Lesson Plans

“Fakelore” Beast in a Box

Big idea: Story

Essential Questions:

  • What are ways to tell a story and what makes a compelling story?
  • How can learning a story inform your perspective or understanding?
  • Why are stories important?

Age Group: elementary

Overview: Inspired by the work, stories, and folklore of Levi Fisher Ames, students will sculpt an imaginary beast in a box using a clay medium. Using the who-what-where-when model, each student will develop a story to bring their beast to life.

"Fakelore" Lesson Plan >

Story Presentation >

Kinetic Collaborations

Big Idea: Transformation

Essential Questions:

  • What is transformation?
  • Why would someone transform themselves or their environment?
  • How does transforming something change its meaning?

Age Group: early childhood, elementary

Overview: Students work in teams to transform ordinary mechanical objects into an extraordinary kinetic sculpture.

Kinetic Collaborations Lesson Plan >

Kinetic Collaborations Presentation >

Gateways to Inspiration

Big Idea: Place

Essential Questions: 

  • What defines place?
  • How do people create place?
  • Why do people alter their places in meaningful ways?

Age Group: secondary

Overview: Students will identify a personal or significant place, design a proposal, and build a model for a gateway to activate the space.

Gateways Lesson Plan >

Gateways Presentation >

Heal Mobile

Big Idea: Healing and Well-Being

Essential Questions:

  • What is the difference between healing and well-being?
  • Why is well-being important?
  • What are ways we can heal and promote well-being?

Age Group: elementary, secondary, college, adult

Overview: Students will create a suspended mobile that incorporates ideas of healing. Using a variety of found objects and text, students will work individually or collaboratively to express healing concepts in a three-dimensional form.

Healing and Well-Being Lesson Plan >

Healing and Well-Being Presentation >

Driftwood Mobiles

Big Idea: Nature

Essential Questions:

  • What is nature?
  • Why is nature important?
  • How does nature influence human values, actions, and ways of life?

Age Group: early childhood, elementary

Overview: Inspired by the work of Mary Nohl, students will create an individual or collaborative hanging or freestanding driftwood or found wood structure.

Nature Lesson Plan >

Nature Presentation >

Objects of Identity

Big Idea: Identity

Essential Questions:

  • What is identity?
  • In what ways do people express or show their identity?
  • Why do people feel compelled to express their identity?

Age Group: secondary, college, adult

Overview: Inspired by the work of Mary Nohl, students will design and cast a pewter symbol that represents themselves based on personal traits and qualities.

Objects of Identity Lesson Plan >

Objects of Identity Presentation >

Objects of Identity Worksheet >

Cast-Off Objects

Big Idea: Object

Essential Questions:

  • What kinds of values can be attributed to objects?
  • How do you know an object has value?
  • How can a person use objects to communicate meanings or values?
  • What do we learn about ourselves and the world through objects?

Age Group: secondary, college, adult

Overview: Students will cast a small body part using dental alginate and sculptor’s wax. Students will communicate meaning or value through art, by juxtaposing an object with their cast form.

Objects Lesson Plan >

Objects Presentation >

Expressions of Devotion

Big Idea: Devotion

Essential Questions:

  • What is devotion?
  • What inspires devotion?
  • How does devotion affect people’s actions or art making?

Age Group: secondary, college, adult

Overview: Inspired by the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, students will create a sculptural, accordion book-in-a-box that represents a personal devotion. Students will incorporate a written component and imagery that exemplifies this devotion. 

Devotion Lesson Plan >

Devotion Presentation >

Big Idea: Identity

Essential Questions:

  • What is identity?
  • In what ways do people express or show their identity?
  • Why do people feel compelled to express their identity?
  • In what ways do artists explore complex issues of identity, such as race or cultural norms, through their work?

Age Group: secondary, college, adult

Overview: Informed by the figurative work of Dr. Charles Smith and Nek Chand, students will explore identity in relation to cultural, societal, and community issues. Students will design and create a 3D form, utilizing concrete as a medium for constructing a sculptural head.

Headstrong Lesson Plan >

Headstrong Worksheet >