Artist and Society

By betsy casanas, January 2, 2009

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Architecture

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Lesson Time

6 80 minute classes


In the course of the semester students will be researching the lives and work of several different artists. They will focus on the impact that society has on an artist and the impact an artist has on a society and a movement. By exposing students to a variety of different artists working in several mediums one begins to understand how style and movement come about based on who and what is happening in the society in which one lives. By critiquing and analyzing artwork created by the artist and their contemporaries, students will understand how diversely or similarly one artist might choose to portray a subject from another artist. During the course of the lesson I want students to be able to identify the work of the artist, to make a clear connection to the periods they have studied in the past, and understand that the artworks were created by people who were affected/inspired by the time period in which they lived.  

National Standards

Standard 1. Understands connections among the various art forms and other disciplines. 2. Knows how characteristics of the arts vary within a particular historical period or style and how these characteristics relate to ideas, issues, or themes in other disciplines. Technology* Standard 2.  Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs

Common Core State Standards:

Anchors for Reading

Key Ideas and Details:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Craft and Structure:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

 Anchor Standards for Writing

 Research to Build and Present Knowledge:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening

Comprehension and Collaboration:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Anchor standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.


  • Students will be able to make connection between prior knowledge and new information
  • Students will be able to identify the works of several different artists
  • Students will be able to understand major movements in art
  • Student will be able to see connections between art and society
  • Students will be able to see an impact one artist plays on another
  • Students will understand how to visually relay information on multiple levels using several techniques.


Computer Lab and printer Hand Outs Microsoft Word Internet sites eg. Google Library Books


Poster Board Markers Pins Velcro Glue Scissors Hot glue gun String World map Ribbon Popsicle sticks Index cards


Diagrams Timeline Art Movement


Day 1 All students will design a visual system for a 'client' that will show the impact of society on an artist, and the impact that one artist can have on a movement. The 'client' will be the history teacher. The goal of the visual system will be to relay information easily and clearly to a classroom of 23-27 high school students. The visual system will be the clearest and most interesting way of learning about new artists   The students should use multiple visual organizational techniques, such as: Flow-chart, zen diagram, timeline, photographs, and word lists, in order to clearly represent and relay the following information
  • Photo of Artist
  • 3 examples of artwork
  • Date of birth and death
  • 3 major events in the artists life
  • A quote by the artistPhoto of Artist
  • 5 reasons they were remembered in history
  • Movement they were affiliated with
  • 3 images of work by contemporaries
  • Significant events in society that may have affected the work.
Students will break up into groups and begin brainstorming. Day 2 All students will do their project on the same artist. Students will regroup and be encouraged to delegate responsibilities to group members. Students will spend the remainder of the day in the computer lab gathering information. Day 3 Regroup Begin exploring ways to display information Students will have several kinds of materials at their disposal so they can best display their information. Teacher walks around doing group critiques and posing questions for students to consider. Day 4 Regroup delegate responsibilities Day in Computer Lab Students will continue to gather information missed on the first trip to the lab. Student will use Photoshop and Microsoft word to create labels and lists for their presentation Day 5 Regroup Final Touches students will use the final day to add any final touches on their display. They will go down the list of things needed and make sure they have covered all. Day 6. Presentation of work. Each group will present the work created Group Critique.


Assessment would be done throughout the process. Students would be graded on participation and input in the project. How well they follow directions and work with their group. The final project will be graded based on the clarity of the information relayed and if all necessary information was represented.

Enrichment Extension Activities

While working on the history papers students will also be engaged in a scavenger hunt. They will find images of each artist and his or her work to include on a huge mind map that will be created on one large wall inside of the classroom. The mind map scavenger hunt will hold images of major people that are significant to the happenings in the society and will all come about organically based on the artist being studied, for example: David Alfaro Siqueiros-Diego Rivera-Frida Kahlo-Leon Trotsky- Stalin- Adolph Hitler. The political people will not be studied but, in the scavenger hunt mind map, students will research the 5 major reasons that these persons were remembered in history and what their connection is to the artists being studied. For example: Leon Trotsky is connected to Frida’s lover Siqueiros, who tried to assassinate him; Diego Rivera convinced the president to grant him asylum in Mexico. Visible lines will connect artists to each other if they have a connection.

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