This unit explores medieval art, focusing on Heraldry and Illuminated Manuscripts. Students create a contemporary coat of arms and illuminated page. They will also learn about contemporary artists who combine text, symbols and images in altered books and create an altered book page of their own. The overarching ideas of art being a reflection of time and culture and artists getting ideas from other artists will be emphasized throughout the unit. The unit is ideally suited for seventh graders and will be taught in conjunction with their Social Studies unit on the Middle Ages.
1.0 Artistic Perception
Students perceive and respond to works of art, objects in nature, events, and the environment.
They also use the vocabulary of the visual arts to express their observations.
2.0 Creative Expression
Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.
3.0 Historical and Cultural Context
Students analyze the role and development of the visual arts in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting human diversity as it relates to the visual arts and artists.
3.1 Research and describe how art reflects cultural values in various traditions throughout the world.
3.2 Compare and contrast works of art from various periods, styles, and cultures and explain how those works reflect the society in which they were made.
4.0 Aesthetic Valuing
Students analyze, assess, and derive meaning from works of art, including their own, according to the elements of art, the principles of design, and aesthetic qualities.
4.1 Explain the intent of a personal work of art and draw possible parallels between it and the work of a recognized artist.
5.0 Connections, Relationships, Applications
Students apply what they learned in the visual arts across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills. They also learn about careers in and related to the visual arts.
English Language Arts- Grade 7
1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development
Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words.
2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material.
1.0. Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of the audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
History - Social Science- Grade 7
7.6 Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of Medieval Europe
7.8 Students analyze the origins, accomplishments, and geographic diffusion of the Renaissance.
4. Describe the growth and effects of new ways of disseminating information (e.g., the ability to manufacture paper, translation of the Bible into the vernacular, printing).
Art is a reflection of the time and place it was created.
Art is also a force that can work to change or shape culture.
Artists often get ideas from other artists
Artists today are constantly reinventing art.
Is Art a reflection of its culture or a force to form or shape culture?
How do artists use what has come before them to create new ideas?
Lesson 1- Heraldry
1. What is heraldry?
2. What are common characteristics of Heraldry in the Middle Ages?
3. How are symbols traditionally used in heraldry?
4. How can I use modern images and symbols to create my own coat of arms?
5. How can color be used symbolically? What are common color meanings in different cultures?
Lesson 2- Illuminated Pages and Illuminated Letters
6. How were books made in the middle ages?
7. What is illumination?
8. Who were the artists who made the books?
9. How can design enhance the meaning of a page of text?
Lesson 3- Altered Book Pages
10. How have artists used text and images together in art?
11. How are contemporary altered book artists making new meaning in old books?
12. How can sentences be formed from random words?
Students will create a contemporary coat of arms for themselves or their family. They will write an essay explaining the symbols, images and shapes in the coat of arms and how they are significant to them. They will research traditional heraldry in the middle ages and use structured note taking and graphic organizers to record what they learn. They will keep a Synthesis Journal throughout the unit to assist them in learning the historical aspects of the material and apply it to their work. Vocabulary development will be stressed throughout the unit and VVWA cards will be used.
Plan coat of arms on newsprint - choose symbols that represent self and family. Transfer to chipboard and/or Corrugated cardboard. Cut with utility knife and scissors.
The coat of arms are painted chipboard. They cut each of their symbols and painted them before attaching them together with glue. That way they were able to keep it all neat. My kids have a really hard time painting neat, clean edges. Corrugated cardboard may also be used. Cut paper could be used for smaller Coat of Arms.
Students will create an illuminated page with either their initial illuminated or the first letter of a short quote they choose. The designs used in the illumination will relate to the letter and meaning of the quote. Students will continue research into the Middle Ages and will view the online exhibit, "Illuminating the Renaissance" from the Getty Museum website. Vocabulary work and Synthesis Journals will continue to be used. They will write an essay in response to the quote, "Art is the signature of civilizations." -Beverly Sills.
Students will turn their attention to a study of contemporary artists who work with altered books. They will write an essay comparing the contemporary embellished pages to the illuminations of the middle ages. Students will create an altered book page that includes a sentence created from the text found on the page. They will use graphic organizers and their journals for vocabulary, recording information learned, and developing found sentences.
Lesson 4- Final Essay
Finally, they will complete an essay on the idea of art being a reflection of the time and culture it was created in, as well as a force that can shape or form cultures.
Lessons will be scored with a variety of assessment tools including teacher observation, self assessment by students, critiques, and rubrics.
Criteria for rubrics include:
Shapes, symbols and images reflect the person the coat of arms represents.
There is a balance of positive and negative shapes
The work is neat
Writing will be scored with primary trait guides focusing on meaning and organization
Design relates to the letter or quote
Neat lettering and design
The text is used to write an interesting found sentence.
The images relate to the text
Final Essay - scored with the district writing rubric for intermediate school.
After looking at visuals of castles, students are asked to list possible elements that they could add to a castle... such as roof tiles, bushes, steps up a hillside, bridges on moats, courtyards, etc. After selecting their own rock, and determining the best spot to locate their castle, (they may need to make a clay shim to steady the rock) they proceed to model their miniature castle. Attention is given to detail such as stone, stucco, wood grain, bushes. Because the clay will not adhere to the rock when it dries, clay is kept on 12 x 12 ((30.5 x 30.5 cm) wall boards, with plastic to wrap, to keep it workable for the week.
After firing the clay (minus the rocks), students attach their castles and shims to their rocks with glue. Acrylic paints are used for color, so that the second lesson is a mixing of paint to create colors of grass, stone, water, dirt, etc.
Submitted by: Jeanella Smalley UNIT: Middle Ages - Sculpture Lesson: Gargoyle Paper Mache Grade Level: Middle school - High school
Last year my Art II classes made Papier Mache gargoyles. We combined the idea of gargoyles with carved door jambs, and used carpet tubes as the armature. The students were allowed to work alone or with one other person, and added a square cardboard base and features using papier mache. The completed projects were awesome, and several students commented it was the best project they had ever done.