
ANDY WARHOL ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
The Andy Warhol activity requires students to design a soup can. Students must use the same design on four soup cans. The second worksheet page provides four blank cans. Students will color each one differently as Warhol did for many of his pieces.
PIET MONDRIAN ACTIVITY WORKSHEET
For this activity, students will follow the directions on the worksheet to create their own Mondrian-style work of art. They will first circle the shapes that Mondrian would use in his own works. Then they will try to copy one of his pieces in the empty square. Finally, students will design their own work of art using Mondrian’s abstract style.
NAME THE PAINTING PRACTICE WORKSHEET
The practice worksheet provides four paintings. Students will first match the painting to the correct artist and title. Then they will fill in the blank with the correct style of art that the painting represents.
FAMOUS ARTISTS HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT
For the homework assignment, students will write a paragraph about a piece by one of the artists they learned about. The worksheet lists several questions that students can use to guide their response. Students don’t have to answer all the questions, but their paragraph should answer at least a few.
Worksheet Answer Keys
There is an answer key for the practice worksheet at the end of the lesson plan document. Correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them with your students’ work. Given the nature of the homework assignment, students’ responses will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits this page. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep this as reference for yourself when grading assignments.