- Lesson Title & Subject(s): Developing Drawing Skills
- Topic or Unit of Study: Drawing Birds and Animals
- Grade/Level: First Grade
- Instructional Setting: This lesson will take place in the first-grade classroom. Eight students will be sitting at the desks while listening to my presentation and drawing their images. There will be only two desks each of which can give room to six learners. This setting is quite suitable for the art lesson since I will be able to monitor the activities of students and guide their work when it is necessary.
Standard, Goals, and Objectives
Your State Core Curriculum/Student Achievement Standard(s)
According to Wisconsin State Standards, during the first grade, students should learn how to use different painting techniques and media that are involved in the creation of visual arts (Perma-Bound School Library, 2011, unpaged). This is one of the skills that I will focus on. Additionally, they should know the difference between such elements as color, textures, shape, and lines (Perma-Bound School Library, 2011, unpaged). Finally, learners should be able to create original images (Perma-Bound School Library, 2011, unpaged). These are the main skills that should be developed during the lesson.
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Students will be able to use colored pencils, crayons to describe animals or birds. Furthermore, they will paint original pictures that are based on their own experiences.
After guided and independent practice, children will correctly use shapes, lines, and colors to draw pictures of animals.
Materials and Resources
- Instructional Materials: Mayesky, M. (2009). Creative Activities for Young Children. New York: Cengage Learning.
- Resources: Colored pencils, crayons, erasers, colored chalks, 30 photographs of different animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, sparrows, hummingbirds, and so forth), and 12×18 sheets of paper.
A sequence of Instructional Procedures/Activities/Events (provide a description and indicate the approximate time for each):
Identification of Student Prerequisite Knowledge and/or Skills
Students can create images in response to their experiences. Secondly, they can use mostly straight lines to represent some of the simple geometrical objects. Thirdly, they can apply different painting tools such as colored pencils or crayons.
New Knowledge and/or Skills To Be Taught
This lesson focus on the following aspects, namely
- ability to create works by using primary colors and their tints;
- creation of patterns with various shapes, lines, and textures to draw pictures of animals;
- ability to rely on imagination while creating original artworks.
Modeling: I Do (15 Minutes)
At the beginning of the lesson, I will demonstrate a series of pictures with animals. Furthermore, I will explain how one can create different shades of the same color. In particular, I will tell learners how one can mix primary colors to create different shades or tints. Secondly, I will show how they should hold pencils or crayons to draw horizontal, vertical lines. In this way, I show how one can use different elements of art to depict animals.
Guided Practice: We Do (15 Minutes)
During the part of the lesson, I will let children do their drawings independently. In particular, I will ask them to choose one of the pictures and try to create a similar image. Furthermore, I will encourage learners to ask questions if some of the tasks seem challenging to them. Moreover, students will have an opportunity to make changes or modifications if they think that they are necessary. Learners will be allowed to work in groups and exchange their drawings. At this stage, I will help learners choose colors and select the media they need for their work.
Independent Student Practice: You Do (10 minutes)
During this part of the lesson, I will ask children to draw a picture of their pet or their favorite animal. This activity will be aimed at promoting the creativity of learners and their ability to create images that are based on their own experience. I encourage students to use those colors and tools that they find most convenient. Furthermore, they will be able to complete this task after classes.
Culminating or Closing Procedure/Activity/Event (5 minutes)
At this stage, I will praise children for their work and ask them to continue working on their final task, namely the drawing of their favorite animal or pert. This step is very important because learners should feel positive about their experiences in the classroom.
Pedagogical Strategy (or Strategies)
During the lesson, I will first rely on direct instruction to demonstrate how some of the drawing skills and explaining each of the assignments. Secondly, I will attach importance to cooperative learning groups. This strategy will be particularly important during the guided and independent practice of students. This approach is important because learners should be able to assist one another and share ideas (Mayesky, 2009). One of the main strategies was engaged in learning. Its goal is to make students interested in the main activities of the lesson.
The group of students whom I will teach will include two learners with special needs. One of them has mild hearing impairments, while another one has a motor disorder and uses a wheelchair. While working with these learners, I will use different strategies. First of all, while explaining the new material, I will stand right in front of the student with a hearing disability. In this way, I will try to make sure that he can fully understand my explanation. Additionally, I pay close attention to the needs of a child with a motor disability. First of all, he will have more space while working at the desk. Furthermore, he will have more to complete the assignments.
While teaching this lesson, I will not strongly rely on information technologies, since they will not be necessary for the development of learners’ skills. Furthermore, at this stage, children may not be able to understand the material presented with help of computers. Nevertheless, these technologies can be useful for displaying different images. For instance, it is possible to use a projector to display different images.
The following rubric summarizes the assessment criteria that I used while evaluating the work of students:
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|Ability to use different media||The student can use colored pencil, chalk, and crayons to draw images||A student experiences practically no difficulties while using various materials||A learner finds it difficult to use various tools to draw images.|
|Use of colors, shapes, and lines||The student can identify the examples of various colors, curves, and lines to depict animals and create new images||The learner can use mostly primary colors and straight lines.||The student is very limited in his/her use of lines, colors, and shapes.|
|Creativity||A learner can create new images of animals.||A student can respond and modify the pictures that were displayed during the lesson.||A learner strongly relies on the images without trying to modify them.|
It should be noted that creativity which is the third criterion should be taken into account only when students complete their final assignment. They should be allowed more time because this task is more challenging than others.
Observation and description
This lesson took place in a classroom that was suitable for a small group of students. This lesson was attended by learners whose ages ranged between six and seven. The desks were located in such a way that a teacher could easily guide the activities of learners. Furthermore, the setting provided for learners with disabilities, especially those with movement disabilities. These are the main aspects of the learning environment.
There were some deviations from the initial lesson plan. I have to acknowledge that I spent more time than I expected while working with students who had disabilities. Additionally, I could have predicted that some of the learners could ask me for watercolors. While developing this lesson, I thought that students could not work with these media. Finally, I had to take into account that it might take learners more time to complete each of the assignments that I had offered to them. These are some of the main issues that I did not take into consideration. If I had done it, I would have made the lesson more engaging.
Connection to other effective teaching practices
While teaching this lesson, I relied on two strategies, namely direct instruction and cooperative learning groups. During the first stage, I needed to set an example that students should consider. However, during the second and third stages of the lesson, I emphasized the autonomy of students because this creativity is not possible if a learner is not able to take independent decisions (Hurwitz, 2007).
This is why I allowed them to work in groups. During the guided practice, I tried to limit my intervention into the work of children. They could ask for my assistance if they needed it, and I did help learners if they struggled while drawing some parts of their pictures. However, I avoided mentoring them. Such a strategy is necessary for promoting the self-directed learning of students.
In my opinion, I was able to use different media while teaching this lesson. Additionally, I think that I managed to engage the majority of students who were quite interested in the learning activities. However, one could choose an alternative approach to teaching this lesson. For instance, it might have been possible to use a greater variety of painting techniques and tools. Additionally, I could have assigned more creative tasks right after my instruction. While evaluating this lesson, I focused on such criteria as the ability to achieve the main learning objectives and the degree of learners’ engagement.
I could have taken a very different approach to teach this lesson. I could have relied more on such a strategy as cooperative learning groups. According to this approach, the teacher should divide students into several groups in which students can work together on certain tasks. For example, a teacher can ask students to create a series of images that can be united by a certain theme such as favorite animals. Moreover, they could employ different tools and techniques while working on this task. This strategy enables students to demonstrate different skills. This approach could be of great benefit to the learners in my classroom because some of them were more skillful with the use of water colors while others created their images with the help of chalk and colored pencils.
Personal Meaning and Professional Growth
This teaching experience has been of great value for me since I was able to able to learn more about the needs of first-grade students. These learners tend to explore the world and they expect a great number of things from a teacher. Furthermore, this lesson will help me anticipate some of the main challenges. This is why I think that this teaching experience is beneficial for us. I was able to observe the behavior of students and their interests.
Hurwitz, A. (2007). Children And Their Art: Methods for the Elementary School. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Mayesky, M. (2009). Creative Activities for Young Children. New York: Cengage Learning.
Perma-Bound School Library. (2011). Wisconsin State Standards for Arts Education: Grade 1. Web.