Masterpieces and the Mass-Produced
By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, October 10, 2006
- High School
- Design History
- Language Arts
Common Core Standards
Anchor Standards for Writing:
Text Types and Purposes1:
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
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.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
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.
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:
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language:
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
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.
- compare and contrast the value of masterpieces and mass-produced items
- analyze how the inventive and creative nature of humans is expressed in objects they produce
- analyze and explain in writing the value of a specific masterpiece and mass-produced item
- photographs of a variety of masterpieces, such as buildings, paintings, jewelry, etc.
- photographs of a variety of interesting mass-produced objects, such as glasses, airplanes, clothing, etc.
Building Background What do we Value?
The purpose of this activity is to examine the value of both masterpieces and mass-produced items.
1. Write the following definitions on the board:
1. An outstanding work of art or craft.
2. Something superlative of its kind.
To manufacture in large quantities, often by or as if by assembly-line techniques.
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
2. Discuss these two definitions. Show the class photographs and/or actual masterpiece and mass-produced items.
3. Involve students in a discussion about the values of both masterpieces and mass-produced items. The following questions may be used to initiate the discussion:
Why was/is this object valued?
How does the object reflect the creativity or inventiveness of the creator?
What problem might have been addressed or solved by the creation of this object?
Do you think both masterpieces and mass-produced items should be valued equally?
Steps for Learning Masterpiece and Mass-produced Items
The purpose of this activity is to provide students with an opportunity to analyze a masterpiece and a mass-produced item.
1. As a homework assignment in preparation for this activity, ask students to bring in a mass-produced object that they value. Tell students to write a brief paragraph that explains why they value the object.
Teacher Note: In advance, prepare copies of images of masterpieces. Be sure to have a minimum of one masterpiece for each group of students.
2. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group choose at least one copy of a masterpiece that they are drawn to. Tell groups to do the following:
Discuss why they value the masterpiece.
Have each group member share the mass-produced object they selected and the reasons why they value it.
Discuss the creativity and problem solving that was required to create the masterpiece and the mass-produced objects.
3. Ask the students to generate a list of the top three reasons why masterpieces should be valued and another top-three list that states why mass-produced items should be valued.4. After the groups have finished, have them share their images and their top-three lists with the entire class.